Wendy Craig (born 20 June 1934) is an English actress who is best known for her appearances in the sitcoms Not in Front of the Children, Butterflies, ...And Mother Makes Three and ...And Mother Makes Five. She played the role of Matron in the TV series The Royal (2003–11).
Anne Gwendolyn Craig was born in Sacriston, County Durham the daughter of farmer George Craig and his wife Anne (née Lindsay). She attended Durham High School for Girls, initially as a day pupil and later as a boarder, which she revisited on 13 October 2007 to open a new building that had been named after her. She passed the 11-plus examination and went to Darlington High School. When she was twelve years old the family moved to Picton and she attended nearby Yarm Grammar School. She trained as an actress at the Central School of Speech and Drama, then based in the Royal Albert Hall, London.
From the mid-1950s Craig appeared in British films such as The Servant (1963) and The Nanny (1965) with Bette Davis, but it was her appearances in British sitcoms of the late 1960s/1970s which led to her becoming a household name, usually playing a scatty middle class housewife. She went from the BBC's Not in Front of the Children (1967) to ITV's ...And Mother Makes Three (1971) (in which she played a single parent), which later evolved into ...And Mother Makes Five. Then came Butterflies (1978), a comedy on BBC2.
Craig returned to drama with the series Nanny (1981–83), a series she created, and wrote some episodes herself as Jonathan Marr, a pseudonym she had used before when writing episodes of ...And Mother Makes Five. Twenty years later, she played a hospital matron in ITV's The Royal (2003–11). However, she has continued to be associated with comedy, having taken one of the leading roles as Annie in Brighton Belles (1993–94), the UK's short-lived version of The Golden Girls. She appeared as Reggie's mother in the BBC1 comedy Reggie Perrin (2009, Series 1 and 2010, Series 2), an update of the 1970s' series The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin.
In 2012 Craig appeared as a guest in Episode 12 of the Series Masterchef, along with many other 1970s sitcom stars. In January 2014 she appeared in an episode of the BBC popular drama Waterloo Road.
In 2016 she appeared as Mary Goodman in the BBC TV series Death in Paradise episode 5.5.
She was a subject of the television programme This Is Your Life in February 1970 when she was surprised by Eamonn Andrews.
She was married to John 'Jack' Bentley, a trombonist, scriptwriter and journalist, from 1955 until his death in 1994. They had two sons, Alaster (later principal oboist for the Birmingham Royal Ballet Sinfonia) and Ross. In 2004, it was revealed that her second son's father was John Mortimer, with whom she had had a short affair.
- The Secret Place (1957)
- Room at the Top (1959)
- The Mind Benders (1963)
- The Servant (1963)
- The Nanny (1965)
- Just like a Woman (1967)
- I'll Never Forget What's'isname (1967)
- Joseph Andrews (1977)
- Run for Your Wife (2012)