Elizabeth Dawn



Real name: Sylvia Butterfield
Born:
8 November 1939, Leeds, Yorkshire
Parents:
Annie and Albert Butterfield
Siblings:

  1. Albert
  2. Maisie
  3. Michael (died)
  4. Mary

Married:

  1. (26 December 1957)
  2. Donald Ibbertson (1964)

Children:

  1. Graham (b: 1958)
  2. Dawn Elizabeth (f: Donald Ibbertson)
  3. Ann-Marie (f: Donald Ibbertson)
  4. Julie (f: Donald Ibbertson)

Contact: c/o Granada Television

Played: Vera Duckworth (19 August 1974 - )

Liz was the daughter of a skilled engineer and his housewife wife, the third of five children. She was educated at St Patrick's School followed by Leeds City Girls School. At the age of seven, Liz was involved in an accident which caused an injury to her top lip. Surgeons at St James Hospital in Leeds used skin from her bottom to repair the damaged lip. At the age of sixteen Liz left school and working in a local tailoring factory for four months, she then took various jobs including a cinema usherette, shoe salesgirl and a light bulb seller in Woolworths.

At the age of 18 , Liz married her first husband at St Gregory's Church. She gave birth to her son Graham in 1958 and the following year the couple divorced. Liz soon met electrician Donald Ibbertson and fell pregnant. The couple married in January 1965 and their first daughter Dawn Elizabeth was born in the March. A second daughter, Ann-Marie was born in 1966 and another daughter, Julie, was born in 1968.

Liz then sang in clubs and posed for publicity photographs with a guitar but when bookings came in for a guitarist she claimed she had hurt her finger and told jokes instead as she was unable to play the guitar. When Liz auditioned for a Cadbury's cookie commercial directed by Alan Parker she was soon inundated with offers. She appeared in the James Herriott movie Who'd Be A Vet and played Larry Grayson's neighbour Dot in a long running sit com before landing a role in Colin Welland's play Leeds United.

Liz made her studio debut as Bedelia Conroy in Crown Court and was soon offered a bit part in Coronation Street as machinist Vera Duckworth. Other television work followed including The Greenhill Pals, Country Matters, Daft As A Brush and Kisses at Fifty. In the eighties Vera became a regular character and Liz became a national institution. She was the subject of This Is Your Life, wrote an autobiography called Vera Duckworth My Story and appeared on The Royal Variety Performance. Liz also released a record and a video entitled Liz Dawn's House Party. Liz has worked extensively for charity especially cancer charities and The Prince's Trust. She has met Tony Blair, Princess Diana, The Prince of Wales, The Queen and Pope John Paul II. In 1996, Liz had collagen injections to firm up her face skin. In 1998 she was given an honorary doctorate from Leeds Metropolitan University. Liz appeared in the second Coronation Street movie Viva Las Vegas and in a University Challenge spoof for Comic Relief. With her friend Angela Creely, Liz owns a public house, The Old Grapes just round the corner from Granada Studios in Manchester. Liz still lives with Don, back together after a short separation, in a bungalow outside Manchester.

TV credits include: Speech Day (1973); Kisses at Fifty (1973); Leeds United (1974); Daft as a Brush (1975); Crown Court (Granada, 1975) as Delia Conroy; The Larry Grayson Special (BBC1, 1977) as Dot; Z Cars (BBC1, 1978); Sam; Country Matters; Raging Calm; Mr Ellis versus The People; The Greenhill Pals; All Day on the Sands; Sunset Across the Bay;



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