Elisabeth Croft


Elisabeth Croft

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Elisabeth Croft
Born 22 September 1907
Windermere, Cumberland
Died 13 January 2003(2003-01-13) (aged 95)
Nationality British
Other names Elizabeth Croft[1]
Occupation Actress
Years active 1940–84
Notable work See below
Television Crossroads

Elisabeth Croft (22 September 1907 – 13 January 2003) was an English actress, known for playing Edith Tatum in the ITV soap opera Crossroads.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Croft was born on 22 September 1907 in Windermere. Withdrawn as a child, she nonetheless chose to be an actress. In the 1930s she landed roles in repertory theatre and co-starred with Seymour Hicks in Vintage Wine in the Daly’s Theatre, 1934. She was married and had a son and a daughter. Croft died on 13 January 2003; on that day a new version of Crossroads was released.[2]


“It was very amateur when I went into it. We were doing five episodes a week and didn’t get as much rehearsal time as we would have liked, so we had to be prepared.”[2]

—Croft describes Crossroads (2000)

In 1966, Croft landed her first television role, a part in the ITV soap opera Crossroads, playing Miss Tatum.[2] The soap originally featured actress Beryl Johnstone as postmistress Kitty Jarvis, sister of the series lead, motel owner Meg Richardson (Noele Gordon). Following Johnstone’s death in 1969, the role of Miss Tatum was increased and she was coaxed from her life as a recluse and took over the running of the shop from Kitty, becoming one of the show’s leading peripheral characters as the location increasingly became a focal point in stories.[2][3] Croft later summed up her character: “Miss Tatum didn’t suffer fools gladly and was a bit sharp at times, but she was a wonderful character”. The role of Miss Tatum was quietly phased out following producer Reg Watson’s departure. Croft left the series by 1979.[3] Croft said of the show, “I suppose you would call it a quiet, humdrum show”.[2]

In 1940, Croft began working for Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon. She appeared in many plays whilst there, such as Romeo and Juliet and The Merry Wives of Windsor. She appeared in the Armchair Thriller production The Limbo Connection. Her last appearance in television was in the BAFTA award winning The Dress in 1984, her last role before a long retirement.[2] Whilst in the cast for The Dress, it won a BAFTA award in 1984.[4]


Year Title Role Notes
1965 The Wars of the Roses Richard III, Edward IV, Henry VI 3 episodes
1966–79, 1983 Crossroads Miss Tatum Series regular
1971 Crossroads: A Celebration Herself
1976 Within These Walls Agatha Mason 1 episode
1978 Armchair Thriller Mrs. Sangster
1981 BBC2 Playhouse Neighbour
1985 Crossroads Revisited Herself TV Documentary
1994 Crossroads: 30 Years On
Year Title Role
1984 The Dress Old Lady
Year Title Role
1934 Vintage Wine Minor Role
1940 Romeo and Juliet Nurse
The Merry Wives of Windsor Mistress Quickly
1964 Henry IV Part 1 Various Roles

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