Josephine Edwina Jaques was an English comedy actress, known as Hattie Jacques.
Prior to entering show business, she trained as a hairdresser but during the war she worked first as a Red Cross nurse and then as an arc welder at a North London factory and it was there that she discovered her talent for making people laugh.
She got the name Hattie while at the Players when as part of her act she sang a negro song. This was just after the film Gone with the Wind (1939), which featured the well-built black actress Hattie McDaniel, had been released.
She was philosophical about her size but sometimes expressed a yearning to look more normal once shedding four stone but when she arrived at a tv studio nobody noticed the difference so she abandoned all ideas of dieting.
Starting her career in the 1940s, Jacques first gained attention through her radio appearances with Tommy Handley on ITMA and later with Tony Hancock on Hancock's Half Hour. From 1958 to 1974 she appeared in fourteen Carry On films, playing roles such as a hospital matron. She had a long professional partnership with Eric Sykes, with whom she co-starred in his long running television series Sykes.