Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Godspeed Emma Chambers

Emma Chambers, best known for playing the dim witted but caring verger Alice on The Vicar of Dibley, died on February 21 at the age of 53. The cause was a heart attack.

Emma Chambers was born on March 11 1964 in Doncaster, West Riding of Yorkshire. She was educated at St. Swithun's School, a boarding school for girls in Winchester. In the 1980s she trained in acting at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art.

In 1988 Miss Chambers made her film debut in the television mini-series The Rainbow. The following year she appeared in the television movie Skulduggery. In 1990 she made two guest appearances on The Bill.

In 1994 Emma Chambers began her long run as Alice, the verger at the church in Dibley in The Vicar of Dibley. That same year she appeared as Charity Pecksniff in a television mini-series adaptation of Martin Chuzzlewit. She also starred in the TV show How Do You Want Me? and the mini-series Take a Girl Like You. She guest starred on the shows The Mixer, Drop the Dead Donkey, and Pond Life. She was the voice of the gaoler's daughter in the animated TV movie adaptation of The Wind in the Willows. In the Nineties she appeared in the films Notting Hill (1999) and The Clandestine Marriage (1999). In the Naughts she was a voice on animated TV series Little Robots. She reprised the role of Alice in specials for The Vicar of Dibley.

Emma Chambers was a wonderful actress. No one could have played Alice on The Vicar of Dibley better than she did. Of course, she played more than just Alice. She was Charity Pecksniff, the level headed daughter of Seth Pecksniff in Martin Chuzzlewit. She played Hugh Grant's younger sister Honey in Notting Hill. In Take a Girl Like You she played the bored, cynical, and jealous Martha Thompson. Miss Chambers had a gift for comedy and appeared in various Comedy Relief specials. While Alice will be the character for which she will always be remembered (as well as her best loved character), she played a wide variety of characters in her career.

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