Patricia Brake: Porridge actress dies age 79 - life and career of EastEnders star

Patricia Brake attending the Al Pacino BFI Fellowship dinner, at the Corinthia Hotel, London (Photo: PA)Patricia Brake attending the Al Pacino BFI Fellowship dinner, at the Corinthia Hotel, London (Photo: PA)
Patricia Brake attending the Al Pacino BFI Fellowship dinner, at the Corinthia Hotel, London (Photo: PA) | PA
The actress is best known for starring in the sitcom Porridge as Ronnie Barker’s on-screen daughter

Actress Patricia Brake, who starred as Ronnie Barker’s on-screen daughter in sitcom Porridge, has died aged 79 after a “very long battle with cancer”, her agent said.

The soap stalwart played recurring roles in EastEnders, Coronation Street and Emmerdale across a career spanning six decades.

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Who was Patricia Brake?

Patricia Brake was an English actress, born on 25 June 1942 in Bath, Somerset.

After studying at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Brake joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1962, where she starred in on stage productions including as Hermia in Peter Hall’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream alongside Dame Judi Dench (Six Minutes to Midnight, Belfast) and Dame Diana Rigg (Last Night in Soho, Game of Thrones).

Patricia Brake and Roy Hudd in Midsomer Murders (1997) (Photo: ITV/Mark Bourdillon)Patricia Brake and Roy Hudd in Midsomer Murders (1997) (Photo: ITV/Mark Bourdillon)
Patricia Brake and Roy Hudd in Midsomer Murders (1997) (Photo: ITV/Mark Bourdillon) | ITV/Mark Bourdillon

Her other stage credits include Season’s Greetings, Don’t Dress for Dinner, Eurydice, A Little Winter Love, The Hooded Terror, Macbeth, Doctor Faustus, The Comedy of Errors, Measure for Measure and The Beaux’ Stratagem.

Brake was married twice in her life - first to Robert McBain in 1966 and then Michael Kennedy in 1997.

She had three children, Hannah, Jon and Angus.

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What was she in?

Over the course of her acting career, Brake was in a huge number of roles that you may recognise her from such as Home Tonight, Lorna Doone, Emergency-Ward 10, The Ugliest Girl in Town, Second Time Around, Forget Me Not, The Glums, Eldorado, Tickle on the Tum, Troubles and Strife and The Two Ronnies, just to name a few.

She was perhaps best known for playing Ingrid on the hit sitcom Porridge, the daughter of Norman Stanley Fletcher, played by Ronnie Barker (The Two Ronnies, Open All Hours). She reprised the role in Going Straight.

Patricia Brake in Porridge (Photo: BBC)Patricia Brake in Porridge (Photo: BBC)
Patricia Brake in Porridge (Photo: BBC) | BBC

Brake also starred in a number of soaps such as Coronation Street, Emmerdale and EastEnders.

Her other credits include roles in the likes of Midsomer Murders, Casualty, Love/Loss, Holby City, 2point4 Children, Mann’s Best Friends, Nicholas Nickleby and Z Cars.

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Brake’s most recent roles include appearing as Edith Kloves in Manhunt in 2021, Miss Connelly in Truth Seekers in 2020 and as Annie Scott in Defending the Guilty in 2019.

When did she die?

On Saturday (28 May), Brake’s son, Jon McBain, posted the news on Twitter, writing: “I can confirm that my mother, the actress Patricia Brake, died earlier today at the age of 79 after a long battle with cancer. #patriciabrake @bbcnews.”

On Sunday (29 May), Brake’s agent, Scott Marshall Partners, posted a similar announcement on Twitter confirming the news: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our client and well-loved stage and TV actress Patricia Brake, at the age of 79, after a very long battle with cancer.”

Tributes for Patricia Brake

Following the news of her death, fans of Brake have taken to social media to share tributes for the late star.

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