'Sherlock' Star Una Stubbs Passes Away at 84

Una Stubbs in "Sherlock" (Photo: Courtesy of Hartswood Films and MASTERPIECE)

British actress Una Stubbs, likely best known to American viewers for her role as Mrs. Hudson on the 2010 Masterpiece series Sherlock, has passed away at the age of 84. 

According to a statement from her sons to the BBC, Stubbs passed away quietly in Edinburg, with her family around her. She had apparently been ill for a few months. 

She starred in all thirteen installments of the series opposite Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, through to 2017's "The Final Problem."

Though Sherlock was one of her most popular recent roles, Stubbs appeared in some of the best-loved shows on British TV from the 1960s to the 2010s. A former dancer, Stubbs shot to fame in the 1963 film Summer Holiday and went on to appear in many other programs, including the soap opera EastEnders and sitcom Till Death Do Us Part

On Instagram, Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat lamented that "the loveliest light on Baker Street has gone out," calling Stubbs the "irreplaceable heart and soul of Sherlock." 

Speaking to Times Radio, Moffat shared that he and co-creator Mark Gatiss had written extra scenes for Mrs. Hudson in order to get more of Stubbs in the show, “One episode was coming in short, it was far too short, and all we did was sit and write extra bits for Mrs. Hudson because we loved doing it and no one complained that Mrs. Hudson, who had never anything to do with the main plot, would just wander in and patter on for a while, get the three best gags in the show, and wander off again with an elegant dance move.”

For his part, co-creator Mark Gatiss tweeted that "it was one of the great joys of my life to work so closely with and to adore Una Stubbs" who he called a "wonderful woman and a serenely graceful actor."  

PBS Masterpiece, who aired all four seasons of Sherlock, posted about the actress's passing on social media. 

We are very saddened to hear of the passing of Una Stubbs who played the beloved Mrs. Hudson opposite Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in Sherlock. Our thoughts are with her family and friends as we wish them comfort at this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/plzTEjTH7e

— MASTERPIECE | PBS (@masterpiecepbs) August 12, 2021

What was your favorite Una Stubbs performance? Share your memories in the comments. 


Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Twitter at @LacyMB