Beloved British actor, star of TV and film, Liz Smith has died. She was 95, and died on Christmas Eve. Given her first credited role by Mike Leigh in his film debut, 1971's Bleak Moments, this most idiosyncratic performer swiftly became a favourite of British audiences on TV through the following decades, and also appeared in some of the finest British films of the time. Best known among comedy fans for her role in the acclaimed sitcom The Royle Family, Smith's cinema career also included parts in Little Dorrit, High Spirits, Peter Greenaway's The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and a BAFTA-rewarded turn in A Private Function. It was nothing but a privilege to have enjoyed her presence in the dramatic arts for so many years until her retirement from acting in 2009.