Doris Hare’s biography, net worth, fact, career, awards and life story

IntroBritish actress
Was Actor 
Stage actor 
Film actor 
From United Kingdom 
Type Film, TV, Stage & Radio 
Birth 1 March 1905, Bargoed, Caerphilly County Borough, Wales, United Kingdom
Death 30 May 2000, Northwood, London Borough of Hillingdon, Greater London, London
(aged 95 years)

Doris Hare, MBE (1 March 1905 – 30 May 2000) was a British actress, singer, dancer and comedian, active in New York and London, as well as Scotland, she is best known for being the second actress to portray Mrs Mabel “Mum” Butler in the popular sitcom On the Buses alongside Reg Varney.


Hare was born in Bargoed, Glamorgan. Her parents had a portable theatre in South Wales and it seemed inevitable that she would become a part of it, making her debut at the age of three in Current Cash and appearing in juvenile troupes all over Britain as a child, before going solo as ‘Little Doris Hare’, appearing in music hall, variety, cabaret, revues and pantomimes. One of five, her brother, Bertie Hare and her sisters Betty Hare and Winifred Hare Braemer were also actors and performers

In 1930, the actress toured in The Show’s the Thing, taking the part made famous by Gracie Fields. In 1932 she appeared in the West End in Noël Coward’s show Words and Music, alongside John Mills. In 1936 she made her Broadway debut in Night Must Fall. During the war she joined Evelyn Laye to put on a revue for the troops and compered Shipmate’s Ashore on the BBC Forces Programme for the Merchant Navy, earning her the MBE in 1946.

In 1963 she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company and in 1965 joined the National Theatre at the Old Vic. She acted in plays by Shakespeare, Shaw, Pinero, and Pinter.

Having turned down the role of Ena Sharples in Coronation Street in 1960, Hare did play Alice Pickens in the series during 1969. She was due to marry Albert Tatlock, but the wedding never took place.

That same year Hare came to national attention in the role of Mrs Butler in On the Buses, taking over the part from Cicely Courtneidge in the second series of the ITV comedy. The series ran until 1973 and spawned three spin-off films On the Buses (1971), Mutiny on the Buses (1972) and Holiday on the Buses (1973) in which Hare recreated her small-screen role. The cast also performed a stage version of the popular series in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in 1988.

In 1974 Hare spent a year in the West End farce No Sex Please, We’re British and made her final stage appearance, aged 87, at the London Palladium alongside John Mills in a tribute to Evelyn Laye.

Hare won a Variety Club of Great Britain Special Award for her contributions to show business in 1982. She died at Denville Hall the actors retirement home in Northwood, London in 2000, aged 95.

Selected filmography

  • Night Mail (1935) – (uncredited)
  • Jubilee Window (1935) – (uncredited)
  • Luck of the Navy (1938) – Mrs. Maybridge
  • Discoveries (1939) – Bella Brown
  • She Couldn’t Say No (1939) – Amelia Reeves
  • It’s Hard to Be Good (1948) – Minor Role (uncredited)
  • Here Come the Huggetts (1948) – Mrs. Fisher
  • The History of Mr. Polly (1949) – May Pant
  • Dance Hall (1950) – Blonde
  • Double Exposure (1954) – WPC
  • Tiger by the Tail (1955) – Nurse Brady, hospital property clerk
  • No Smoking (1955) – Customer
  • Strangers’ Meeting (1957) – Nellie
  • Another Time, Another Place (1958) – Mrs. Bunker
  • The League of Gentlemen (1960) – Molly Weaver
  • A Place to Go (1964) – Lil Flint
  • On the Buses (1969–1973) – Mum
  • On the Buses (1971) – Stan’s Mum
  • Mutiny on the Buses (1972) – Stan’s Mum
  • Holiday on the Buses (1973) – Mrs. Mabel Butler
  • Confessions of a Pop Performer (1975) – Mrs. Lea
  • Confessions of a Driving Instructor (1976) – Mrs. Lea
  • Confessions from a Holiday Camp (1977) – Mrs. Lea
  • Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (1980, TV film) – Rose Pratt
  • Never the Twain (1988)
  • Nuns on the Run (1990) – Sister Mary of the Sacred Heart
  • Second Best (1994) – Mrs. Hawkins (Last appearance)