LEGENDARY actress Jean Boht died at the age of 91 after a dementia struggle, only weeks after her husband died.
From 1986 through 1991, she was a household name as Nellie ‘Ma’ Boswell in the hit 1980s sitcom Bread.
The show’s depiction of Nellie and her children after their father, Freddie, abandons them received 21 million viewers.
Her family disclosed in a statement that Boht died unexpectedly after battling vascular dementia.
Her death comes just over a month after her husband, American composer Carl Davis, died.
“It is with overwhelming sadness that we must announce that Jean Boht passed away yesterday, Tuesday September 12,” said Boht’s family.
“Jean had been battling vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease with the indefatigable spirit for which she was both beloved and renowned.
“She was a resident at Denville Hall, the home for members of the theatrical profession.”
In 2021 Boht told the Liverpool Echo that she was too nervous to watch Bread while it was still running.
She said: “I never watched it at the time, it’s too horrendous for actors to see themselves on screen.
“So I had no idea what it looked like.
“But now when I catch it I am just astounded at how good it was and how very funny.
“I can understand why the public liked it so much.
“But then there was such a lot of lovely shows and characters around then.”
Boht’s first big role was in two episodes of Some Mothers Do ‘Ave Em in 1978.
Last of the Summer Wine, Brighton Belles, Doctors, Grange Hill, Juliet Bravo, and Boys From The Blackstuff were among her other credits.
She grew up in Bebington and attended Wirral Grammar School for Girls.
She and Davis married in 1970 and had two children, Hannah and Jessie.
For many years, the couple resided in Windsor, Berkshire.
“We’re sorry to hear that Jean Boht passed away after living with Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia for several years,” said Paul Edwards of Dementia UK.
“By discussing Jean’s experiences publicly, her family will help raise awareness for dementia and Alzheimer’s, encouraging them to seek the support they need for this condition.
“We are grateful for their honesty and hope they are receiving the support they need at this difficult time.
“We urge families affected by dementia to reach out to our specialist Helpline.
“Staffed by dementia specialist Admiral Nurses, our Helpline offers support and guidance on all stages of dementia, including grieving for a loved one.”
Anyone affected by dementia can contact the Helpline by calling 0800 888 6678 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.