Gwyneth Powell Biography

Gwyneth Powell was an English actress who was born on July 5, 1946. She passed away on September 8, 2022. She played the role of headmistress Bridget McClusky in the BBC television series Grange Hill for a total of eleven series between the years 1981 and 1991. This role brought her the most fame.


Powell was born in the city of Manchester’s Levenshulme neighborhood, and she went to the Cheadle County Grammar School for Girls. It was during her time there that she received some acclaim for her performance as Fat Urs in a production of Ben Jonson’s Bartholemew Fair by the National Youth Theatre. She attended Goldsmiths, University of London to get her teaching certification, but she ultimately decided to pursue a career in repertory theater instead.


The Guardians, a dystopian drama series that aired on LWT in 1971, was where Powell made his first significant appearance on television. She was a frequent performer, albeit a minor one, in numerous television dramas until she was cast in Grange Hill, in which she played the “firm but fair” headmistress Bridget “The Midget” McClusky for eleven years. Prior to that, she was a regular player in several television dramas. In 2008, she had this to say about her role:

At first Mrs McClusky was written as a ‘twin set and pearls’ role but I was quite young at the time and didn’t want to play it like that. We started with the clothes and she was quite fashion conscious and chic. I was told by lots of people she was a great fillip to young women teachers who started applying for headships. The show had repercussions in all kinds of ways and the character did too. My period did coincide with the Thatcher years. I think Mrs McClusky became memorable because we had a prime minister like that.

Powell eventually decided that he wanted to pursue other interests, so he gave the producers and writers of Grange Hill a year to write McClusky out of the series before he announced his departure. She was able to tour the production after purchasing the rights to E. M. Delafield’s Diary of a Provincial Lady and adapting it as a self-financed one-woman show in Edinburgh.

Powell has since also made guest appearances on a variety of other television shows, including Heartbeat, A Touch of Frost, Holby City, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, and Father Brown, as well as Echo Beach in 2008. An episode of the BBC Schools television series Watch featured her as a school teacher during a Victorian School Day. The episode was titled “Watch.”

Powell resurrected her role as Mrs. McClusky in Grange Hill in 2009 for a cameo appearance in an episode of Ashes to Ashes that was set in the year 1982. The program utilized archival footage, and Powell also recorded some new lines for the role. At the Salisbury Playhouse, she was also a part of the production of “Arsenic and Old Lace.”

Powell began her role as Nana in The Gemma Factor in the year 2010. During the years 2011–2013, she appeared as a recurring character on the Disney Channel show House of Anubis for young adults, playing the part of Nina Martin’s grandmother, who was admitted to the hospital but was eventually discharged. She was a guest on seven different episodes.

In 2013, she was cast in the character of Polly Davies, Greg Davies’ mother, in the comedy series Man Down on Channel 4.

Personal life 

In 1971, Powell tied the knot with actor Alan Leith. She was a supporter of the local theater company known as the Hurstpierpoint Players, which was located in her hometown of Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex.

She passed away on September 8th, 2022 in Brighton at the age of seventy-six. Her death was determined to be the result of complications that arose after an operation to repair a perforated colon.

Gwyneth Powell Cause of death

Gwyneth Powell passed away quietly in the company of her husband (Alan Leith), as well as her niece. She is blamed for having endured hardship “after problems following a major procedure.”

Gwyneth Powell Children

Gwyneth Powell never revealed any information to the public regarding her children in any kind. She had the ability to keep them hidden from the general population.

Gwyneth Powell Net Worth

During the time of her passing, it was believed that Gwyneth Powell had a net worth of more than $5 million.



Year Show Role Notes Ref.
1969 Rogues’ Gallery Second Lady 1 episode [13][14][15]
1971 The Guardians Clare Weston 11 episodes
1972 Villains Belinda 2 episodes
1972 Z Cars Jean Knight 1 episode
1972 Rest assured: Lift Off Mrs Johnson TV film
1973 Putting on the Agony Gill TV film
1973 ITV Sunday Knight Theatre Willy
1974 A Raging Calm Agnes Sutton TV mini series, 4 episodes
1974 Father Brown Helen Smaill 1 episode
1975 Play for Today Elvira Lewis 1 episode
1975 Public Eye Clare 1 episode
1975 Beryl’s Lot Anita 2 episodes
1976 Couples Lynn Baker TV series, 6 episodes
1972–1976 Dixon of Dock Green Val Colebrook (1972), Mrs Regan (1972), Anne Hastings (1973), Diane Barnet (1979), Jane Mason (1976) TV series, 5 episodes
1976 Face of Darkness Eileen
1976 Coronation Street Diana Kenton 3 episodes
1976 Emmerdale Julie Croft soap opera
1978 ITV Playhouse Doreen 1 episode
1978 People Like Us Frances Hopkins 5 episodes
1978 Accident Betty Richards 3 episodes
1978–1980 Armchair Thriller Woman PC (1978),Doris (1980) 6 episodes
1980 The Enigma Files Anne Gerrard 1 episode
1980 Can We Get on Now, Please? 1 episode
1978 Loophole Doreen
1982 Squadron Sqd. Ldr. Margaret Gran 4 episodes
1982–1984 The Gentle Touch DI Mary Woods 2 episodes
1986 Chance in a Million Maureen 1 episode
1980–1991 Grange Hill Mrs McClusky 169 episodes
1994 Open Fire Gloria Martin TV film
1996 Hetty Wainthropp Investigates Marian Horner 1 episode
1997 A Touch of Frost Kitty Rayford 3 episodes
1998 Magic with Everything Aunt Matilda TV Series
1999 A Kind of Hush Mrs P.
2001 Back to the Secret Garden Toby the Maid Film
1998–2002 Peak Practice Annie Gibson (1998), Rose Meredith (2002) 2 episodes
2003 Family Affairs Judge Yardley 1 episode
2004 Down to Earth Mrs Dean 1 episode
2004 The Royal Bunty Weatherill 1 episode
2001–2006 Holby City Jean (2001), Margaret Tanner (2006) 2 episodes
2003–2006 Doctors Janet Armstrong (2003), Janice Wilson (2006) 1 episode
2007 Piccadilly Cowboy Alice
2008 Echo Beach Ivy Trehearne 11 episodes
2004–2009 Heartbeat Shirley Baxter (2004), Margaret Millwood (2009) 2 episodes
2009 Ashes to Ashes Mrs McClusky 1 episode, archive footage with newly recorded audio from Powell.
2010 The Gemma Factor Nana 6 episodes
2011 Little Crackers Headmistress 1 episode
2012 House of Anubis Nina’s Grandmother 7 episodes
2013 The Matt Lucas Awards Herself 1 episode
2013 A Touch of Cloth Mrs McClusky 1 episode
2013–2017 Man Down Polly Davies  19 episodes
2014 Casualty Gloria Pots 1 episode
2022 Not Going Out Nice lady  1 episode