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A Tribute to one of Calibre’s Longest Serving Narrators

A Tribute to one of Calibre’s Longest Serving Narrators

3 February 2017

Calibre was saddened to hear that one of its longest standing narrators, veteran actress Hazel Douglas, was one of the many celebrities that passed away last year. Hazel was in the business for over 70 years working mainly in theatre and on TV. For 11 years she worked with Brian Rix’s company in the Whitehall farces and across the regions in a variety of roles. She also performed in the West End. Her many prime TV roles included Stuart’s (Derek Jacobi’s) mother in Vicious (2013), and Kathleen in Eyes Down (2003).

She also appeared in a handful of films, making her debut in Trilby, in 1947. But Hazel’s biggest claim to fame came in her 80s, when she played Bathilda Bagshot, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010). Hazel was rarely out of work despite undergoing hip and knee replacements and suffering from other health conditions.

Hazel was born in London and, at the age of 17, she joined RADA. A year later Hazel joined the Wrens and was eventually posted to Lancashire where she taught other Wrens how to assemble wireless sets. There she met Peter Sawford whom she would later marry in 1949. Both Hazel and Peter were Calibre readers joining way back at the beginning in 1982. In fact Hazel recorded book number 1 Anne of Green Gables which is still in the Library. She continued to record for Calibre up until 2010 when the pressure of work forced her to retire. Peter passed away in 1991.

Hazel’s legacy to Calibre lies in the 31 recordings that remain in the Library. 

Denise James

Photo Credit: United Agents