Prunella Scales CBE is an English actress, known for her role as Basil Fawlty’s long-suffering wife in the British comedy Fawlty Towers and her award-nominated role as Queen Elizabeth II in the British film A Question of Attribution.
Scales has usually been cast in comic roles. Her early work included the second UK adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (1952) and Hobson’s Choice(1954) Her career break came with the early 1960s sitcom Marriage Lines starring opposite Richard Briers. In addition to Fawlty Towers, she has had roles in BBC Radio 4 sitcoms, notably After Henry, Smelling of Roses and Ladies of Letters; on television she starred in the London Weekend Television/Channel 4 series Mapp & Lucia based on the novels by E. F. Benson. She played Queen Elizabeth II in Alan Bennett’s A Question of Attribution. In 1973, Scales teamed with Ronnie Barker in the (original) one-off Meat, which aired as One Man’s Meat as part of a series called Seven of One, also for the BBC. Her film appearances also include The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne (1987), Stiff Upper Lips (1997) and Howards End(1992).
She will be starring in the 2011 British live-action 3D family comedy film Horrid Henry: The Movie as the titular character’s Great Aunt Greta.