Gudrun Ure, star of Eighties children’s show Super Gran, has died aged 98

Super Gran - Gudrun Ure (ITV / screengrab)
Super Gran - Gudrun Ure (ITV / screengrab)

Gudrun Ure, known to children of the Eighties as Super Gran, has died aged 98.

The Scottish actor impacted the childhoods of many in the role of Granny Smith in Super Gran, the ITV children’s series about a grandmother with superpowers.

Having gained her abilities unexpectedly when she was hit by an inventor’s magic ray, Granny Smith used her powers to defend the resident of her fictional town of Chiselton against various villains.

Ure’s death was confirmed by her niece, Kate McNeill, on Tuesday (14 May), who said that she died at her home in London.

Fans of Ure’s work have paid tribute on social media, with some remembering her portrayal of Granny Smith as “strong, Scottish and very funny”.

Long before her turn as a crime-fighting grandmother, Ure was born in 1926 in Milton of Campsie, near Stirling.

She began her professional acting career in 1951, starring as Desdemona in Orson Welles’ production of Othello by William Shakespeare.

Ure also performed at the Edinburgh Festival and as part of the Children’s Theatre.

Her most famous role, however, came in 1985 as the title character of Super Gran. The show ran for two seasons before concluding in 1987.

Though only 27 episodes long, the series became an international hit when it was sold to more than 60 countries worldwide. It also won an International Emmy Award in the Children and Young People category.

Speaking to the BBC in 1987, Ure described the role as “great fun”.

“I’ve got a bicycle that flies, so I can fly around on that which is great fun, and I’ve got that skimmer thing which goes in the water and flies in the sky and all those things,” she said of Granny Smith’s powers.

The theme tune for the series was written and performed by fellow Scot Billy Connolly, and had empowering lyrics that boasted of Super Gran’s talents.

“You can take your heroes, your Robert De Niros, your Al Pacino too, and big Stallone is just another phoney, he couldn’t lace her shoes!” Connolly sings.

After Super Gran, Ure starred in TV dramas such as Casualty and Midsomer Murders. Between 2008 and 2010, Ure played Joan Danbury, the mother of Inspector Gwen Danbury, in the first series of the radio police drama An Odd Body.