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Published on Jun 4, 2012
Old Mother Riley was a music hall act which originally ran from about 1934 to 1954 played by Arthur Lucan, then from 1954 to 1977 by Roy Rolland.
Old Mother Riley was an Irish washerwoman character, devised by Lucan (born Arthur Towle). His wife Kitty McShane played Old Mother Riley's daughter, Kitty. It was essentially a drag act but also a double act. They were hugely successful at the time, playing music halls, theatres, radio and films. They also gave Jimmy Clitheroe his big break in 1939 in an Old Mother Riley pantomime called The Old Woman who Lives in a Shoe, and then the following year a part in their film, Old Mother Riley in Society.