Victoria Wood was a multitalented British entertainer, but perhaps she was most revered for her comedy skills. No other British entertainer in history has won as many television BAFTA Awards as Victoria Wood did. Wood was a comedian, singer-songwriter, actress, producer, writer, and director. The comedic queen could do it all.
It was only a matter of time before she was recognized by her country; in 2008, she was honored with the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). In loving memory of her contributions to the world of entertainment, we take a look at some of the key highlights of her illustrious career and life in general.
Victoria Wood Bio
Victoria Wood was born on the 19th of May, 1953, in Prestwich, Lancashire, England to Stanley Wood and Nellie Wood (née Mape). Her father, Stanley worked as an insurance salesman who was revered at his workplace for his songwriting skills which came in handy whenever the company held Christmas parties. The fact that he also wrote scripts for the Coronation Street makes it little wonder where Wood got her artistic traits from.
Victoria Wood grew up in a couple of places including Lancashire and Bury. She attended both Fairfield County Primary school and Bury Grammar School for Girls. She started out well in school and was considered one of the best academic students, however, things soon turned out for the worst as Wood lost her way.
Poor little Wood began to feel inferior in comparison to other girls in her school which she felt were much better than she was. She became something of a misfit and a loner, refusing to wash her clothes, do her homework nor even attempt making friends.
Her saving grace was a guitar her father got her on her 15th birthday. Living in isolation, Victoria Wood discovered her artistic side which she developed rapidly. Eager to discover herself more, Wood became a member of the Rochdale Youth Theatre Workshop.
She got admitted to the University of Birmingham where she chose to study drama. While there, Wood became one of the contestants on the talent show, New Faces in 1974, launching her show business career. Victoria Wood got her first big break in the BBC TV show, That’s Life! Following a period of collaborating as a playwright with Julie Walters, Wood began her own sketch show, Wood and Walters.
Her next big project of which she had more creative control would be the hugely successful sketch show, Victoria Wood as Seen on TV. Her other notable work around the same period was Acorn Antiques, a parody of the soap opera, Crossroads. Towards the end of the 1980s, Victoria Wood began touring as a comedian recording tremendous success.
Wood’s other successful works would come to include the 1994 television film Pat and Margaret, sitcom Dinnerladies (1998–2000), ITV1 television film, Housewife, 49, and many others. She won four BAFTA Awards from 14 nominations and was considered by many reputable bodies as one of the greatest TV stars. Wood’s last acting project was a three-part television adaptation of Fungus the Bogeyman aired on Sky in the festive season of 2015.`
Husband and Children
Victoria Wood was married to fellow British comedian, Geoffrey Durham, who was better known as a stage magician. They got married in March 1980 but were divorced by 2002. Unsurprisingly, the ever charismatic Wood remained in good terms with her Durham even after their romance waned.
Apart from his professional life as a comedian and magician, Victoria Wood’s husband was known for being a Quaker. He became a member of the Christian group in 1996 and would later introduce Wood to it. He was an active participant of the Quaker outreach programme, Quaker Quest. Still a devout Quaker, Durham has written a couple of books about the Christian movement and continues to speak at Quaker events.
After their divorce, Wood and Durham lived close to each other. The couple was blessed with two children, a daughter Grace Eleanor Durham, an accomplished concert singer and recitalist born in October 1988 and a son named Henry Durham who was born on the 2nd of May 1992. Henry is an actor and is best known for the 2009 Christmas film, Mid Life Christmas.
What was the Cause of her Death?
The cause of Victoria Wood’s death was revealed to be cancer. The comedian was diagnosed with cancer in late 2015 but kept the news away from the media until her death on the 20th of April 2016, thus the news of her death was received with great shock.
According to a report released by her family, Wood spent her last hours with her ex-husband Durham and their two kids at her home in Highgate, London. She was 62 years of age. The youngest child of her parents, Wood was the first to pass away. She reportedly willed half of her estate including her Highgate home valued at £4 million to family and friends while the other half was left for the purpose of setting up a charity in her name. After her death, her net worth was revealed to be over £9 million.