Fenella Fielding, star of 'Carry On' comedies, dies at 90

FILE - In this Sept. 16, 1971, Fenella Fielding poses ahead of a one woman entertainment piece at the Withy Arts Festival in Somerset, England. British actress Fenella Fielding, the glamorous, velvet-voiced star of "Carry On" comedies, has died at the age of 90. (PA via AP)

LONDON (AP) — Fenella Fielding, a British actress who was the glamorous, velvet-voiced star of two "Carry On" comedies, has died. She was 90.

Friend Simon McKay said in a statement that Fielding died Tuesday after suffering a stroke two weeks earlier.

Born Fenella Feldman in London in 1927, Fielding appeared regularly in British stage, screen and television productions from the 1950s. In the 1960s, she starred in three films in the "Doctor in the House" comedy series and two of the double entendre-laden "Carry On" comedies: "Carry on Regardless" and "Carry on Screaming."

Horror spoof "Carry on Screaming" in 1966 produced her most iconic role, as the vampish, vampiric Valeria.

Her most famous line from the movie — "Do you mind if I smoke?" — became the title of a memoir published in 2017.

Fielding declined to do any more "Carry On" films, and her movie career tailed off. She later lamented being typecast, saying in 2008 that "people still think of me in a certain way because of the 'Carry On' films."

She continued to appear regularly on stage, where critics praised her performances, and to do radio and voice work.

For her many fans the actress dubbed the "first lady of the double entendre" was an underappreciated legend of British entertainment.

McKay called her "an incredible talent. That voice! A unique woman, much loved by family, friends and fans. She will be missed tremendously."

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