Katherine Patricia Routledge, CBE (born 17th February 1929) is an English actress and singer. She is best known for her role as Hyacinth Bucket in the British sitcom Keeping Up Appearances (1990–95), for which she was nominated for the BAFTA TV Award for Best Light Entertainment Performance in 1992 and 1993. Her film appearances include To Sir, with Love (1967) and Don't Raise the Bridge, Lower the River (1968).
Patricia made her professional stage debut at the Liverpool Playhouse in 1952 and her Broadway debut in How's the World Treating You in 1966. She won the 1968 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role in Darling of the Day, and the 1988 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Candide.
On television, she came to prominence during the 1980s in monologues written by Alan Bennett and Victoria Wood; appearing in Bennett's A Woman of No Importance (1982), as Kitty in Victoria Wood as Seen on TV (1985–86), and being nominated for the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress for Bennett's Talking Heads: A Lady of Letters (1988). She also starred as Hetty Wainthropp in the British television series Hetty Wainthropp Investigates (1996–98).
Patricia Routledge is The Patron of The Beatrix Potter Society. She presented a Beatrix Potter documentary on Channel 4 and More 4 Television in 2016.
This was her very first television documentary, not only was she the presenter of the show, she also contributed in the script, the documentary celebrates the 150th Anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter and centres on the author’s life and legacies.
Patricia's documentary on the beloved children’s author also included the announcement of the re-discovery of an unpublished Beatrix Potter story. The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots, this was found by publisher Jo Hanks in the Victoria and Albert Museum Beatrix Potter archive materials. It had been written by Potter over 100 years ago, submitted to her publishers but then, according to Potter’s letters which are also kept in the archive, abandoned owing to “interruptions”, which Hanks can only assume to be reference to Potter’s marriage, her father’s death and the First World War.