|Age||1990-1995 - 59-64|
|Portrayed by||Josephine Tewson|
|Sibling(s)||Emmet Hawksworth (Brother)|
|Children||Gail (Unseen Daughter)|
|First Appearance||Daddy's Accident|
|Last Appearance||The Pageant|
Elizabeth Warden (neé Hawksworth) is a fictional character in the British situation comedy series Keeping Up Appearances, that first aired from 1990 to 1995. She is played by actress Josephine Tewson, and lives next-door to social-climbing snob Hyacinth Bucket. She appeared in almost every episode.
Liz is a friendly, tolerant character, who appreciates the difficulty Richard Bucket must have in living with her neighbour, who frequently invites her round for coffee. Unfortunately for Liz, knowing Hyacinth is obsessively house-proud, she becomes nervous and repeatedly spills and drops things throughout the series in Hyacinth's home, especially Hyacinth's Royal Doulton cups with the hand-painted periwinkles, much to the devastation of her friend. Even the most trivial of events—such as Hyacinth raising her voice or the telephone ringing—causes Liz’s nerves to completely collapse. Hyacinth soon learns to offer her a beaker, but Liz still manages to spill even that. The coffee-spilling scenario is a long-running gag of the series, providing some of the show's humour. The most spectacular scene involving the Royal Doulton is when Hyacinth manages a catch when Liz flings one of the precious periwinkle cups into the air.
She is addressed as Liz by everyone who knows her, including her own brother; the only person who usually refers to her as "Elizabeth" in full is Hyacinth.
Liz owns a white 1988 Austin Metro, which appeared in most episodes. She is often the target of Hyacinth's tactless and unintentionally hurtful comments, mostly regarding her clothing, car and frequent coffee spillages.
Unlike most, Liz is sympathetic towards Hyacinth, fully aware that she's disliked by everyone around her and is oblivious of it, and may thus be Hyacinth's only real friend. She also displays a reluctance to treat her cruelly like her brother Emmet, who relishes doing so—in a series four episode, Hyacinth tries to give the impression to Emmet that she can ride horses; fully aware she can't, Emmet persuades Hyacinth to go riding with him. One peculiarity in Elizabeth is that she never makes any attempt to avoid Hyacinth, unlike other characters who will run away, make excuses, or never show up when invited. Elizabeth will often reluctantly participate in Hyacinth's events when beckoned. This contrasts with her brother Emmet, who goes through the most extreme measures to avoid Hyacinth. An example of this is Hyacinth's coffee time; Elizabeth becomes distressed when invited, and contrary to Emmet's stratagems, she will never decline a coffee invitation.
Liz has a husband who is never seen and is only mentioned once, and who works in Saudi Arabia; she also has an unseen daughter called Gail who is studying at university who is dating a boy named Harold.
Liz is fond of Richard, calling him "rather a dear" after her brother disparages him as an "idiot", though he later grows to like him. She is the comforting ear to which Richard can express the reality of Hyacinth's snobbish endeavours, which are either geared towards lifting her up the social ladder or to avoid her lower-class relatives to prevent her falling down it.
Although Hyacinth always tries to divert her lower-class clan away from Liz and her brother Emmet (like she does with every other character), Hyacinth considers Liz to be a close friend; hence when Hyacinth's status is on the brink of collapse, on occasions Liz will be dragged into her neighbour's contrived plots to help prevent such results. Hyacinth may drag Liz into helping her fend off Hyacinth's lower-class relatives. While Elizabeth did actually meet Rose, Onslow, and Daisy, Hyacinth would still go to great lengths to prevent her from seeing their shabby house.
Whilst she is known as a friend of Hyacinth, this does not seem to rub off on how other people treat her. For example, members of the church ladies' guild, who all dislike Hyacinth, are very friendly towards Elizabeth and are sympathetic to how difficult her friendship with Hyacinth must be. Furthermore, Elizabeth is arguably more popular with the neighbours. In the episode "A Celebrity for the Barbecue," Hyacinth's rival Sonja Barker Finch has a barbecue attended by a wealthy owner of a chain of building supply stores. After Hyacinth implicitly discloses that she was not invited, out of her sight, Elizabeth smiles to herself, revealing that she had been invited and had attended.
|Keeping Up Appearances Characters|
|Bucket Family||Hyacinth Bucket • Richard Bucket • Sheridan Bucket|
|Relatives||Onslow • Daisy • Rose • Violet • Daddy • Bruce|
|Friends And Neighbours||Elizabeth Warden • Emmet Hawksworth • The Vicar • The Vicar's Wife|
|Recurring Characters||Mrs Nugent • Lydia Hawksworth • Tarquin|