Mann's Best Friends was a Channel 4 comedy about the misfit residents of a lodging house, their landlord, and the ex-water board official who moves in to try to bring some order.

Henry Mann (Barry Stanton) is the owner of The Laurels, a rundown guest house populated by a motley crew of odd characters.

Hamish Ordway (Fulton Mackay), who has recently retired from his job at the water board, moves into The Laurels. He's a pompous, fussy, nosy little man who loves interfering in everyone else's business.

Other residents include an alcoholic named Duncan (Bernard Bresslaw) and a blonde "drama tutor" named Dolly Delights (Patricia Burke), who likes to entertain lots of "gentlemen callers" in her room.

Mann's Best Friends - Netflix

Type: Scripted

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 30 minutes

Premier: 1985-04-15

Mann's Best Friends - Liz Smith (actress) - Netflix

Elizabeth Gleadle (11 December 1921 – 24 December 2016), known by the stage name Liz Smith, was an English character actress, known for her roles in BBC sitcoms, including as Annie Brandon in I Didn't Know You Cared (1975–79), Bette and Aunt Belle in 2point4 Children (1991–99), Letitia Cropley in The Vicar of Dibley (1994–96), and Norma Speakman (“Nana”) in The Royle Family (1998–2006). She also played Zillah in Lark Rise to Candleford (2008), and won the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for the 1984 film A Private Function.

Mann's Best Friends - Personal life and death - Netflix

In 1945 she married Jack Thomas, whom she met while on service in India. They had two children but divorced in 1959. Smith brought up her son and daughter on her own. She described this as an extremely difficult period in her life, as she struggled against financial difficulties and social disapproval of her status as a divorcee. Smith died on 24 December 2016, thirteen days after her 95th birthday. Shane Allen, controller of BBC comedy commissioning, said that Smith had “brilliantly captured the grandparent in everyone's family” as Nana in The Royle Family. Mike Leigh said “She was a complete breath of fresh air... she was not your bog standard middle-aged actress.”

Mann's Best Friends - References - Netflix