Jean Alexander (born February 24, 1926) is a British television actress. She was born in Liverpool, Merseyside, England.
She is best known to the British collective television audience as char Hilda Ogden on the British soap opera Coronation Street. She started playing the role in May 1964, finally retiring in December 1987. Her character's longevity was due to its popularity with the British public -- in one poll, she was voted the fourth most recognizable person in Britain, behind the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, and Diana, Princess of Wales.
Her common figures of speech (even more common than usual for a show like Corrie) such as "nowt" or "eh, chuck" resonated with the programme's viewers. On the 40 Years on Coronation Street special, Alexander recounted an incident years ago: while she was shopping, a fan asked if she was Hilda. Alexander responded in her normal accent, "I beg your pardon?" Taken aback, the fan said, "Oh, don't you talk funny?"
In 1984, hundreds of fans sent Alexander condolence cards upon the death of her on-screen husband, Bernard Youens. When she decided to leave the programme late in 1987, fans started "Save Hilda!" campaigns; the lines of communication had been muddied as many did not realize that Alexander was leaving of her own accord.
In 1988, she started a recurring role as Auntie Wainwright on the BBC comedy series Last of the Summer Wine.