Prunella Margaret Rumney West Scales (née Illingworth; born 22 June 1932) is a retired English actor, best known for playing Sybil Fawlty, the bossy wife of Basil Fawlty (John Cleese), in the BBC comedy Fawlty Towers; for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in A Question of Attribution (Screen One, BBC 1991) by Alan Bennett (for which she was nominated for a BAFTA award); and for the documentary series Great Canal Journeys (2014–2021), in which she travels on canal barges and narrowboats with her husband, fellow actor Timothy West.Early life
Scales was born in Sutton Abinger, Surrey, the daughter of Catherine (née Scales), an actress, and John Richardson Illingworth, a cotton salesman. Scales had a younger brother, Timothy "Timmo" Illingworth (1934–2017).In 1939, at the start of the Second World War, Scales's parents moved with their children to Bucks Mill near Bideford in Devon. In 1942 Scales was awarded a scholarship to Moira House School which had been evacuated from
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