Made an OBE in 1985 and given a damehood in 2017 for services to drama and entertainment, Whitfield had a long and varied show business career, including starring in 12 BBC Radio 4 Agatha Christie adaptations as Miss Marple from 1993 to 2001.
She was best known for her roles in Take It From Here, Terry And June and Absolutely Fabulous. She also appeared in Doctor Who in 2009 for David Tennant’s final episode, The End of Time, and briefly was in EastEnders as a nun in 2015 and 2016.
She joined sitcom Absolutely Fabulous in 1992 as the mother of Jennifer Saunders’ character Edina, and also appeared in the film version in 2016.
Whitfield was married to Tim Aitchison from 1955 until his death in 2001. She is survived by her daughter Suzy.