Marian Owen, kindness personified in King's Oak, from 1978 to 1985.
Marian Owen, played by Margaret John intermittently from 1978 to 1985, would be much higher on our Top 50 Favourites list had she been around a bit more and had some story-lines of her own. As it is, she was a lovely character, a great favourite of ours, and her contributions to the well-being of other King's Oak locals was heartwarming.
Marian first appeared in 1978 as the receptionist at the group practice in King's Oak. A childless widow, Marian was a wonderful friend to have around in a crisis.
In 1980, the character developed a family - nephew Kevin, sister Sally and brother-in-law Oliver Banks. She also had two nieces.
A big year for Marian was 1983, as her nephew's wife, Glenda, had a test tube baby, and sister Sally's marriage went on the rocks. Marian was there, advising, comforting, and, on one occasion, giving Kevin a piece of her mind when he was rude to his mother-in-law, Kath Brownlow.
But still Marian had no stories of her own. We knew she was a member of the local amateur dramatics society, but that was never explored. The character simply seemed content to be around for others, radiating warmth and concern.
She was able to empathise and sympathise with Kath Brownlow when Kath was widowed in 1982. The death of Marian's own husband before the character entered the series had obviously affected her deeply. But, well balanced as she was, Marian had grieved and then got on with her life. There was never a hint of depression or self pity.
Margaret John was fabulous in the role, and probably the reason why Marian remains in our memories to this day.
In 1985, Kath met Stephen Fellowes, a former housemaster at son-in-law's Kevin old school. Marian was around to advise and listen as the relationship developed.
Her final appearance was at Stephen and Kath's wedding.