Brenda Blethyn says she was left ‘devastated’ when first husband ‘fell for someone else’

Brenda Blethyn says she has to 'soften' her voice for Vera

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Brenda Blethyn, 75, is returning to star as the titular character in the latest series of ITV detective drama Vera soon. However, some fans of the acclaimed actor may want to know a bit more about her life beyond the screen. The star has previously spoken about her personal life, including how her marriage with her first husband ended.

Brenda married her first husband when she was just 19 years old.

Named Alan Blethyn, he was a graphic designer who she met when working for British Rail in 1964.

However, the star has only spoken a few times about their marriage.

In an unearthed interview from 2013, she revealed why it came to an end.

The Vera star said: “My brothers looked after me and protected me from predators – so well that I was quite innocent sexually when I came to marry for the first time at 19.

“My first husband, Alan Blethyn, just fell for someone else.

“I was devastated when he left, but he really was a lovely fella – and the other lady is nice too.

“It was just one of those things”, she added to The Guardian.

The star also opened up about this in 2019 in an interview with The Scotsman.

She revealed a bit more about their split, admitting her busy schedule as an actor got in the way of their marriage.

Brenda said: “He met somebody else. But she was nice, too.”

They split in 1973 but she kept her married name for her professional work.


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Soon after their divorce, the Vera star met her current partner, art director Michael Mayhew.

The couple were together for 35 years before they married in 2010.

In the same Guardian interview, Brenda opened up about their relationship.

She said: “My artist partner Michael Mayhew and I finally married three years ago, after a 35-year engagement.

“He is kind and honest – he tells the truth, even if it’s what you don’t want to hear, such as saying the Armani outfit I had bought to present an award at the Golden Globes in 1998 didn’t suit me.

“He was right, so I bought another outfit, which was much better.

“He is Taurus and I’m Pisces; my dad was Pisces and my mum was Taurus.

“So long relationships might be something to do with the stars…”

Vera star Brenda will soon be back on screens now the latest series has begun filming.

However, viewers can catch a glimpse of her in action as the character on ITV tonight.

The channel is currently airing the 10th season again.

Vera is airing on ITV on Fridays at 8.30pm.

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