THE YORK ancestors of Hollywood actor Mark Addy are to be commemorated with a specially-carved headstone.

The ancestors of the globally-famous actor, from York, became the focus of a television documentary A Life Without Work, screened on BBC2 in 2010.

During the programme, the actor, who was born in York and who has appeared in films such as The Full Monty and is currently in BBC’s Atlantis, was shown little-known details about his family’s struggle for survival.

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The documentary showed how three generations ago, the actor’s great-grandfather, John Thomas Addy, was the head of one of eight families whose lives were described in a groundbreaking study of unemployment and poverty by Seebohm Rowntree.

Rowntree researchers visited their home in a slum in Edwardian York and used their experiences in studying the causes and effects of poverty. It revealed how despite desperate attempts to find work they survived on bread and tea and how many of his children didn’t survive infancy.

John Thomas Addy was buried in an unmarked plot in York cemetery along with relatives because his family could not afford a headstone.

But now a stonemasons, J. Rotherham Stonesmasons has created a specially engraved headstone, after being inspired by the story. The headstone will soon be erected in York Cemetery.