Mrs Doubtfire, the Hollywood box office hit movie about a cross-dressing, half-Scottish nanny played by the late Robin Williams has its origins in Stockbridge.
The real Mrs Doubtfire was Annabella Coutts, a shop owner in Edinburgh. Mrs Coutts had ‘Madame Doubtfire’ daubed across the exterior of her premises at South East Circus Place. and it quickly became the name by which most locals referred to her.
Located at the foot of a flight of typical New Town basement steps, Madame Doubtfire’s was a dimly-lit second-hand store crammed with bric-a-brac, clothes, antiques and the distinct aroma of pipe smoke and cats. Her slogan “Madame Doubtfire, cast-off clothing of all description, invites inspection” used to amuse the local kids.
Madame Doubtfire was awfully fond of her felines and kept several.
Madame Doubtfire became a local legend, and the epitome of the classic New Town eccentric - but she wasn’t actually from the district at all.
Nowhere near it, in fact.