Margaret Elizabeth Bradley was born in Hampstead, London on 20th May 1922, the youngest of two daughters born to senior civil servant Sir John Abraham. She was educated at Wentworth School and had a desire to act since she visited a pantomime at the age of seven. She left school at the age of seventeen, but the outbreak of World War II influenced her decision to study nursing. Liz joined the Voluntary Aid Detachment with the British Red Cross and she worked at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in London. As the war came to a close, Liz discovered her father, who had been deputy under-secretary at the Air Ministry from 1940, had died in Winston Churchill's private plane when it crashed in 1945.
No one in her family had worked in show business, but Sir John, who had come to London from farming stock in Macclesfield, Cheshire, enjoyed the theatre, and delighted in taking his daughter to any performance remotely suitable for a child; from those trips her interest in theatre grew. After VE Day, Liz joined the Webber Douglas Academy where she studied acting and met an Army officer, Garth Adams. The couple married in 1950. Liz joined various repertory companies including Guildford, Bromley, Leicester, Brighton, Hornchurch, Liverpool, Exeter and Bournemouth. In 1952, Liz and Garth had their first child, Johanna and Liz began a thirteen year break from acting. Her two sons Bradley and Rodney followed.
Liz has had a successful career and has appeared on stage in productions such as The Importance of Being Ernest, My Mother Said I Never Should, Misalliance, A Case For Question, Three Sisters, Seachange, Caritas, The Crucible, Black Snow, The Happy Breed, Flare Path, Uncle Vanya, Hayfeaver, Salonika, Women Beware Woman, The Mating Game, Abingdon Square, The Fastest Clock In The Universe and Billy Liar. She has worked for the National Theatre and has toured the Middle East and Far East as well as working at The Royal Court. She was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for her role in Billy Liar in 1993.
On TV Liz has appeared in the BBC productions Take Three Girls, Dr Findlay's Casebook, Softly Softly, Chronicle, The Nine Tailors, A Traveller In Time, Waterloo Sunset, The Cartland Murder, Pass More, London's Drowning, The Citadel, Leaving, Juliet Bravo, Spring Birthday, Bergerac, Casualty, Living Lies Lately, The Men's Room, Rides, Resnick, and An Ungentlemanly Act (1992) as Nanny. She also had roles on television in Z Cars, The Sweeney, Shine On Harvey Moon, Tales of the Unexpected, An English Christmas, The Bill, Boon, The Piglet Files and Going Home.
On Coronation Street she first appeared as Mrs Thornley in December 1971 and as Councillor Adams in April 1978, before returning to the programme in 1993 as "mother-in-law from hell" Maud Grimes, a role which she played until 1999.
Liz has also appeared in the following films: An American Werewolf in London (1981) as Woman in Zoo; Brimstone and Treacle (1982) as Woman Passer By; The Marla Hanson Story (1991) as Jeannie; Memento Mori (1992) as Mrs Anthony; A Little Bit of Lippy (1992) as Great Aunt Annie.
After leaving Coronation Street, she returned to the stage in London's West End to appear in Alan Bennett's Lady In The Van, playing opposite Dame Maggie Smith. In 2000, she suffered a stroke whilst holidaying in the south of France with her son, TV producer Bradley. She was taken to the Princess Grace Hospital in nearby Monte Carlo, but died on 30th October 2000, aged 78.