Dorothy 'Dolly' Skilbeck (née Acaster) arrived in Beckindale from Darlington to serve as a barmaid in The Woolpack. Dolly soon fell for Matt Skilbeck and they married on 29th June 1978. Dolly is a member of the Acaster family.
Having had a miscarriage in February 1980 after seven months (announced the pregnancy in July 1979), Dolly began work at the village playgroup. A healthy son, Samuel David Skilbeck, was born on 23rd December 1982 but Dolly would suffer another miscarriage in November 1985 at the hands of nasty quarry owner Harry Mowlam. Mowlam was later found dead, and Matt was arrested, as he had a rivarly with him, and had motive to kill him for what he did to Dolly. Dolly supported Matt, and the real killer was caught. When Matt dwelled on it, Dolly said to put Harry Mowlam in the past. They soon did and Matt put the ordeal behind him.
In late 1987 Matt discovered that he had inherited Crossgill Farm from the previous owner. Dolly insisted that they move out of Emmerdale Farm but Matt refused. Dolly considered Matt to be boring, and lacking ambition. When Crossgill burned down, Dolly was devastated, but Matt did not support her very much. Dolly and Matt began to grow apart resulting in her affair with timber consultant Stephen Fuller in 1988. Fuller ended up being killed by a falling tree in November 1988 and Dolly arranged his funeral. Dolly and Matt tried to give their marriage another go but when she was kidnapped by Ted Sharp in 1989, Matt was unsupportive. After Matt took in a female lodger at Emmerdale, Dolly began divorce proceedings from Matt in November 1989, then left the village in 1991 having had an abortion after an affair with crooked councillor Charlie Aindow. Dolly and Sam moved to Norfolk.
- A continuity error finds Dolly celebrating her birthday in Episode 728 (8th April 1982).
- In February 1991, Dolly says she was about Elsa's age (19) when she got pregnant with Graham, who was born in 1968. This puts Dolly's year of birth at about 1948 or 1949.
- Dolly was mentioned in December 1997 by Jan Glover. Jan was suffering from a nervous breakdown and thought it was 1977 again and that Ned was down The Woolpack chatting up new barmaid Dolly Acaster.
- Dolly left Emmerdale in 1991, alongside her son Samuel Skilbeck, due to Jean Rogers disagreeing with the storyline of Dolly aborting the baby of regrettable fling, Charlie Aindow.
First and last lines
- Final Line: "Oh, I can't pretend it's easy. Some of the happiest days of my life have been spent here in Beckindale. But now, here's to the future, eh?"