Thursday, July 28, 2011

RIP Sheila Burrell

Stage actress Shelia Burrell, a longtime stalwart of the British stage and television, died on July 19, 2011 in England after a long illness. A cousin of actor Laurence Olivier [1907-1989] she studied at Douglas-Webber School of Singing and Dramatic Arts. Sheila made her stage debut in the "The Patsy" (1942), followed by "The Rest is Silence" (1944). She received her first notice in "Dark of the Moon" (1949) playing Barbara Allen a rape victim in a church. She was a longtime member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and became a character actress in films and TV series such as "The Avengers", "Holby City and "Crown Court". Her first film appearance was in 1949's "Men in Black" and a memorable appearance as Aunt Ada Doom in 1995's "Cold Comfort Farm". She was married to producer, director, actor Laurence Payne [1919-2009] and is the mother of actor Matthew Sim. In her final years she was still visible in commercials. Burrell suffered a stroke in 2009. Sheila appeared in only one Euro-western "The Desperados" (1969) with Jack Palance and Vince Edwards.

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