Saturday, 23 January 2016

Godspeed Sheila Sim

Sheila Sim Attenborough, Lady Attenborough, died on January 19 2016 at the age of 93. She was both an actress and the wife of legendary actor and director Richard Attenborough, Baron Attenborough. She had been diagnosed with senile dementia in 2012.

Sheila Sim was born in Liverpool, Lancashire on June 5 1922.  She was educated at Croydon High School in Croydon, London. She worked for a bank for a short time before deciding she really did not care for the routine. She then studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art for two years. She made her stage debut s at the Intimate Theatre in Palmers Green, London in the play  Fresh Fields by Ivor Novello. She stayed with the theatre's repertory for six months before moving to the Q Theatre in Brentford, London for another six months. She then toured with Noel Coward's This Happy Breed. She appeared in the play Landslide at the Westminster theatre in London in 1943 and later played the lead in  Roger MacDougall's To Dorothy a Son.


Lady Attenborough made her film debut in A Canterbury Tale in 1944. In the late Forties she appeared in the films Dancing with Crime (1947), The Guinea Pig (1949) and Dear Mr. Prohack (1949). She appeared on television in the productions The Queen's Husband, The Ringer, and Second Chance. In the Fifties she appeared in the films Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951), The Magic Box (1951), West of Zanzibar (1954), and The Night My Number Came Up (1955). With her husband Richard Attenborough she was part of the original cast of Agatha Christie's play The Mousetrap.

Sheila Sim retired in the Fifties to raise her family. She worked with the Actors' Charitable Trust for over 60 years. She also supported RADA for most of her life. In 1968 she was sworn in as a magistrate and served on the Richmond bench.

Sheila Sim Attenborough, Lady Attenborough was a fine actress with a good deal of versatility. She played a variety of roles and her performances were all quite good. She was also instrumental in the Actors' Charitable Trust and a benefactor of RADA. While Sheila Sim's acting career was not particularly long, she then certainly made a difference.

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