Friday, February 3, 2023

Godspeed Sylvia Syms

Dame Sylvia Syms, who starred in such films as My Teenage Daughter (1956) and Victim (1961), died on January 27 2023 at the age of 89.

Sylvia Syms was born on January 6 1934 in London. During World War II she was evacuated to Kent and later Monmouthshire. She attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She started her career in repertory theatre in Eastbourne and Bath. She made her television debut on an episode of Terminus in 1955. She made her film debut in 1956 in My Teenage Daughter. In the late Fifties she appeared on the television shows Life with the Lyons, BBC Sunday-Night Theatre, London Playhouse, ITV Television Playhouse, and After Hours. She appeared in the movies Woman in a Dressing Gown (1957), No Time for Tears (1957), The Birthday Present (1957), The Moonraker (1958), Ice Cold Alex (1958), Bachelor of Hearts (1958), No Trees in the Street (1959), Ferry to Hong Kong (1959), Expresso Bongo (1959), Conspiracy of Hearts (1960), and The World of Suzy Wong (1960).

In the Sixties Miss Syms appeared in the mini-series Bat Out of Hell. She guest starred on the TV shows Suspense, The Saint, Love Story, The Human Jungle, Danger Man, The Baron, Armchair Theatre, Half Hour Story, The Root of All Evil?, Strange Report, ITV Playhouse, and Brian Rix Presents... She appeared in the movies Le vergini di Roma (1961), Flame in the Streets (1961), Victim (1961), The Quare Fellow (1962), The Punch and Judy Man (1963), The World Ten Times Over (1963), East of Sudan (1964), Operation Crossbow (1965), The Big Job (1965), Danger Route (1967), The Desperadoes (1969), Run Wild, Run Free (1969), and Hostile Witness (1969).

In the Seventies Sylvia Syms starred on the television series My Good Woman. She guest starred on the TV shows Paul Temple; The Adventurer; Comedy Premiere; Jackanory Playhouse; and I'm Bob, He's Dickie. She appeared in the movies Asylum (1972), The Tamarind Seed (1974), Give Us Tomorrow (1978), and There Goes the Bride (1980).

In the Eighties she appeared in the television mini-series Nancy Astor, Miss Marple: A Murder Is Announced, and Intimate Contact. She guest starred on the show Time for Murder, Rockcliffe's Folly, Doctor Who, and May to December. She appeared in the movies Absolute Beginners (1986), A Chrous of Disapproval (1989), and Shirley Valentine (1989).

In the Nineties Sylvia Syms starred on the TV show Peak Practice. She appeared in the mini-series The Glass Virgin and Original Sin. She guest starred on the shows Natural Lies, Mulberry, Ghosts, Screen Two, Kavanagh QC, Heartbeat, and Ruth Rendall Mysteries. She appeared in the movies Shining Through (1992), Dirty Weekend (1993), Staggered (1994), Food of Love (1997),and  The House of Angelo (1997).

In the Naughts she starred on the TV series The Jury, At Home with the Braithwaites, and EastEnders. She appeared in the mini-series Collision and Bouquet of Barbed Wire. She guest starred on the shows Holby City, Where the Heart Is, Born and Bred, Family Affairs, Judge John Deed,. Dalziel and Pascoe, New Tricks, Agatha Christie's Marple, Blue Murder, Above Suspicion, Missing, and Doctors. She appeared in the movies What a Girl Wants (2003), I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (2003), The Queen (2006), Is Anybody There? (2008), and Bunny and the Bull (2009).

In the Teens Sylvia Syms appeared in the movies Booked Out (2012), Run for Your Wife (2012), and Together (2018). She guest starred on the TV shows Case Histories, Rev, Playhouse Presents, and Gentleman Jack.

Sylvia Syms was a remarkable actress. What is more, her talent was obvious from the beginning. In her film debut, My Teenage Daugther, she gave a solid performance as a teenager taking a turn towards delinquency. She also gave a great performance in Victim, playing a wife who learns her husband is a homosexual. In the Amicus horror classic Asylum, in the segment "Frozen Fear," she played a controlling wife who has a fascination with voodoo. She gave good performances on television as well. She made several appearances on The Saint, the best of which may have been "Best Laid Schemes." In the Danger Man episode "It's Up to the Lady" she played the wife of a British diplomat planning to defect to China. Sylvia Syms was a wonderful and prolific actress who leaves behind a number of great performances.

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