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Sheila Hancock, CBE Born Sheila Cameron Hancock 22 February 1933 (1933-02-22) (age 78) Blackgang, Isle of Wight, England Occupation Actress, film director, author, panelist Years active 1957–present Spouse Alec Ross (m. 1954–1971) «start: (1954)–end+1: (1971-12-05)»"Marriage: Alec Ross to Sheila Hancock" Location: (linkback:wiki/Sheila_Hancock) (his death); 1 child John Thaw (m. 1973–2002) «start: (1973-12-24)–end+1: (2002-02-22)»"Marriage: John Thaw to Sheila Hancock" Location: (linkback:wiki/Sheila_Hancock) (his death); 1 child Sheila Cameron Hancock, CBE (born 22 February 1933) is an English actress and author. Contents 1 Early life 2 Theatre 3 Television 4 Film 5 Other work 6 Personal life 7 Honours and awards 8 References 9 External links Early life Sheila Hancock was born in Blackgang on the Isle of Wight, the daughter of Ivy Louise (née Woodward) and Enrico Cameron Hancock,[1] who was a publican. Her sister Billie is seven years older (and worked as a variety artist until retiring to Antibes in 2003 at the age of 79).[2] After wartime evacuation, Hancock attended Dartford County Grammar School and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Theatre She worked in repertory during the 1950s and made her West End debut in 1958, replacing Joan Sims in the play Breath of Spring. She then appeared in Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop production of Make Me An Offer in 1959, and her other early West End appearances included the revue One Over the Eight with Kenneth Williams in 1961, and starring in Rattle of a Simple Man in 1962. In 1965, she made her Broadway debut in Entertaining Mr Sloane. In 1978, she played Miss Hannigan in the original London cast of the musical Annie and two years later, she played Mrs Lovett in the original London production of the musical Sweeney Todd. She appeared in The Winter's Tale, Titus Andronicus and A Delicate Balance for the Royal Shakespeare Company. At the National Theatre she appeared in The Cherry Orchard and The Duchess of Malfi. She also directed A Midsummer Night's Dream for the RSC on tour and was the first female director at the National, with The Critic. In 2006, she played the role of Fraulein Schneider in the West End revival of the musical Cabaret at the Lyric Theatre. She won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role In A Musical. In 2009, she spent over a year playing Mother Superior in Sister Act the Musical at the London Palladium. Television Her first big television role was as Carol in the BBC sitcom The Rag Trade in the early 1960s. She also played the lead roles in the sitcoms The Bed-Sit Girl, Mr Digby Darling and Now Take My Wife. Her other television credits include Doctor Who, Kavanagh QC (opposite her husband, John Thaw), EastEnders, The Russian Bride, Brighton Belles, Bedtime, Fortysomething, Bleak House, New Tricks and The Catherine Tate Show. In 2008, she played the part of a terminally ill patient who's travelled to Switzerland to have an assisted suicide in one of The Last Word monologues for the BBC. In 2009, she played Liz in The Rain Has Stopped, part of the BBC daytime mini-series Moving On. Film She has appeared in numerous films, including The Girl on the Boat (1961), Carry On Cleo (1964), The Anniversary (1968), Take a Girl Like You (1970), The Wildcats of St Trinian's (1980), Buster (1988), Three Men and a Little Lady (1990), Love and Death on Long Island (1997) and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008). Other work She made guest appearances on television shows like Grumpy Old Women, Room 101 and Have I Got News For You. On radio, she has been a semi-regular contestant on the BBC Radio 4 panel game Just a Minute since 1967. Since May 2007, Sheila Hancock has been Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth.[3] From March to May 2010, she appeared as a judge on the BBC show Over the Rainbow, along with Charlotte Church, Andrew Lloyd Webber and John Partridge. Personal life Hancock was married to actor Alec Ross from 1954 until his death from oesophageal cancer in 1971. They had one daughter, Melanie, born in 1964. In 1973, Hancock married actor John Thaw. He adopted Melanie and they had another daughter, Joanna. Thaw's daughter Abigail, from his first marriage, also joined their family. All three of their children have become actresses. She was married to Thaw until his death from oesophageal cancer on 21 February 2002. Hancock herself was diagnosed with breast cancer during the late 1980s, but made a full recovery. Her 2004 book, The Two of Us is a dual biography, which gives accounts of both their lives, as well as focusing on their 28-year marriage. This was followed by the 2008 book, Just Me, an account of coming to terms with widowhood. She has seven grandchildren. Hancock is a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). She is a patron of the London HIV charity, The Food Chain and works with the London children's charity Kids Company.[4] She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1974 and Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2011 New Year Honours.[5] Honours and awards 1974 Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to drama 2002 BAFTA nomination, Best Actress for The Russian Bride 2003 BAFTA nomination, Best Actress for Bedtime 2007 Appointment as Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth [4] 2007 Laurence Olivier Award, Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical for her role as Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret 2010 Laurence Olivier Award nomination, Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical for her role as Mother Superior in Sister Act the Musical. 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Women in Film and Television Awards.[6] 2011 Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to drama References ^ Film reference Hancock Biography accessed 2010-03-09 ^ Daily Mail Profile of Sheila Hancock 16 September 2008 accessed 2010-03-09 ^ University of Portsmouth News accessed 2010-03-19 ^ a b . Guardian Profile of Hancock Saturday 4 October 2008.  ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59647, p. 7, 31 December 2010. ^ BBC news article External links Guardian Profile of Hancock 4 October 2008 accessed 2010-03-09 Sheila Hancock at the Internet Movie Database Sheila Hancock on Who Do You Think You Are? v · d · eLaurence Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical Karla Burns (1991) · Jenny Galloway (1992) · Janie Dee (1993) · Sara Kestelman (1994) · Tracie Bennett (1995) · Sheila Gish (1996) · Clive Rowe (1997) · James Dreyfus (1998) · Shuler Hensley (1999) · Jenny Galloway (2000) · Miles Western (2001) · Martyn Jacques (2002) · Paul Baker (2003) · The Chorus of Jerry Springer The Opera (2004) · Conleth Hill (2005) · Celia Imrie (2006) · Sheila Hancock (2007) · Tracie Bennett (2008) · Lesli Margherita (2009) · Iwan Rheon (2010) · Jill Halfpenny (2011) v · d · eBBC/Andrew Lloyd Webber musical revival search Series How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? (2006) • Any Dream Will Do (2007) • I'd Do Anything (2008) • Over the Rainbow (2010) Musicals The Sound of Music • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat • Oliver! • The Wizard of Oz Special shows When Joseph Met Maria (2007) • West Side Story: What Nancy, Joseph and Maria Did Next (2010) Winners Connie Fisher • Lee Mead • Jodie Prenger • Danielle Hope Runners-Up Helena Blackman • Keith Jack • Jessie Buckley • Sophie Evans Presenters Graham Norton Judges Current: Andrew Lloyd Webber · Charlotte Church · John Partridge · Sheila Hancock Former: John Barrowman · David Ian · Zoë Tyler · Denise van Outen · Bill Kenwright · Cameron Mackintosh · Barry Humphries v · d · eOver the Rainbow Host Graham Norton Panelists Andrew Lloyd Webber • Charlotte Church • John Partridge • Sheila Hancock Contestants Danielle • Sophie • Lauren • Steph • Jessica • Jenny • Stephanie • Dani • Amy The West End Show The Wizard of Oz (2011) Persondata Name Hancock, Sheila Alternative names Short description Actress Date of birth 1933-2-22 Place of birth Blackgang, Isle of Wight Date of death Place of death