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Sheila Hancock

Sheila Hancock is a British stage and screen actress who trained at RADA. She first graced the West End in Breath of Spring (1958) and made her Broadway debut in Entertaining Mr Sloane in 1965. She also  portrayed the cruel Miss Hannigan in original London cast of musical Annie (1978) at the Victoria Palace Theatre and Mrs Lovett in original west end production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeny Todd (1980) at Drury Lane for which she... Read more >>

Sheila Hancock

Sheila Hancock Overview

Sheila Hancock is a British stage and screen actress who trained at RADA. She first graced the West End in Breath of Spring (1958) and made her Broadway debut in Entertaining Mr Sloane in 1965. She also  portrayed the cruel Miss Hannigan in original London cast of musical Annie (1978) at the Victoria Palace Theatre and Mrs Lovett in original west end production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeny Todd (1980) at Drury Lane for which she received an Olivier nomination for Best Leading Actress in a Musical.

Throughout the 1980s Sheila toured with the Royal Shakespeare Company and later with the National Theatre where she featured in The Cherry Orchard and The duchess of Malfi. In 1985 she became the first female director at the National with Sheridan’s The Critic. In 2006 she undertook the role of Fraulein Schneider in the west end revival of Cabaret at the Lyric Theatre and her portrayal won her the Olivier for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical, and for over a year she depicted Mother Superior in Sister Act (2009) at the London Palladium.  

Her first television role was in BBC sitcom The Rag Trade (1961-1962) and from there she took featured roles in Mr Digby Darling (1969-1971), Now Take My Wife (1971), as well as guest appearances in Doctor Who (1988), Kavanagh QC (1997). From 2001 she played Alice Oldfield in television drama Bedtime (2001-2003), for which she was nominated for a BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress in 2003. She was most recently seen in Nellie and Melba (2012) part of the Playhouse Presents series.

Sheila has appeared in a number of films including Carry On Cleo (1964), black comedy The Anniversary (1969), The Wildcats of St Trinian’s (1980), Three Men and a Little Lady (1990) and as the grandmother in The Boy in the Stripped Pyjamas (2008).

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