Hancock, Sheila 1933–

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Hancock, Sheila 1933–


Born February 22, 1933, in Blackgang, Isle of Wight, England; daughter of Enrico Cameron and Ivy Louise (maiden name, Woodward) Hancock; married Alec Ross, 1954 (deceased, 1971); married John Thaw (an actor), 1973 (deceased, 2002); children: (second marriage) Melanie (an actress). Education: Studied for the theatre at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London. Avocational Interests: Music, reading.

Career: Actress and director. Royal Shakespeare Company, actress and director, 1981–84; National Theatre, London, actress and director.

Awards, Honors: Antoinette Perry Award nomination, best actress in a play, 1966, for Entertaining Mr. Sloane; Inducted as Member, Order of the British Empire, 1974; Television Award nomination, best actress, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, 2002, for The Russian Bride; Television Award nomination, best actress, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, 2003, for Bedtime.


Stage Appearances:

(Stage debut) Beth, Little Women, Scala Theatre, Dart-ford, England, 1950.

(London debut) Lily Thompson, Breath of Spring, Duke of York's Theatre, 1958.

One to Another (revue), Lyric Theatre-Hammersmith, London, 1959, then Apollo Theatre, London.

Gwen, Make Me an Offer, Theatre Royal, Stratford, England, then New Theatre, London, 1959.

One Over the Eight (revue), Duke of York's Theatre, 1961.

Cyrenne, Rattle of a Simple Man, Garrick Theatre, London, 1962.

Praxagora and an even older woman, The Parliament of Women, Oxford Playhouse, 1965.

(New York debut) Kath, Entertaining Mr. Sloane, Lyceum Theatre, 1965.

Karen Taggart, The Anniversary, Duke of York's Theatre, 1966.

Lady Dance, The Soldier's Fortune, Royal Court Theatre, London, 1967.

Maggie Harris, Fill the Stage with Happy Hours, Vaudeville Theatre, London, 1967.

Julia, A Delicate Balance, Aldwych Theatre, London, 1969.

Maggie, So What About Love, Criterion Theatre, London, 1969.

Daughter, All Over, Aldwych Theatre, 1972.

Beatrice, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, Hampstead Theatre Club, London, 1972.

Marion, Absurd Person Singular, Criterion Theatre, 1973.

Deja Revue (revue), New Theatre, New York City, 1974.

Alma, The Bed Before Yesterday, Lyric Theatre, London, 1976.

Hester, The Deep Blue Sea, Arts Theatre, Cambridge, England, 1977.

Miss Hannigan, Annie, Theatre at Victoria Palace, London, 1978–79.

Mrs. Lovett, Sweeney Todd, Drury Lane Theatre, London, 1980.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Stratford, England, 1981.

Titus Andronicus, Stratford, England, 1981.

Greenland, Royal Court Theatre, 1988.

Sore Throats, Theatre Upstairs, Royal Court Theatre, 1988.

Prin, Lyric Theatre, 1989.

The Way of the World, Lyric Theatre, 1992.

A Judgement in Stone, 1992.

Harry and Me, Royal Court Theatre, 1996.

Title role, Vassa, Albery Theatre, London, 1999.

Mrs. Robinson, In Extremis/De Profundis, Royal National Theatre, London, 2000.

Under the Blue Sky, Jerwood Theatre, London, 2000.

Stage Director:

The Taming of the Shrew, Bromley, London, 1964.

The Constant Wife, Cambridge Theatre Company, 1979.

In Praise of Love, Cambridge Theatre Company, 1980.

Film Appearances:

(Film debut) Light Up the Sky, 1958.

Librarian, Doctor in Love, 1960.

Doris, The Bulldog Breed, 1960.

Jane, The Girl on the Boat, 1962.

Dora, Twice 'round the Daffodils (also known as What a Carry On: Twice 'round the Daffodils), 1962.

Dora, Night Must Fall, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1964.

Cynthia Gamble, The Moon-Spinners, 1964.

Senna Pod, Carry On Cleo, 1964.

Mrs. Clapper's friend, How I Won the War, 1967.

Karen, The Anniversary, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1968.

Martha Thompson, Take a Girl Like You, 1970.

Olga Vandemeer, The Wildcats of St. Trinian's, 1980.

The Love Child, 1987.

Regina, Hawks, 1989.

Voice of Impdimenta, Asterix and the Big Fight, 1989.

Vera, Three Men and a Little Lady, 1990.

Judith, A Business Affair (also known as Astucias de mujer and Liebe und andere geschaefte), 1994.

Sarah Ryan, Dangerous Lady, 1995.

Mrs. Barker, Love and Death on Long Island (also known as Amour et mort a Long Island), Universal, 1997.

Mrs. Rothery, Buster, 1988.

The Universe of Dermot Finn, 1998.

Vera, Hold Back the Night, Wave Pictures, 1999.

Aunt, Yes, RCV, 2004.

Television Appearances; Series:

Carol, The Rag Trade, 1960–61.

Sheila Ross, The Bed-Sit Girl, 1965.

Thelma Teesdale, Mr. Digby Darling, 1969.

Claire Love, Now, Take My Wife, 1971.

Mrs. Stitch, Scoop, BBC, 1972.

But Seriously, It's Sheila Hancock, BBC, 1972.

Steve's mother, My Kingdom for a Horse, 1991.

Mag, Gone to Seed, 1992.

Frances, Brighton Belles, 1993.

Alice Oldfield, Bedtime, BBC1, 2001.

Gwendolen Hartley, Fortysomething, ITV, 2003.

Edith Sorrel, Feather Boy, 2004.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Frankie Howerd's Hour, 1971.

Herself, Playing Shakespeare, 1984.

Duchess of Trevenick, The Buccaneers, 1995.

Dorothy Hammond, Close Relations, 1998.

Pat, The Thing About Vince, 2000.

Dora Blossom, The Russian Bride, 2001.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Joyce Lambert, "The Regulator," The Wednesday Thriller, BBC, 1965.

"The Devil and All His Mischief," Thirty-Minute Theatre, BBC, 1966.

Storyteller, a recurring character, Jackanory, BBC1, 1966.

Cynthia Gamble, "The Moon-Spinners: Part 1, 2 and 3," Disneyland, NBC, 1966.

Alice, "Compensation Alice," Armchair Theatre, ABC (UK), 1967.

"It's Not Cricket," The Magnificent Six and 1/2, 1968.

Mrs. Markle, "Born Victim," Detective, BBC, 1968.

Simply Sheila (also known as Show of the Week: Simply Sheila), BBC, 1968.

Kaff, "Entertaining Mr. Sloane," ITV Playhouse, ITV, 1968.

Beryl Reid Says Good Evening, BBC, 1968.

Freda, "Sealed with a Loving Kiss," The Mating Machine, 1970.

Toni Patra, "The Millicent Sisters, Edward de Bruno and Ruth—Where Are They Now?," Menace, BBC, 1970.

Anne Brand, "Sugar and Spice," Shadows of Fear, Thames, 1971.

Rose, "Comfortable Words," Menace, BBC, 1973.

"Sheila Hancock," This Is Your Life, ITV, 1977.

"The Remainder Man," Play for Today, BBC1, 1982.

"The Audition," Dramarama, ITV, 1985.

Sue, "The Way We Were," Home to Roost, ITV, 1985.

Kate, "I Met a Man Who Wasn't There," Bulman, 1985.

Helen A., "The Happiness Patrol," Doctor Who, 1988.

Steve's mother, My Kingdom for a Horse, BBC, 1991.

"The Death of the Self," Inspector Morse, ITV/PBS, 1992.

Sarah Meadows, "Blood Money," Kavanagh QC, ITV, 1997.

Voice of Anna Maria, "The Tale of Samuel Whiskers of the Roly-Poly Pudding," The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends (animated), 1998.

Herself, Have I Got News for You, 2000.

Barbara Owen, EastEnders, 2000 and 2001.

Breakfast, BBC, 2001, 2004 and 2006.

Breakfast with Frost, BBC1, 2002 and 2004.

Today with Des and Mel, ITV, 2003, 2004 and 2006.

Loose Women, ITV, 2004.

Kelly, UTV, 2004.

The Heaven and Earth Show, BBC, 2004.

Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, BBC, 2004.

Richard & Judy, Channel 4, 2004, 2005 and 2006.

Mrs. Guppy, Bleak House, BBC and PBS, 2005.

Jeremy Vine Meets …, BBC, 2005.

The Paul O'Grady Show (also known as The New Paul O'Grady Show), 2005.

Saturday Night with Miriam, 2005.

Watchdog, BBC, 2005.

Room 101, BBC, 2005.

"Sheila Hancock," Who Do You Think You Are?, BBC, 2006.

Grumpy Old Women, BBC, 2006.

Girls Who Do: Comedy (also known as Dawn French's Girls Who Do: Comedy), BBC, 2006.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Mrs. Malapropp, The Rivals, Arts and Entertainment, 1988.

Matilda Poliport, Jumping the Queue, BBC, 1989.

Teresa, Love or Money, 2001.

Pam Raeburn, Bait, ITV, 2002.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Voice of Jadis, the white witch, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (animated), CBS, 1979.

Comedy Tonight, ITV, 1980.

Mothers by Daughters, 1983.

Kenneth Williams: A Life on the Box, BBC, 1998.

Cook, Alice in Wonderland, 1999.

The BAFTA TV Awards 2002, ITV, 2002.

The John Thaw Story, 2002.

Grumpy Old Women at Christmas, BBC, 2004.

Radio Appearances:

Appeared as a regular panel member on the game show Just a Minute, BBC.



(Contributor) Bart: Oliver!, 1992.

The Sweet Dove Died, 1994.


The Very Best of "Have I Got News for You", 2002.