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Published on Jul 4, 2011
From Beryl Reid's 1968 TV Series "Beryl Reid Says "Good Evening!"", satged by William Chappell and produced by Robin Nash
Beryl Reid was born on 17 June 1919 in Hereford, England, Reid was the daughter of Scottish parents and grew up in Manchester where she attended Withington and Levenshulme High Schools. She left home at the age of 16 to work in a shop, where she lasted six weeks. Reid applied for and was accepted in a revue in the summer season in Bridlington in 1936. She had no formal training but joined the Royal National Theatre in London as a comedy actress. Her first big success came in the BBC radio show Educating Archie as naughty schoolgirl Monica and later as the Brummie, Marlene. Reid's many film and television roles as a character actor were always well received. She reprised her Tony Award-winning performance of a lesbian soap opera star in The Killing of Sister George for the screen version and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Drama. She was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of British Empire) in 1986 for her services to drama for services to entertainment, and was awarded a Lifetime British Comedy award in 1991. In both Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Smiley's People she is seen as Connie Sachs. For Smiley's People she won a BAFTA for Best Actress on Television. In 1984 she also wrote her autobiography, So Much Love, which was well received. Reid played the part of an elderly feminist and political subversive in the 1987 television drama, The Beiderbecke Tapes. She was married (and divorced) twice first to Bill Worsely in 1949 and secondly to Derek Franklin in 1954. In her later years she lived in the eccentric Honeypot Cottage (made of circular rooms) on the banks of the Thames in Berkshire, with her collection of stray cats. Reid died on 13 October 1996 from complications following knee surgery at the age of 77.