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Benidorm's Sheila Reid, 84, looks worlds away from her character in snaps from early her career


Benidorm’s Madge Harvey star Sheila Reid, 84, looks worlds away from her famous character in stunning snaps from early in her career

She is best known these days for playing sharp-tongued, sun-worshipping grandmother Madge Harvey on ITV’s Benidorm.

But actress Sheila Reid looked worlds away from her beloved comedy role early on in her career in front of the camera.

The TV Star, 84, told how she thinks she was interested in acting because she ‘wasn’t keen’ on who she was.

Role: Sheila Reid looked worlds away from her beloved comedy role early on in her career in front of the camera

Role: Sheila Reid looked worlds away from her beloved comedy role early on in her career in front of the camera

Speaking to the Stratford-upon-Avon Herald, she said: ‘I got the acting bug I think because I’ve always been small; and I was very fat, I had crooked teeth that crossed over at the front… and I used to just live in the world of make-believe because I wasn’t terribly keen on who I was.

‘It was interesting because with acting I would play character roles, and where there were roles where you were playing yourself I found that the hardest thing of all – because I would have to strip it all away and be me.

‘I have an older sister and a younger brother, they weren’t interested in the arts at all but I used to drag them all in to do plays in front of my parents and relatives; I was writer, director and of course the star.’ 

Sheila kicked off her acting career in 1960 when she appeared in ITV anthology series Armchair Theatre.

Early days: The TV Star, 84, told how she thinks she was interested in acting because she 'wasn't keen' on who she was

Sheila said: 'I used to just live in the world of make-believe because I wasn't terribly keen on who I was'

Early days: The TV Star, 84, told how she thinks she was interested in acting because she ‘wasn’t keen’ on who she was (pictured left in 1969 and right in Benidorm, 2009)

She appeared in other ITV shows including Tales Of Mystery and Love Story along with BBC drama series Z Cars. 

Sheila was also an original member of the Royal National Theatre and performed in Othello opposite Laurence Olivier in 1963.

Her most recent appearances include roles on Casualty, Doctors and The Bad Education Movie with Jack Whitehall.  

Career: Sheila appeared in other ITV shows including Tales Of Mystery and Love Story along with BBC drama series Z Cars (pictured in Love Story in 1964)

Career: Sheila appeared in other ITV shows including Tales Of Mystery and Love Story along with BBC drama series Z Cars (pictured in Love Story in 1964)

Success: Sheila was also an original member of the Royal National Theatre and performed in Othello opposite Laurence Olivier (pictured in 1970)

Success: Sheila was also an original member of the Royal National Theatre and performed in Othello opposite Laurence Olivier (pictured in 1970)

Benidorm ran from 2007 to 2018 and featured an ensemble cast of holiday makers and staff at the Solana hotel in Benidorm, Spain over the course of a week each year.

Sheila was formerly married to actor Julian Curry who is best known for appearing in ITV’s Rumpole Of The Bailey.

She later married her partner Terry Bullen in London after 32 years together with the ceremony witnessed by 12 close friends. 

Former flame: Sheila was formerly married to actor Julian Curry who is best known for appearing in ITV's Rumpole Of The Bailey

Former flame: Sheila was formerly married to actor Julian Curry who is best known for appearing in ITV’s Rumpole Of The Bailey

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