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Sheila Hancock Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trivia (17)  | Personal Quotes (6)

Overview (3)

Born in Blackgang, Isle of Wight, England, UK
Birth NameSheila Cameron Hancock
Height 5' 7½" (1.71 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Sheila Hancock was born February 22, 1933. on the Isle of Wight. She later moved to King's Cross in London, where her mother and father ran a pub. Sheila went to Dartford Grammar School, and then with a grant she went to RADA. She then went into nine years of weekly repertory around the country. While in repertory in Bath she met actor Alec Ross, whom she married in 1955, and had a daughter, Melanie Thaw (aka "Ellie Jane") on July 15, 1964.

Her first big TV hit was her appearance in The Rag Trade (1961). Her first theatrical success was in "Rattle of a Simple Man" at the Garrick Theatre London. In 1969 she starred in the West End hit "So What About Love?", where she met actor John Thaw. The same year her mother died of cancer, followed nearly nine months later by Alec's tragic death. On December 24, 1973, she married Thaw, with their daughters Melanie and Abigail present. On July 27. 1974, at Queen Charlotte's Hospital, Hammersmith, Sheila gave birth to her only child with John, Joanna Suzy Thaw.

In the 1980s Sheila toured the UK with the Royal Shakespeare Company and later with the National Theatre. In 1988 she was told she had breast cancer, but she fought and won her battle against it. She and Thaw split briefly during this period.

In the early 1990s Sheila and John bought a house in Luckington Wiltshire, as well as a farmhouse in Provence, France. In 2001 John was told he had cancer. For nine months he fought against it, and with Sheila's help his privacy was protected. John died in Sheila's arms the day before her 69th birthday.

Since his death Sheila has written a book called "The Two of Us: My Life with John Thaw", and has made numerous TV and stage appearance talking about the book and her life with John.

Sheila lives in Hammersmith near her daughters and grandchildren.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: leilapoole (qv's & corrections by A. Nonymous)

Spouse (2)

John Thaw (24 December 1973 - 21 February 2002) ( his death) ( 1 child)
Alec Ross (1955 - 4 December 1971) ( his death) ( 1 child)

Trivia (17)

She is a breast cancer survivor. Her first husband, actor Alec Ross, died of cancer in 1971 and her second husband, actor John Thaw, died of esophageal cancer in 2002. She has been a spokesperson for Cancer BACUP.
Attended Dartford County Grammar School and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
Mother of actress Melanie Thaw, born 1964, (with first husband Alec Ross) and Joanna Thaw, born 1974, (with second husband John Thaw). When John Thaw married Hancock he decided to adopt Melanie officially, which is why she bears his surname.
An Associate Member of RADA.
She was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1974 Queen's Birthday Honours List for her services to drama.
Became the Chancellor of The University of Portsmouth - May 16th 2007.
She was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2011 Queen's New Year Honours List for her services to drama.
She suffers from stage fright and has used hypnotherapy to cure her fear of live performances.
Soho, London, England [December 2010]
Soho, London, England [February 2011]
Daughter of Enrico Cameron (1894-1965) and Ivy Louise (née Woodward) Hancock (1898-1970).
Nominated for 'Best Actress in a Musical' in the 1980 Laurence Olivier Awards for her performance in 'Sweeney Todd' but lost out to Gemma Craven.
During the war she was evacuated to Somerset at the age of 6.
Her first acting experience was at the age of 10 playing a cold germ in a children's show.
Won the Olivier Best Supporting Actress award for 'Cabaret'.
In 1980-81 was Associate Director of the Cambridge Theatre Company. She was Director of the RSC Touring Company in 1983-84 and was the first woman to direct in the Olivier Theatre at the National Theatre in 1985.
She was cast as a chimpanzee owner in Carry on Regardless but had to drop out due to rehearsing for the West End revue 'One Over the Eightand was replaced by Ambrosine Philpotts.

Personal Quotes (6)

I know how to build a block of flats. I have watched them for hours building the foundations. I've watched bricks being laid, like Lego. I've seen workers sacked. There is always something to engross you in life.
I'm still learning how to enter a room on my own. From my dad to my first husband to my second husband, I've always had a man around. This week I went to a party at the National and going upstairs I met the designer Bob Crowley and asked him to hold my hand. But I always had John's hand in mine. We thought we were going off into the sunset together.
The public are amazing. I know I can't over value it because it's not as real as one's friends love, but it's deeply touching and I was very grateful for it.
[on accepting the CBE and being a devout Quaker] They said it was fine because it was for my work and it was earned.
I know people who get called national treasures who are vile.
The public have always been nice to me and don't pester me. You do get a bit fed up with the selfies. I often wonder what John (John Thaw) would do. Thank God they weren't invented before he died.

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