Sylvia Syms, a British stage and movie star for six decades, has passed away at the age of 89. She was nominated for Bafta Awards for Woman in a Dressing Gown and No Trees on the Street, both of which she appeared in during the 1950s.
Later, she appeared in programs such as Peak Practice and EastEnders, and in 1991, she portrayed the former prime minister in Thatcher: The Final Days, which aired on ITV.
In the 2006 film The Queen, she portrayed the Queen Mother alongside Dame Helen Mirren.
Her children Beatie and Ben Edney released the following statement: “Our mother, Sylvia, passed away quietly this morning.
“She led an extraordinary life and brought us joy and laughter until the very end. We were only yesterday reminiscing about all of our trips. She will be profoundly missed.”
In addition, they commended the employees at Denville Hall, a London care facility for those in the entertainment industry, for “the truly outstanding care they provided to our mother over the previous year.”
Syms was born on January 6, 1934, in London. At age five, she was among the tens of thousands of children evacuated from London, first to Kent and then, in 1940, to Monmouthshire.
Later, she recalled the traumatic experience of being separated from her mother, who died of a brain tumor when Sylvia was just 12 years old.
“Being sent away from home gave me the idea I was unloved, which was unfair but accurate,” she explained. It is the reason I became a performer and have never stopped working.
At the age of 16, she suffered a psychological breakdown and considered suicide, but her stepmother insisted that she undergo counseling, which helped her overcome the crisis.
Her desire to perform led her to Rada, where she was awarded the Gerald Lawrence Scholarship and the HM Tenants Award.
Like many ambitious performers, she began her career in the West End, where she understudied roles in numerous plays and was a member of Noel Coward’s Apple Cart Company.
However, she fell victim to the British studio system, which enticed young actresses with extended contracts, paid them little, and then rented them out at exorbitant rates.
She was paid just £30 a week to portray Jane Carr in My Teenage Daughter, a grim tale of delinquent behavior, for her first major film role.
A year later, she portrayed a woman having an affair with an older guy in The Woman in a Dressing Gown.
Sylvia Syms was married to her childhood beau Alan Edney and juggled her film career with the responsibilities of motherhood.
She later stated that her marriage provided her with the stability she lacked as a youngster and enabled her to wear her wedding ring to ward off unwelcome advances in the studio.
She claimed ignorance of her burgeoning reputation as an actress, later remarking that the praise she received from directors was because “they wanted to get into your underpants.”
There was an idea that you were available because you were blonde and an actor.
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