Sylvia Syms

Sylvia Syms

Jan. 6th, 1934
Born in
London, England, UK

Sylvia Syms' Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
The Saint (UK) TV Show
The Saint (UK)
At Home with the Braithwaites (UK) TV Show
At Home with the Braithwaites (UK)
Peak Practice (UK) TV Show
Peak Practice (UK)
The Young Ones (UK) TV Show
The Young Ones (UK)
Mulberry (UK) TV Show
Mulberry (UK)
The Jury (UK) TV Show
The Jury (UK)
Bat Out of Hell (UK) TV Show
Bat Out of Hell (UK)
Half Hour Story (UK) TV Show
Half Hour Story (UK)
My Good Woman (UK) TV Show
My Good Woman (UK)

Main Movie Roles

Guest TV Roles

[none found]


London-born Sylvia Syms hit major film appeal at a relatively young age. Born on January 6, 1934, she was educated at convent schools before receiving dramatic training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. A repertory player by the time she was discovered for films by the British star Anna Neagle and her director/husband Herbert Wilcox, the lovely demure blonde started out auspiciously enough in the delinquent film My Teenage Daughter (1956) in which she played Neagle's troubled daughter. This was followed by a second Neagle/Wilcox collaboration with No Time for Tears (1957). Excelling whether cast in stark melodrama, spirited adventure or harmless comedy fluff, Syms' film list grew impressive in the late 1950s and early 1960s working alongside the likes of John Mills (I) and Anthony Quayle in Ice-Cold in Alex (1958), Curd Jürgens and Orson Welles in Ferry to Hong Kong (1959), Lilli Palmer and Yvonne Mitchell (I) in Conspiracy of Hearts (1960), Laurence Harvey (I) in Expresso Bongo (1959), William Holden (I) in The World of Suzie Wong (1960), and Dirk Bogarde in the landmark gay-themed Victim (1961), playing the unsuspecting wife of Bogarde's closeted male. Ably portraying innocent love interests throughout the years, she graced a number of pictures without ever nabbing that one role that would truly put her over the top. She was nominated, however, three times for British Film Academy Awards--twice for best actress in Woman in a Dressing Gown (1957) and _No Trees in the Street (1958)_ and once for supporting actress in The Tamarind Seed (1974) that starred Julie Andrews (I) and Omar Sharif. The 1970s saw quite a bit of TV series work and she played British prime minister Margaret Thatcher at one point on both stage and TV. She grew plumper with middle age and found herself immersed in character roles, offering support in such films as Absolute Beginners (1986), Shirley Valentine (1989) and Shining Through (1992). American audiences have recently seen her as the dog-doting Princess Charlotte in the light teen comedy What a Girl Wants (2003) with Amanda Bynes and Colin Firth, and treading water as the Shelley Winters character in the TV-remake of _"Poseidon Adventure, The" (2005/II) (mini)_ . Daughter Beatie Edney is a well-known actress in her own right. Ms. Syms is sometimes confused with Brooklyn-born jazz/cabaret performer and recording artist 'Sylvia Syms (II)' (1917-1992) (nee Sylvia Blagman).

  • Became a Member of the RADA Council.
  • Aunt of 'Nicholas Webb' (qv), she got him the job in _The Punch and Judy Man (1963)_ (qv)
  • She was awarded the O.B.E. (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2007 Queen Elizabeth Birthday Honors List for her services to drama.
  • Daughter is 'Beatie Edney' (qv) - also an actress.
  • Head of jury at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1975
  • Graduated from RADA.
  • Was offered a cameo part in Doctor Who: The Curse Of Fenric.

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