Beryl Reid (Beryl Elizabeth Reid)

Beryl Reid

Born in Hereford, England in 1919, Reid was the daughter of Scottish parents, and grew up in Manchester, where she attended Withington and Levenshulme High Schools. Leaving school at 16, she made her debut in 1936 as a music hall performer at the Floral Hall, Bridlington. Before and during World War II, she took part in variety shows and pantomimes. She had no formal training but later appeared at 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”. Her many film and television roles as a character actor were usually 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. The tour of the play was not a success, people in shops refused to serve her and other performers due to the gay characters in the play. She was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1976 when she was surprised by Eamonn Andrews in the car park of Thames Television’s Teddington Studios. In both Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Smiley’s People Reid played Connie Sachs. For Smiley’s People she won a BAFTA for Best Actress on Television. She also wrote an autobiography, So Much Love, which was well received. She played the part of an elderly feminist and political subversive in the 1987 television drama, The Beiderbecke Tapes. She married twice but had no children. Beryl Reid died on 13 October 1996 from pneumonia and osteoporosis at a South Buckinghamshire hospital following knee surgery. She was 77 years old.

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  • June, 17, 1919
  • United Kingdom
  • Hereford, Herefordshire, England


  • October, 15, 1996
  • United Kingdom
  • South Buckinghamshire, England

Cause of Death

  • pneumonia and osteoporosis


  • Cremated

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