Beryl Reid Biography (1920-1996)

Born June 17, 1920, in Hereford, England; died of pneumonia, October 13, 1996, in London, England. Actress. Reid shocked the theater world in the 1965 play The Killing of Sister George, in which she played a lesbian. At the time, such a move was a career risk, but it admirably marked her first venture intoserious theater and won her an Antoinette Perry award for the Broadway production of the play. Reid's beginnings were humble. The daughter of an estate agent who opposed her interest in theater, she left school at the age of sixteen to become a music hall and variety show performer. Her national breakthrough in England came after World War II with the BBC radio comedy program Educating Archie, in which she created and played two characters. Reid then moved to stage work in the 1950s, performing mostly in musical and comic revues. Butshe fell in love with the script for The Killing of Sister George, which waswritten by Frank Marcus, and won the lead role. Such unabashed lesbianism was adventurous material for the day, but the play became a critical and popular success in London and New York and sent her career soaring. Reid appeared in the films The Belles of St. Trinian's (1954), Trial and Error (1962), and Inspector Clouseau (1968). Her other theater appearances include the critically acclaimed Entertaining Mr. Sloane (1975), Counting the Ways (1976), and theRoyal Shakespeare Company's Way of the World (1978). Reid also wrote an autobiography and appeared in several British television shows in the 1980s. Oneof Britain's most popular actresses, Reid was honored with the Order of the British Empire in 1986 by Queen Elizabeth II.

Birth Details
June 17, 1920
Hereford, England
Death Details
October 13, 1996
London, England

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