Amanda Barrie

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Amanda Barrie
Shirley Anne Broadbent

(1935-09-14) 14 September 1935 (age 84)
Years active1959–present
Robin Hunter
(m. 1967; died 2004)

Hilary Bonner (m. 2014)

Amanda Barrie (born 14 September 1935) is an English actress. She appeared in two of the Carry On films, and one episode of the BBC comedy series Are You Being Served? before being cast as Alma Halliwell in ITV soap opera, Coronation Street, which she played on and off for 20 years. Between 2002 and 2006, she played the role of Bev Tull in the ITV prison drama, Bad Girls. She has since enjoyed a varied stage and TV career.


Born Shirley Anne Broadbent in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, Barrie attended St Anne's College, St Anne's on Sea. She then trained at the Arts Educational School in London and later at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. She appeared in pantomime as a child and was a dancer before acting in a number of British television and film roles in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as presenting Hickory House with former Coronation Street star Alan Rothwell between 1973 and 1977. She was also in two of the Carry On films, a long-running series of British comedy films: she had a supporting turn as a cab driver in Carry On Cabby (1963) and took the title role in Carry On Cleo (1964), which helped her on her way to becoming an international star of stage and screen.

In 1975, Barrie played Mrs. B.J. Spence in the Walt Disney film One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing. After roles in a string of one-off television plays and series, she appeared in a guest role as a ballet mistress in the popular BBC comedy series Are You Being Served? in 1979. She worked for many years as a chorus girl in the West End until her first break as an actress came along. At sixteen she danced at the Windsor Club with Danny La Rue and Barbara Windsor, changing her name before making her West End debut in 1961's 'Babes in the Wood'. Throughout the 1960s Amanda worked on many stage productions including Cabaret, Private Lives, Hobson's Choice and Aladdin, and continued to perform on stage until the mid-1980s. She is well known as Alma Sedgewick (later Baldwin), in Coronation Street. She was a bit-player in the early to mid-1980s before she was offered a contract in 1988, after which she became a very well known character. She continued in the role until her retirement in 2001. In the story, Alma was diagnosed with cervical cancer which later caused her death.[1]

Since leaving Coronation Street, Barrie continued to act, firstly as Margo Phillips in the long-running BBC soap opera Doctors for nine episodes, and in the popular ITV1 prison series Bad Girls, playing inmate Bev Tull from the fifth series to the last, along with Phyl Oswyn played by Stephanie Beacham. The characters together were known as "The Costa Cons".

She also became one of the celebrities who took part in Hell's Kitchen; a popular ITV1 "reality TV" series which screened in 2004. While on the show, she became so frustrated with Gordon Ramsay, that she tried to attack him. [2]

In 2005 she appeared as the wicked witch of the west in a pantomime adaptation of The Wizard of Oz at an Oxford theater. She appeared on a pantomime edition of The Weakest Link dressed as the witch to raise money for charity but she was voted off in the second round.

From November 2006 to January 2007, Barrie took a starring role in the pantomime adaptation of Jack and the Beanstalk in Canterbury. From December 2007 to January 2008, she appeared as the Fairy Godmother in the pantomime adaptation of Cinderella at the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.[3] From December 2008 to January 2009, she played the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella at the Grand Theatre, Blackpool. She again played the role from December 2009 to January 2010 in Rhyl. In December 2010 and January 2011 she played the role in Bournemouth. She played role again from December 2011 to January 2012 in Worthing. On Tuesday 7 August 2012 she appeared in the BBC drama Holby City as troubled, sassy, failed actress Annabella Casey. She again played the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft from December 2013 to January 2014. [4]

In June 2014, Barrie returned to the set of Coronation Street for a 30-minute documentary entitled, Gail & Me: 40 Years on Coronation Street, and was reunited with former co-star and friend, Helen Worth, who has played Gail Platt in the soap since 1974.

In January 2018, Barrie took part in Celebrity Big Brother.

In the summer of 2019 she appeared in series 2 of Celebrity 5 Go Barging, exploring canals around Staffordshire and Warwickshire by narrowboat. [5]

Personal life[edit]

Barrie had a relationship with singer Billy Fury in the mid-1960s after they met while filming I've Gotta Horse.[6] Fury proposed to her, but she did not accept.[7]

In 1967, Barrie married theatre director Robin Hunter. They separated in the mid-1980s, but never divorced; he died in 2004. The couple have no children.[8][9] She came out as bisexual in her autobiography It's Not a Rehearsal, and for many years was in a relationship with actress Heather Chasen.[10] On 12 September 2014 she married her long-term partner Hilary Bonner.[11] The couple live in homes in the Blackdown Hills, Somerset and London.[8][9]

Selected television and filmography[edit]


  1. ^ "Alma blasts Street". Manchester Evening News. 18 June 2001. Archived from the original on 27 December 2001.
  2. ^ "Hell hath no fury like Amanda". Manchester Evening News. 15 February 2007. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Having a ball". The Comet. 27 September 2007. Archived from the original on 23 April 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2007.
  4. ^ Wilf Arasaratnam (29 December 2013). "Cinderella (Lowestoft)". Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  5. ^ "Barry, banter and booze: the soothing therapy of Celebrity 5 Go Barging". 3 August 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  6. ^ "The Story". Billy Fury. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  7. ^ Vikki White (2 January 2018). "Amanda Barrie: I came out at 67 and married for a second time when I was 79". Mirror. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  8. ^ a b Anglesey, Natalie (13 July 2006). "Amanda's Bad and loving it!". Manchester Evening News. Archived from the original on 1 June 2007.
  9. ^ a b McGlone, Jackie (20 October 2002). "Let Sleeping Actors Lie". Scotland on Sunday.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Morris, Sally (1 December 2002). "I've had good sex with men.. but there was never that bond I felt when with a woman; Street Star Amanda Barrie on Coming Out". Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  11. ^ Walters, Sarah (8 August 2016). "Former Corrie star Amanda Barrie says she feared her sexuality would ruin her career". Manchester Evening News.

External links[edit]