Anne Reid

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For the New Zealand skier, see Anne Reid (skier).
Anne Reid
Born (1935-05-28) 28 May 1935 (age 80)
Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, England, United Kingdom
Occupation Actress
Years active 1957–present
Spouse(s) Peter Eckersley (1971–1981; his death)

Anne Reid, MBE (born 28 May 1935), is a BAFTA Award-nominated English stage, film and television actress from Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, known for her roles as Valerie Barlow in the television soap opera Coronation Street; Jean in Dinnerladies; and Celia Dawson in Last Tango in Halifax.

Reid was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2010 Birthday Honours.[1]

Early life[edit]

Reid was born in Newcastle upon Tyne,[2][3] the daughter of Colin Norman Reid (1896-1979)[4] and Annie Eliza Weetman/Reid (1896-c.1980).[5][6][7][8] She lived with her parents and three older brothers in Redcar where she attended John Emmerson Batty primary school and the White House School. From the age of 11 she attended Penrhos College, a boarding school in North Wales,[9] when her father was posted abroad as a foreign correspondent for the Daily Telegraph: she visited her parents occasionally in India, Tehran and Beirut in the school holidays. Upon leaving school she moved to London to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.[10] She then became a stage manager and worked in repertory theatre.[9]


Coronation Street[edit]

Reid's first major acting role was as the character of Valerie Tatlock (later Barlow) on Coronation Street. Her character was very popular with the fans with Valerie's marriage to Ken Barlow being an early example of a soap supercouple. Her character Valerie was the mother of the twins Susan and Peter. Reid joined the cast, initially for two months, starting in August 1961 and leaving in October. She returned to the programme to marry Ken on 1 August 1962 in a wedding watched by 15.8 million viewers. In 1965 Val and Ken had twins and Granada Television received numerous gifts addressed to the couple as congratulations.

In 1968, Reid played one of the most difficult parts in Coronation Street, when Val was held hostage by a rapist. Although Val was not harmed, viewers sent in hate mail to the actor who played the rapist. In November 1970, Reid announced she was leaving Coronation Street as she was then pregnant with her son. In a 2011 interview with the Radio Times, Reid said she'd had enough and wanted to do other things.

I was a basket case when I left! I'd already had too much of it. That kind of work suits some people, but it didn't suit me. It was my decision to leave and I was desperate, really desperate, to go. Because I knew I was good at comedy and there was no way that Valerie Barlow was ever going to be funny.[11]

On 27 January 1971, 18.26 million viewers watched as Valerie Barlow was written out, dying after being electrocuted by a hairdryer with a faulty plug.[11] On 3 February 1971, the character's funeral was shown and 18.92 million people watched.

Later work[edit]

Following a break from acting to bring up her son, Reid resumed her career on stage and television in the 1980s.[9] From 1998 to 2000, Reid played the major role of Jean in the BBC comedy series Dinnerladies by Victoria Wood, and has appeared in other television programmes including The Benny Hill Show (1957), Hancock's Half Hour (1957), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1958), Boon (1988), Casualty (1992) and Hetty Wainthropp Investigates (1996). She also made an appearance in the Doctor Who serial The Curse of Fenric which was broadcast in October 1989.

In 2003, Reid had a part in Midsomer Murders in the episode "A Tale of Two Hamlets", and a main part in the comedy drama The Booze Cruise. She also had a major role in the ITV drama series Life Begins, which ran from 2004 to 2006, in which she appeared alongside Caroline Quentin and Frank Finlay. In 2005 she had a supporting role in the BBC's adaptation of Bleak House[12] and in 2006 made a brief appearance in Jane Eyre.

On 31 March 2007, Reid appeared for a second time in the series Doctor Who in the episode "Smith and Jones".[13] In the episode, she played Florence Finnegan: a shape-shifting, blood-sucking alien known as a Plasmavore, who took on the guise of a human. That same year she appeared in the ITV television adaptation of the novel The Bad Mother's Handbook, co-starring alongside Catherine Tate.

In February 2008, Reid appeared as the mother of Monica Gallagher, Joan, who was suffering from Alzheimer's in the Channel 4 drama Shameless.[14] In October 2008, she played the title role in In Love with Barbara on BBC Four, a biographical film of Barbara Cartland.[15]

In 2009 Reid appeared in the television series Agatha Christie's Marple in the episode Nemesis.[16] From 2009 to 2010 she starred as Vera alongside Maureen Lipman as Irene in an ITV3 adaptation of the BBC Radio 4 series Ladies of Letters.[17]

In 2010 she began playing Mrs Thackeray, the cook, in the BBC's short-lived revival series of Upstairs Downstairs,[18] and also appeared in Five Days,[19] New Tricks and Moving On. In 2011 Reid had a major part in Marchlands,[20] a five-part ITV supernatural drama, made a guest appearance in Doc Martin and played a supporting role in The Jury II.[21]

In 2012 Reid starred as Celia alongside Derek Jacobi as Alan in a six-part BBC romantic comedy-drama series, Last Tango in Halifax.[22] A second series was broadcast in 2013[23] and a third series began in December 2014.[24] Reid was nominated for the 2013 British Academy Television Award for Best Actress for this performance.[25]

In 2013 she appeared in the second series of the BBC drama Prisoners' Wives.[26] She also starred with Katherine Kelly in The Last Witch, part of a series of original dramas for Sky Living[27] and appeared in the final Agatha Christie's Poirot mystery, Curtain.[28]

In 2014, she guest-starred in "Sardines", the first episode of BBC anthology series Inside No. 9.[29] She also starred alongside Lee Ingleby and Ralf Little in the six-part BBC drama series Our Zoo.[30]

In September 2015 Reid took part in an episode of the BBC genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are?[31]


In 1995, Reid was the voice of Wendolene Ramsbottom in the Wallace and Gromit film A Close Shave. Her other film appearances include Love and Death on Long Island (1997) and The Mother (2003), the latter performance secured her a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in 2004.[32]

She filmed a minor role as a lesbian headmistress in the 2003 film Love Actually, but Reid is not credited in the cast list since all her scenes were ultimately deleted because they were not central to the main plot. The scenes can, however, be viewed in the deleted scenes on the Love Actually DVD.[33] She also appeared in the film Hot Fuzz in 2007.[34] In 2010, she appeared with Ricky Gervais in the film Cemetery Junction, which he wrote and directed with Stephen Merchant.

Reid co-starred with Vanessa Redgrave and Terence Stamp in the film Song for Marion which was released in UK cinemas in 2013.[35]


In 2002 Reid appeared in the premiere of The York Realist at the Royal Court Theatre, which later transferred to the West End.[36]

From September 2005 to January 2006, she appeared on stage in the West End in Epitaph for George Dillon,[37] and in July 2006 starred in School Run, a short series of plays on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour.

In June 2007 she played the role of Jack's mother in Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.[38]

From January to May 2008 she appeared in the National Theatre's production of Happy Now?, a new play by Lucinda Coxon.[39]

From March to May 2009 she appeared at the Donmar Warehouse in Dimetos, a 1975 play by Athol Fugard.[40]

Reid appeared at London's Old Vic from September to November 2012 in a production of Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, starring Sheridan Smith.[41]

On 26 January 2015 Reid played Madame Armfeldt in a special concert version of A Little Night Music at the Palace Theatre to celebrate 40 years since the musical premiered in the West End.[42]

Selected film and television appearances[edit]


  1. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59446. p. 21. 12 June 2010.
  2. ^ "Index entry: Births June 1935". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "Anne Reid featured article". The Genealogist. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  4. ^ "Colin Reid: Daily Mail". 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  5. ^ "Anne's Swinging Sixties". This Is London. 14 November 2003. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  6. ^ "Index entry: Marriages June 1920". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  7. ^ "Index entry: Births September 1896". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "Index entry: Births June 1896". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c Swann, Yvonne (28 January 2011). "Anne Reid: I saw my parents only once a year during the summer". Daily Mail Online. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  10. ^ Ward, Rachel (19 November 2013). "Last Tango in Halifax: Anne Reid interview". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  11. ^ a b Kilkelly, Daniel (25 January 2011). "Reid: 'I was desperate to leave Corrie'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  12. ^ "Filming Begins on Andrew Davies' Innovative Adaptation of Dickens' Bleak House". BBC. 10 February 2005. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  13. ^ "Tennant Back in the Tardis, as Filming Gets Under Way for Series Three of Doctor Who". BBC. 10 August 2006. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  14. ^ Keal, Graham (25 February 2008). "Anne Reid: From Bedding James Bond to Joining Shameless". Daily Record. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  15. ^ "Putting on the Pink: Dinnerladies Actress Anne Reid to Play Late Novelist Dame Barbara Cartland". Daily Mail. 12 September 2008. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  16. ^ Thomas, Liz (27 September 2006). "Star Line-Up for Next Miss Marple Run". The Stage. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  17. ^ "Ladies of Letters". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  18. ^ Hastings, Chris (24 July 2010). "What WOULD Mrs Bridges Think? Upstairs, Downstairs Is Back... with Keeley Hawes". Daily Mail. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  19. ^ "Five Days Returns to BBC One: Anne Reid is Jen Mason". BBC. 18 February 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  20. ^ Wylie, Ian (1 February 2011). "Marchlands: Anne Reid". Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  21. ^ Press release. [1]. ITV.[dead link]
  22. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (11 January 2012). "Derek Jacobi, Anne Reid Lead BBC Romance 'Antony and Cleopatra'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  23. ^ "Last Tango In Halifax". BBC. 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  24. ^ "Last Tango in Halifax, Series 3". BBC One. 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  25. ^ "Bafta TV awards 2013: List of winners". BBC News. 12 May 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  26. ^ "Prisoners' Wives Is Back on the Box". The Sun. 22 December 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2013.  (registration required)
  27. ^ Fletcher, Alex (24 January 2013). "Katherine Kelly, Emily Mortimer to Star in New Sky Living Shows". Digital Spy. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  28. ^ Bayford, Natasha (26 October 2013). "Agatha Christie's Poirot: Curtain: Poirot's Last Case". ITV Press Centre. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  29. ^ "Inside No. 9". BBC Media Centre. 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  30. ^ Morgan, Jeffrey (24 March 2014). "BBC One's Our Zoo, Lee Ingleby, Liz White, Ralf Little for new drama". Digital Spy. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  31. ^ Roberts, Lesley (13 September 2015). "Actress Anne Reid on shock family discovery on BBC show Who Do You Think You Are". Daily Record. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  32. ^ "Film in 2004". BAFTA Awards. 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  33. ^ Hogan, Heather (29 November 2011). "'Love Actually' Has a Lesbian Relationship You Probably Never Knew Existed"". After Ellen. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  34. ^ Dawtrey, Adam (1 March 2006). "'Shaun' Team Chases 'Fuzz' – Working Title Rounds Up Coogan, Broadbent and Dalton". Variety. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  35. ^ Lyttelton, Oliver (8 July 2011). "Terence Stamp, Vanessa Redgrave & Gemma Arterton Lead Paul Andrew Williams' 'Song For Marion' – Christopher Eccleston and Anne Reid Also on Board". IndieWire. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  36. ^ Paddock, Terri (5 February 2002). "ETT's York Realist Transfers". Archived from the original on 9 February 2013. 
  37. ^ "Cast: Reid’s Epitaph, Asher’s Diamond & Journey". 1 September 2005. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  38. ^ "ROH Goes Into the Woods with Rowe, Klein & Reid". 15 March 2007. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  39. ^ "Russell Beale Leads NT Major, Williams Gets Happy". 14 November 2007. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  40. ^ "Cast: Dominic Cooper in Phaedra; Dimetos & Days". 14 November 2008. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  41. ^ Bosanquet, Theo (12 June 2012). "Sheridan Smith plays Hedda at Old Vic, Nunn's Kate transfers". Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  42. ^ Bosanquet, Theo (10 October 2014). "Exclusive: West End concert marks 40th anniversary of Sondheim's Little Night Music". Retrieved 19 September 2015. 

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