Anne Reid

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Anne Reid

Born (1935-05-28) 28 May 1935 (age 86)
Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, England
Years active1957–present
(m. 1971; died 1981)
Children2 (1 stepson)

Anne Reid, MBE (born 28 May 1935) is an English stage, film and television actress, known for her roles as Valerie Barlow in the soap opera Coronation Street (1961–1971); Jean in the sitcom Dinnerladies (1998–2000); and her role as Celia Dawson in Last Tango in Halifax (2012–2020) for which she was nominated for the British Academy Television Award for Best Actress. She won the London Film Critics Circle Award for British Actress of the Year and received a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in the film The Mother (2003).

Early life[edit]

Reid was born in Newcastle upon Tyne,[1][2] the daughter of Colin Norman Reid (1896–1979)[citation needed] and Annie Eliza Weetman Reid (1896–1980).[3][4][5][6] 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, 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.[7] She then became a stage manager and worked in repertory theatre.


Coronation Street[edit]

Although she had already appeared in other television programmes including The Benny Hill Show (1957), Hancock's Half Hour (1957) and The Adventures of Robin Hood (1958), 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 show's fans; as such, Valerie's marriage to Ken Barlow can be seen as an early example of a soap supercouple.

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 congratulation gifts addressed to the couple.

In 1968, Reid played one of her 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. In a 2011 interview with the Radio Times, Reid said she 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.[8]

On 27 January 1971, 18.26 million viewers watched as Valerie Barlow was written out of the soap, dying after being electrocuted by a hairdryer with a faulty plug.[8] On 1 and 3 February 1971, 18.92 million people watched the aftermath and the character's funeral.

Later work[edit]

Following a break from acting to bring up her son, during which time she made occasional TV appearances for Granada, such as in Crown Court, Reid resumed her career on stage and television in the 1980s. She appeared in the TV Mini-Series The Mallens 1979-1980 as Mathilda Bentham. Reid was a regular performer with Victoria Wood, appearing in several of Wood's projects, including As Seen on TV, the series Victoria Wood in 1989, Victoria Wood's All Day Breakfast and Pat and Margaret. From 1998 to 2000, Reid played the major role of Jean in the BBC comedy series dinnerladies written by and starring Victoria Wood, and has appeared in other television programmes including Boon (1988), Casualty (1992), Heartbeat (1993 “Baby Blues” as Marjorie Doubleday in series 2 and Auntie Alison in 1997 “Affairs of the Heart”in series 7) and Hetty Wainthropp Investigates (1996). She played Alice Conway in the TV Mini-Series The Wingless Bird (1997). 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" as Sarah Proudie 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[9] and in 2006 made a brief appearance in Jane Eyre. In 2007 she appeared in Agatha Christie’s Marple “Nemesis” as Sister Agnes.

On 31 March 2007, Reid appeared for a second time in the series Doctor Who in the episode "Smith and Jones".[10] 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.[11] In October 2008, she played the title role in In Love with Barbara on BBC Four, a biographical film of Barbara Cartland.

In 2009, Reid appeared in the television series Agatha Christie's Marple in the episode Nemesis.[12] 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.[13]

In 2010, she began playing Mrs Thackeray, the cook, in the BBC's short-lived revival series of Upstairs Downstairs, and also appeared in Five Days,[14] New Tricks and Moving On. In 2011 Reid had a major part in Marchlands,[15] a five-part ITV supernatural drama, made a guest appearance in Doc Martin and played a supporting role in The Jury II.[16]

In 2012 Reid began starring as Celia alongside Sir Derek Jacobi as Alan in the BBC romantic comedy-drama series, Last Tango in Halifax. Reid was nominated for the 2013 British Academy Television Award for Best Actress for this role.[17][18]

In 2013, she appeared in the second series of the BBC drama Prisoners' Wives as Margaret. She also starred with Katherine Kelly in The Last Witch, part of a series of original dramas for Sky Living[19] and appeared in the final Agatha Christie's Poirot mystery, Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case as Daisy Luttrell.[20] The following year, she guest-starred in "Sardines", the first episode of the BBC anthology series Inside No. 9.[21] She also starred alongside Lee Ingleby and Ralf Little in the six-part BBC drama series Our Zoo.[22]

Reid took part in an episode of the BBC genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? in September 2015.[23]

In 2017, Reid starred alongside Timothy Spall in "The Commuter", an episode of the Channel 4/Amazon Video anthology series Electric Dreams.[24] In 2018 and 2019, she starred alongside Alison Steadman and John Cleese in a new BBC comedy series, Hold the Sunset.[25]

In 2019 Reid co-starred in a six-part BBC drama series, Years and Years, starring Emma Thompson.[26] Reid played the matriarch of the central family, Muriel Deacon. She also starred alongside Kris Marshall as the wealthy Lady Denham in an eight-part ITV adaptation of Jane Austen's unfinished novel, Sanditon.[27]


Reid's was the voice of Wendolene Ramsbottom in the Wallace and Gromit film A Close Shave (1995). Her other film appearances include: Love and Death on Long Island (1997); The Mother (2003), for which her performance secured her a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in 2004;[28] Hot Fuzz (2007);[29] Cemetery Junction (2010), which Ricky Gervais acted in, as well as wrote and directed with Stephen Merchant; and Song for Marion (2013), with co-stars Vanessa Redgrave and Terence Stamp.[30]

Additionally, Reid filmed a minor role as a lesbian headmistress in the movie Love Actually (2003), 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.[31]


In 2002 Reid appeared in the premiere of The York Realist at the Royal Court Theatre, which later transferred to the West End.[32]

From September 2005 to January 2006, she appeared on stage in the West End in Epitaph for George Dillon.[33]

In June 2007, Reid played the role of Jack's mother in Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods, at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.[34]

From January to May 2008, Reid appeared in the National Theatre's production of Happy Now?, a new play by Lucinda Coxon.[35]

From March to May 2009, Reid appeared at the Donmar Warehouse in Dimetos, a 1975 play by Athol Fugard.[36]

From September to November 2012, Reid appeared at London's Old Vic, in a production of Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, starring Sheridan Smith.[37]

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.[38]

In July and August 2016, Reid appeared at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester alongside James Bolam in a new play, Fracked! Or: Please Don't Use the F-Word by Alistair Beaton.[39] The play was revived for a national tour in April and May 2017.

From October to December 2017, Reid returned to the West End opposite Eve Best in Oscar Wilde's A Woman of No Importance at the Vaudeville Theatre.[40]

Selected film and television appearances[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Work Result
2003 European Film Award for Best Actress The Mother Nominated
2004 BAFTA Film Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role Nominated
2004 London Film Critics Circle Award for British Actress of the Year Won
2004 British Independent Film Award for Best Actress Nominated
2004 European Film Award Best Actress Audience Award Nominated
2013 Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series Last Tango in Halifax Nominated
2013 BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress Nominated
2010 Appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2010 Birthday Honours.[41]


  1. ^ "Index entry: Births June 1935". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  2. ^ "Anne Reid featured article". The Genealogist. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  3. ^ "Anne's Swinging Sixties". This Is London. 14 November 2003. Retrieved 13 January 2015.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Index entry: Marriages June 1920". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  5. ^ "Index entry: Births September 1896". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  6. ^ "Index entry: Births June 1896". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  7. ^ Ward, Rachel (19 November 2013). "Last Tango in Halifax: Anne Reid interview". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  8. ^ a b Kilkelly, Daniel (25 January 2011). "Reid: 'I was desperate to leave Corrie'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  9. ^ "Filming Begins on Andrew Davies' Innovative Adaptation of Dickens' Bleak House". BBC. 10 February 2005. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  10. ^ "Tennant Back in the Tardis, as Filming Gets Under Way for Series Three of Doctor Who". BBC. 10 August 2006. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  11. ^ Keal, Graham (25 February 2008). "Anne Reid: From Bedding James Bond to Joining Shameless". Daily Record. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  12. ^ Thomas, Liz (27 September 2006). "Star Line-Up for Next Miss Marple Run". The Stage. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  13. ^ "Ladies of Letters". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  14. ^ "Five Days Returns to BBC One: Anne Reid is Jen Mason". BBC. 18 February 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  15. ^ Wylie, Ian (1 February 2011). "Marchlands: Anne Reid". Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  16. ^ Press release. [1][permanent dead link]. ITV.[dead link]
  17. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (11 January 2012). "Derek Jacobi, Anne Reid Lead BBC Romance 'Antony and Cleopatra'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  18. ^ "Bafta TV awards 2013: List of winners". BBC News. 12 May 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  19. ^ Fletcher, Alex (24 January 2013). "Katherine Kelly, Emily Mortimer to Star in New Sky Living Shows". Digital Spy. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  20. ^ Bayford, Natasha (26 October 2013). "Agatha Christie's Poirot: Curtain: Poirot's Last Case". ITV Press Centre. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  21. ^ "Inside No. 9". BBC Media Centre. 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ "Harry Potter actor Timothy Spall to star in new sci-fi series on Channel 4". What's on TV. 21 March 2017. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  25. ^ Houghton, Rianne (11 April 2017). "Fawlty Towers' John Cleese is returning to the BBC for a new sitcom". Digital Spy. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  26. ^ Gill, James (26 October 2018). "Emma Thompson to star in new BBC drama Years and Years". Radio Times. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  27. ^ Carr, Flora (15 February 2019). "Anne Reid and Kris Marshall join cast of Andrew Davies' adaptation of Jane Austen's Sanditon". Radio Times. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  28. ^ "Film in 2004". BAFTA Awards. 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  29. ^ Dawtrey, Adam (1 March 2006). "'Shaun' Team Chases 'Fuzz' – Working Title Rounds Up Coogan, Broadbent and Dalton". Variety. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  30. ^ 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. Archived from the original on 12 December 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  31. ^ Hogan, Heather (29 November 2011). "'Love Actually' Has a Lesbian Relationship You Probably Never Knew Existed". After Ellen. Archived from the original on 26 December 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  32. ^ Paddock, Terri (5 February 2002). "ETT's York Realist Transfers". Archived from the original on 12 January 2016.
  33. ^ "Cast: Reid's Epitaph, Asher's Diamond & Journey". 1 September 2005. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  34. ^ "ROH Goes into the Woods with Rowe, Klein & Reid". 15 March 2007. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  35. ^ "Russell Beale Leads NT Major, Williams Gets Happy". 14 November 2007. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  36. ^ "Cast: Dominic Cooper in Phaedra; Dimetos & Days". 14 November 2008. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  37. ^ Bosanquet, Theo (12 June 2012). "Sheridan Smith plays Hedda at Old Vic, Nunn's Kate transfers". Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  38. ^ Bosanquet, Theo (10 October 2014). "Exclusive: West End concert marks 40th anniversary of Sondheim's Little Night Music". Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  39. ^ Bowie-Sell, Daisy (18 February 2016). "Joseph Fiennes and Hugh Bonneville to star in Chichester Festival Theatre's new season". Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  40. ^ Hood, Alun (28 July 2017). "Anne Reid cast in A Woman of No Importance". Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  41. ^ "No. 59446". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 June 2010. p. 21.

External links[edit]