|Born||Carmen Blanche Silvera
2 June 1922
|Died||3 August 2002
Denville Hall, Northwood, England
|Cause of death||Lung Cancer|
John Cunliffe (m. 1941–1948)
Carmen Blanche Silvera (2 June 1922 – 3 August 2002) was a Canadian-born British comic actress of Spanish descent, who moved to Coventry, England, with her family when she was a child. She appeared on television regularly in the 1960s, and achieved critical acclaim in the 1980s as her starring role in British television programme, 'Allo 'Allo! as Edith Artois.
Life and career
During World War II, Silvera was evacuated to Montreal and narrowly escaped death when, at the last minute, her name was taken off the passenger list of a troopship that was sunk by the enemy shortly afterwards, drowning 350 children. In Canada, she took classes with the Ballets Russes and appeared in three of its productions. On her return to Britain, she felt called to acting and trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, before gaining experience in repertory theatre.
Silvera first made her name as a television actress in the 1960s British police drama Z-Cars in 1962, going on to appear as Camilla Hope in the BBC soap opera Compact from 1964 to 1965. She played Mrs Van Schuyler in Lillie in 1978, ITV's drama series about the future Edward VII's mistress, Lillie Langtry.
She appeared twice in Doctor Who, in the serials The Celestial Toymaker as Clara the Clown, Mrs. Wiggs, and the Queen of Hearts, and as Ruth in Invasion of the Dinosaurs. In 1970 she appeared in the Dad's Army episode Mum's Army as Fiona Gray, the love-interest for Captain Mainwaring, a role especially written for her by David Croft.
She appeared with Ted Rogers at the New Wimbledon Theatre in 1997 in Jimmy Perry's stage musical That's Showbiz. Her West End stage appearances included roles in Waters of the Moon, starring Ingrid Bergman, Hobson's Choice with Penelope Keith, A Coat of Varnish and School for Wives, which was directed by Peter Hall. She also played a grandmother in the 1997 film La Passione and had roles in Clinic Exclusive (1971), On The Game (1974), and Keep It Up Downstairs (1976).
Personal life and death
Silvera married aged 19 to an actor she met at repertory theatre in Tonbridge, Kent. She divorced aged 26 following a miscarriage and never remarried. A heavy smoker, she died after a battle with lung cancer on 3 August 2002, aged 80, at the Denville Hall retirement village.
He served as President of Warwickshire County Bowls Association in 1970, in which year the County side achieved their one and only success in the English Bowling Association Middleton Cup competition, beating Middlesex in the final.
Coventry & District Bowls Association run an annual competition for the Silvera Shield.
After emigrating to Canada and becoming a ship hand, Roland fought for the Canadian Expeditionary Force in WWI.
- Obituary in The Independent
- IMDb entry for Compact
- Barker, Dennis (6 August 2002). "Obituary : Carmen Silvera". Retrieved 11 February 2016.