in The Saint, 1967
9 June 1920|
|Died||14 October 2004
Chertsey, Surrey, England
Sheila Keith (9 June 1920 – 14 October 2004) was a British character actress, active in theatre, films and TV. She was born to Scottish parents in London while they were visiting the city and brought up in Aberdeen, Scotland. Longing to act, she trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
Her stage career took her from repertory theatre at the Bristol Old Vic and Pitlochry, to West End appearances including Noël Coward's Present Laughter, Mame with Ginger Rogers, An Italian Straw Hat, Anyone for Denis?, and Deathtrap.
The Scotsman wrote: "In the Sixties, she was often seen in series such as The Saint, Public Eye and Sherlock Holmes. But she gained a national popularity when she went into Crossroads in 1967 as Mrs Cornet. It was the era when the soap was hugely popular and Noelle Gordon ruled the motel with a rod of iron...She played Lady Rosina in the BBC’s mammoth production of The Pallisers, Aunt Morag (keen on her sherry) in Hinge and Bracket’s TV series Dear Ladies, Auntie Ethel in Moody and Pegg. She was also seen in the first run of Dr Finlay's Casebook."
But Sheila Keith remains best known for her excellent performances in the cult horror films of director Pete Walker, having played leading roles in shockers such as House of Whipcord, Frightmare, House of Mortal Sin, The Comeback and House of the Long Shadows. She played variously, a lesbian prison warder, a one eyed housekeeper, and an elderly cannibal, amongst other parts.
In her obituary, The Times described her as an "Actress of film, stage and television who became a ‘British horror icon’"...It was with her portrayal of sinister, sadistic and deranged women in the horror movies of the director Pete Walker that she acquired her most devoted following".
- 1969 It All Goes to Show (Short) as Councillor Mrs. Parker
- 1972 Ooh... You Are Awful as Lady Magistrate
- 1974 House of Whipcord as Walker
- 1974 Frightmare as Dorothy Yates
- 1975 House of Mortal Sin as Miss Brabazon
- 1978 The Comeback as Mrs. B
- 1982 The Return of the Soldier as Sister
- 1983 House of the Long Shadows as Victoria Grisbane
- 1986 Clockwise as Pat's Mother
- 1989 Venus Peter as Epp
- 1990 The Rainbow Thief as Bernadette