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26 May 1935 |
Johannesburg, South Africa
|Occupation||Film, radio, stage and television actress|
|Spouse(s)||Harry H. Corbett (m. 1958–64) (divorced)|
Sheila Steafel (born 26 May 1935) is a South African-born actress who has lived all her adult life in the United Kingdom.
Steafel, who was born in Johannesburg, has appeared in many television series, including The Frost Report, Z-Cars, Sykes, Dave Allen at Large, The Kenny Everett Television Show, Minder, The Ghosts of Motley Hall, Oh Brother! and The Laughter of a Fool. She was a regular in the BBC One music hall programme The Good Old Days, portraying her comic creation "Miss Popsy Wopsy", who invariably "played up" to chairman Leonard Sachs.
Her film appearances include Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. (1966), Just like a Woman (1967), Quatermass and the Pit (1967), Baby Love (1968), Otley (1968), Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), The Smashing Bird I Used to Know (1969), Some Will, Some Won't (1970; co-starring her ex-husband's acting partner, Wilfrid Brambell), Tropic of Cancer (1970; as Tania), Percy (1971), Melody (1971), Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World (1973), All I Want Is You... and You... and You... (1974), Never Too Young to Rock (1975), Are You Being Served? (1977), What's Up Superdoc! (1978), Bloodbath at the House of Death (1984), Parting Shots (1999) and Back to the Secret Garden (2001).
Steafel has also worked in BBC radio. In the 1970s and 1980s she was a cast member on the weekly Radio 4 satirical show Week Ending, providing the voices of many characters and impersonating real-life figures, such as Margaret Thatcher. Steafel appeared as herself alongside Simon Jones in "The Lost Hitch-Hiker's Sketch", a sketch written by Douglas Adams for her 1982 Radio 4 show Steafel Plus.
In 1979, she starred in the West End stage production of A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine in a number of roles, including that of Harpo Marx. In 2008, she was portrayed by Zoe Tapper in the BBC television play The Curse of Steptoe.
In 1998, Steafel released a CD album of Victorian songs entitled Victoria Plums (Redial/Polygram No. CD 557 209-2). In 2010, she released her autobiography When Harry Met Sheila. In 2012, Steafel published a collection of real life short stories under the title Bastards.