Sheila White (actress)
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18 October 1950
Richard M. Mills (m. 1983)
Sheila White (born 18 October 1950) is an English film, television and stage actress. She is married to former theatre producer Richard M. Mills and lives in Kingston, Surrey.
Early life and career
White was born in London. She began her career at the age of twelve in the pantomime Cinderella at the Golders Green Hippodrome starring Arthur Askey as a member of Terry's Juveniles. This led to an audition for the London production of The Sound of Music at the Palace Theatre where she played the parts of Brigitta and Louisa for three years. She then became a student at the Corona Stage School in Hammersmith, West London.
At sixteen, she still played children's roles, as she appeared young for her age; the start of her television career was in Z-Cars with Malcolm McDowell. A theatre tour of Counter Crime followed and the musical tour of The Roar of the Greasepaint—the Smell of the Crowd starring Norman Wisdom and Willoughby Goddard, written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, playing one of the urchins with Elaine Paige and choreography by Gillian Lynne. Sheila White's big break came playing the part of Eileen in the musical On The Level at the Saville Theatre. She was taken out of the chorus and the song "Bleep – Bleep", was written especially for her. This song proved to be a show-stopper, making Sheila White's name in the West End theatre. This success led to the part of Bet, Nancy's best friend in Lionel Bart's 1968 film musical Oliver!, accompanying Shani Wallis as Nancy and Mark Lester as Oliver in the songs "It's a Fine Life" and "I'd Do Anything".
In 1975 Sheila White played Annie Miller in The Love School. A notable performance was as Messalina, the third wife of the Emperor Claudius (Derek Jacobi) in the BBC classic serial I, Claudius (1976). In EastEnders she played Carol Hanley, biological mother of Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean).
Other television credits include the TV musical Pickwick for the BBC in 1969 and her roles as Keren Daniel in the Poldark series for BBC, as herself in the variety musical series The Songwriters, and Annie Miller, in The Brotherhood – Pre-Raphaelites – Aka Love School for the BBC directed by Piers Haggard. Sheila White also played the leading role as Dixie in Don't Rock the Boat, a comedy series for Thames Television directed by Mark Stuart. She also starred in Whizzkid's Guide a children's comedy series for Anglia Television, as Moyra Sheffield in Framed for ITV, written by Lynda La Plante, as Sharon Nightingale in Series 1 episode Monday Night Fever of Minder and as Vivien McKewan in Dear Mother ...Love Albert for Thames Television, Mildred in ITV Saturday Night Theatre – The Funeral of Queen Victoria, directed by Tania Lieven, and The Good Old Days with Leonard Sachs and Frankie Vaughan.
White's extensive theatre credits as a leading lady include Mary Pickford in The Biograph Girl for Harold Fielding, directed by Victor Spinetti; Eileen Wells in On The Level; Young Belle in Little Me; Ruby in the London production of Dames at Sea; Samantha in Queen Daniella with Danny La Rue and Sonia Walsk; and the British production of They're Playing Our Song.
- The Ghost Goes Gear (1966) as Polly
- Stranger in the House (1967) as Hazel
- Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush (1967) as Paula
- Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter (1968) as Tulip
- Oliver! (1968) as Bet.
- Villain (1971) as Veronica
- Papa les Petits Bateaux (1972) as Venus "Cookie" De Palma
- Confessions of a Window Cleaner (1974) as Rosie
- Alfie Darling (1975) as Norma
- Confessions of a Pop Performer (1975) as Rosie
- Confessions of a Driving Instructor (1976) as Rosie
- Confessions from a Holiday Camp (1977) as Rosie
- Unidentified Flying Oddball (1979) as Alisande
- Silver Dream Racer (1980) as Carol