Five things you didn't know about Anne Reid

By Jon Bauckham, 17 September 2015 - 5:22pm

Actress Anne Reid follows in the footsteps of her Last Tango in Halifax co-star Sir Derek Jacobi by featuring in the current series of Who Do You Think You Are?

Anne Reid WDYTYA

In a diverse career which now stretches back to appearances at the end of the 1950s with comic legends Tony Hancock and Benny Hill, actress Anne Reid has graced sitcoms, a soap, hit movies and highbrow theatre.

She’s made a mockery of the idea that there are no decent parts given to actresses once they enter the autumn of their years and is seemingly going from strength to strength.

But what else do we know about the 80-year-old Geordie before she dips into her family story and gets the full WDYTYA? treatment...

1. Hair today, gone tomorrow

Almost 19 million viewers tuned in to see Anne’s exit from Coronation Street in 1971. She met a shocking end – her character Valerie Barlow was electrocuted by a faulty hairdryer.

2. Shear terror

She also met a grisly demise in a cameo as a florist in the Simon Pegg and Nick Frost police buddy flick Hot Fuzz as her character was stabbed in the throat with a pair of garden shears.

3. Left shaken and stirred

Anne hit the headlines in the controversial British movie The Mother back in 2003. She played a grandmother who embarks on a passionate affair with a much younger man – no less than current James Bond himself, Daniel Craig. It was a hit with the critics, she secured a BAFTA nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role the following year for it.

4. Voice behind the success

In rather more wholesome territory, Anne was the voice of Wendolene Ramsbottom in the Wallace and Gromit short film A Close Shave from 1995. The half-hour show from Bristol-based Aardman Animations won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short in 1996.

5. Big Apple ambition

Her biggest regret in life is never having appeared in a Broadway production. She could still make that happen though and still regularly appears in cabaret with a setlist of songs penned by the likes of Stephen Sondheim and Cole Porter. Unfortunately, there’s a Billy Joel song, too.

Words: Steve Harnell

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