Sheila Gish

Sheila Gish (23 April 1942 – 9 March 2005) was an English stage and screen actress. For her role in the 1995 London revival of the Stephen Sondheim musical Company, she won the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical.

Sheila Gish
Sheila Anne Syme Gash

(1942-04-23)23 April 1942
Died9 March 2005(2005-03-09) (aged 62)
London, England
Years active1968–2005
Roland Curram
(m. 1964; div. 1985)

Denis Lawson (m. 2004)
Children3, including Lou Gish

Her film appearances included a A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (1972), Quartet (1981), Highlander (1986) and Mansfield Park (1999) On television, she starred in the 1969 BBC series The First Churchills, the 1992 TV miniseries of Danielle Steel's Jewels and the short-lived ITV sitcom Brighton Belles (1993–94).

Personal life

She was born Sheila Anne Syme Gash in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and made her stage debut with a repertory company. She had two daughters: the actresses Kay (Katharine Ghislaine S. A.) Curram and Lou Gish by her first husband, the actor Roland Curram. While filming That Uncertain Feeling for BBC2 in 1985, she met actor Denis Lawson, who was to become her second husband.


Her first starring role in the West End was as Bella in Robert and Elizabeth. She continued to be best known for her stage work. In 1996, Gish played the role of Joanne in Stephen Sondheim's Company at the Donmar Warehouse directed by Sam Mendes. Gish received the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Role in a Musical for her performance.[1] In 1999 she played Mrs Venable in Tennessee Williams's Suddenly Last Summer, directed by Sean Mathias with Rachel Weisz at the Comedy Theatre, London. One of her last stage roles was as Arkadina in the Chichester Festival Theatre's production of The Seagull in 2003.[2]

Gish also appeared in many television dramas, from The First Churchills (in which she played Mary of Modena) to the successful adaptation of Love in a Cold Climate (2001) in which she played the eccentric and outrageous Lady Montdore. She also appeared in an episode of The Sweeney in 1975 as June Boyse, a villain's wife, and "A Harmless Vanity", a Tales of the Unexpected episode playing a suspicious housewife.

Gish occasionally appeared in films, her most notable performances being in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (1972), Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973), the Merchant-Ivory film Quartet (1981), Merisairas (1996), and as Mrs Norris in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park (1999). She is also known for her appearance as Rachel Ellenstein in the 1986 film Highlander and its 2000 sequel Highlander: Endgame.


In 2003 she lost her right eye to skin cancer.[2] She died of cancer in 2005 in Camden, London.[3]

Partial filmography


  1. Laurence Olivier Awards official site Archived 4 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2 February 2008
  2. Coveney, Michael (11 March 2005). "Sheila Gish". The Guardian.
  3. "Deaths England and Wales 1984–2006".

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