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Sylvia Syms (Actress)
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    (January 6, 1934- )
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    Appeared in the films 'Woman in a Dressing Gown' (1957), 'Ice Cold in Alex' (1958), 'Expresso Bongo' (1959), 'The World of Suzie Wong' (1960), 'Victim' (1961), 'The Quare Fellow' (1962), 'The Punch and Judy Man' (1963), 'The Big Job' (1965), 'It's Your Move' (1969), 'The Tamarind Seed' (1974), 'Absolute Beginners' (1986), 'Shirley Valentine' (1989), 'Thatcher: The Final Days' (made-for-TV movie, 1991), 'Shining Through' (1992), 'The Queen' (2006) and 'Run for Your Wife' (2012)
    Portrayed Marion Riley in 'At Home with the Braithwaites' (2000-03) and Olive Woodhouse in 'EastEnders' (2007-10)
    Named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to drama and charities (2007)
    She turned down a number of opportunities to make films in Hollywood, saying 'The thought of having to be beautiful all the time frightened me.'
    She suffered depression, noting 'Everyone thinks I'm very strong and together, but in reality I'm a great mess inside.'
    She almost turned down her OBE because she felt people should not receive honors for doing their jobs. She accepted only after the citation was ammended to include her charity work.
    She said, 'I'm the bossiest person on set.'
    Her first child was stillborn and was followed by a daughter who lived only two days.
    She cracked a vertebra doing her own stunts in the film 'The Virgins of Rome.' (1961)
    She made the transition from a 50s 'glamour girl' to respected character actress.
    She said about her depression, 'At my worst, I've been through the thing of staying in bed, unable to do anything. But I don't let myself do that now -- it's defeatist.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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