Elizabeth Shepherd

Last updated

Elizabeth Shepherd
Elizabeth Shepherd 2019.jpg
Shepherd in 2019
Born (1936-08-12) 12 August 1936 (age 86)
London, England
Other namesElizabeth Shephard, Elizabeth Sheppard
Years active1959–present
(m. 1959;div. 1962)
Barry Boys
(m. 1965)
Website Official website

Elizabeth Shepherd (born 12 August 1936) is an English character actress whose long career has encompassed the stage and both the big and small screens. Her television work has been especially prolific. Shepherd's surname has been variously rendered as "Shephard" and "Sheppard".



Shepherd began acting in television series in 1959. In 1960, she appeared in an adaptation of A. J. Cronin's novel, The Citadel . She was the original choice to play Emma Peel in the 1960s television series The Avengers . However, after filming nearly two episodes, Shepherd left the production and was replaced by Diana Rigg. [2]

In 1970, she appeared on Broadway in Barry England's Conduct Unbecoming , a story of the British Army in Kipling's India, as Mrs Hasseltine. She was praised for her performance in Time magazine. [3] Shepherd was pictured in Time along with her co-stars, the pop singers Jeremy Clyde and Paul Jones, who began their roles as British subalterns in London during 1969.[ citation needed ]

In film she appeared as both Lady Rowena and Ligeia in Roger Corman's The Tomb of Ligeia (1964), [4] as well as in Damien: Omen II as the ill-fated reporter Joan Hart, The Kidnapping of the President , Deadly Companion and Amelia .

Her TV work includes the cult series The Corridor People (1966), the 1978 miniseries The Bastard , and The Cleopatras , a BBC historical drama.

Elizabeth Shepherd has acted in numerous stage plays in both Shakespearean and contemporary dramas. As well as teaching drama at the Stella Adler school, she starred in "December Fools" in 2006 at the Abingdon Theater in New York. In 2014, she starred in a Canadian production of Driving Miss Daisy.[ citation needed ]

An article in the Toronto Star reported an incident of Shepherd being a victim of identity theft and mortgage fraud in 2006. [5]

In 2019 she released an audiobook of Edgar Allan Poe's Ligeia along with other Poe tales. The CD has been met with critical acclaim.


Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Diana Rigg</span> English actress (1938—2020)

Dame Enid Diana Elizabeth Rigg was an English actress of stage and screen. Her roles include Emma Peel in the TV series The Avengers (1965–1968); Countess Teresa di Vicenzo, wife of James Bond, in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969); Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones (2013–2017); and the title role in Medea in the West End in 1993 followed by Broadway a year later.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Emma Peel</span> Character in the television series The Avengers

Emma Peel is a fictional spy played by Diana Rigg in the British 1960s adventure television series The Avengers, and by Uma Thurman in the 1998 film version. She was born Emma Knight, the daughter of an industrialist, Sir John Knight. She is the crime-fighting partner of John Steed.

<i>Halloween Party</i> 1969 Poirot novel by Agatha Christie

Hallowe'en Party is a work of detective fiction by British writer Agatha Christie, first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in November 1969 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed for twenty-five shillings. In preparation for decimalisation on 15 February 1971, it was also priced on the dustjacket at £1.25. The US edition retailed at $5.95.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Billie Whitelaw</span> British actress (1932–2014)

Billie Honor Whitelaw was an English actress. She worked in close collaboration with Irish playwright Samuel Beckett for 25 years and was regarded as one of the foremost interpreters of his works. She was also known for her portrayal of Mrs. Baylock, the demonic nanny in the 1976 horror film The Omen.

Sylvia May Laura Syms is an English actress, best known for her roles in the films Woman in a Dressing Gown (1957), Ice Cold in Alex (1958), No Trees in the Street (1959), Victim (1961), and The Tamarind Seed (1974). In 2006 she portrayed The Queen Mother in the Stephen Frears movie The Queen, about the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and days leading up to Diana's funeral. She remains active in films, television and theatre.

Elizabeth Joan Winch, known professionally as Liz Fraser, was a British film actress, best known for being cast in provocative comedy roles.

Joan Leslie Freeman is a retired American actress.

<i>The Tomb of Ligeia</i> 1964 American horror film by Roger Corman

The Tomb of Ligeia is a 1964 British horror film directed by Roger Corman. Starring Vincent Price and Elizabeth Shepherd, it tells of a man haunted by the spirit of his dead wife and her effect on his second marriage. The screenplay by Robert Towne was based upon the short story "Ligeia" by American author Edgar Allan Poe and was the last in his series of films loosely based on the works of Poe. Tomb of Ligeia was filmed at Castle Acre Priory and other locations with a mostly English cast.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hazel Court</span> English actress (1926–2008)

Hazel Court was an English actress. She is known for her roles in British and American horror films during the 1950s and early 1960s, including Terence Fisher's The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959) for Hammer Film Productions, and three of Roger Corman's adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe stories for American International Pictures: The Premature Burial (1962), The Raven (1963) and The Masque of the Red Death (1964).

<i>Damien: Omen II</i> 1978 film by Don Taylor

Damien: Omen II is a 1978 supernatural horror film directed by Don Taylor and the second installment of the The Omen series. It stars William Holden, Lee Grant, Jonathan Scott-Taylor, Robert Foxworth, Lew Ayres, Sylvia Sidney, Lance Henriksen, Ian Hendry and Leo McKern. Set seven years after the first film, it follows a now-pubescent Damien Thorn (Scott-Taylor) as he begins to realize his destiny as the Antichrist.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Derek Francis</span> English actor (1923–1984)

Derek Francis was an English comedy and character actor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Judy Parfitt</span> British actress (b. 1935)

Judy Catherine Claire Parfitt is an English theatre, film and television actress. She made her film debut in a minor supporting part in Information Received (1961), followed by supporting role in the BBC television serial David Copperfield (1966). She also appeared as Queen Gertrude in Tony Richardson's 1969 film adaptation of Hamlet.

Frances Barber is an English actress. She received Olivier Award nominations for her work in the plays Camille (1985), and Uncle Vanya (1997). Her film appearances include three collaborations with Gary Oldman in Prick Up Your Ears (1987), We Think the World of You (1988) and Dead Fish (2005); as well as Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987); Soft Top Hard Shoulder (1992); and latterly Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool (2017). Barber's numerous television credits include The Street (2009), Doctor Who (2011), and Silk (2012–2014).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ligeia</span> Short story by Edgar Allan Poe

"Ligeia" is an early short story by American writer Edgar Allan Poe, first published in 1838. The story follows an unnamed narrator and his wife Ligeia, a beautiful and intelligent raven-haired woman. She falls ill, composes "The Conqueror Worm", and quotes lines attributed to Joseph Glanvill shortly before dying. After her death, the narrator marries the Lady Rowena. Rowena becomes ill and she dies as well. The distraught narrator stays with her body overnight and watches as Rowena slowly comes back from the dead – though she has transformed into Ligeia. The story may be the narrator's opium-induced hallucination and there is debate whether the story was a satire. After the story's first publication in The American Museum, it was heavily revised and reprinted throughout Poe's life.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Moira Redmond</span> English actress (1928-2006)

Moira Redmond was an English actress.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Barbara Murray</span> British screen actress (1929-2014)

Barbara Ann Murray was an English actress.

The Omen is a horror film franchise beginning in 1976. The story was originally written by David Seltzer, who chose not to continue the series after the first novel. After the third film was produced, a fourth was made-for-television in an attempt to revive the series, but it was received poorly.

<i>Bright Day</i>

Bright Day is a novel by J. B. Priestley, first published in 1946. One of his better-known works, it combines nostalgia for the northern England that existed before the First World War with an optimism inspired by the conclusion of the Second.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Claire Foy</span> British actress (born 1984)

Claire Elizabeth Foy is a British actress. She is best known for her portrayal of the young Queen Elizabeth II in the first two seasons of the Netflix series The Crown, for which she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

<i>The Tomb</i> (2009 film) 2009 American film

The Tomb, also known as Edgar Allan Poe's Ligeia, is a 2009 horror film directed by Michael Staininger and starring Wes Bentley, Sofya Skya, Kaitlin Doubleday, Michael Madsen, and Eric Roberts. It is based on the short story "Ligeia" by Edgar Allan Poe.


  1. "John Ringham: Actor best known as Penny's father in 'Just Good". The Independent. 6 January 2009.
  2. "The Avengers starring Elizabeth Shepherd". Archived from the original on 28 September 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  3. Kalem, T.E. "Theater: The Thin Red Line". Time magazine, 26 October 1970, page 93
  4. "VINCENTENNIAL: Interview with Elizabeth Shepherd, Star of TOMB OF LIGEIA". We Are Movie Geeks. 3 May 2011.
  5. Levy, Harold (20 July 2006). "Actress taken in by tenants". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 27 March 2007.