Sheila Mercier

Last updated
Sheila Mercier
Born
Sheila Betty Rix

(1919-01-01) 1 January 1919 (age 100)
Years active1936–1996, 2000, 2009
Spouse(s)Peter Mercier (1951–1993) (his death)
Children2
Relatives Brian Rix (brother, deceased)
Elspet Gray (sister-in-law, deceased)
Jamie Rix (nephew)

Sheila Betty Mercier (néeRix; born 1 January 1919) [1] [2] is a retired English actress. She was born in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England. She played Annie Sugden in Emmerdale for over 20 years between 1972 and 1995, and made two further appearances in 1996 and 2009. [3]

Kingston upon Hull City and Unitary authority in England

Kingston upon Hull, usually abbreviated to Hull, is a port city and unitary authority in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It lies upon the River Hull at its confluence with the Humber Estuary, 25 miles (40 km) inland from the North Sea, with a population of 260,700 (mid-2017 est.). Hull lies east of Leeds, east southeast of York and northeast of Sheffield.

East Riding of Yorkshire County of England

The East Riding of Yorkshire, or simply East Riding, is an area in Northern England and can refer either to the administrative county of the East Riding of Yorkshire which is a unitary authority, to the ceremonial county (Lieutenancy) of the East Riding of Yorkshire or to the easternmost of the three subdivisions (ridings) of the traditional county of Yorkshire.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Contents

Biography

After education at the French Convent (Hull) and at Hunmanby Hall (both East Riding of Yorkshire), she trained for the stage at the Stratford-upon-Avon College of Drama. Mercier had a long career on stage before her television career. Donald Wolfit had talent spotted her and she toured with Wolfit's own Shakespeare company in 1939. During the Second World War she joined the WAAF division of the Royal Air Force, eventually becoming adjutant. Mercier appeared in supporting roles in a handful of films, and the television series Dial RIX (1963) alongside her husband, Peter Mercier.

Hunmanby village in North Yorkshire, England

Hunmanby is a large village and civil parish in the Scarborough district of North Yorkshire, England. It is on the edge of the Yorkshire Wolds, approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) southwest of Filey, and is on the route of the Centenary Way.

Stratford-upon-Avon Town in Warwickshire, England

Stratford-upon-Avon, commonly known as just Stratford, is a market town and civil parish in the Stratford-on-Avon District, in the county of Warwickshire, England, on the River Avon, 91 miles (146 km) north west of London, 22 miles (35 km) south east of Birmingham, and 8 miles (13 km) south west of Warwick. The estimated population in 2007 was 25,505, increasing to 27,445 at the 2011 Census.

Donald Wolfit English actor

Sir Donald Wolfit, CBE was an English actor-manager, known for his touring wartime productions of Shakespeare. He was especially renowned for his portrayal of King Lear.

She is best known for her role as the matriarch Annie Sugden in the long-running British soap opera Emmerdale . She appeared from the very first episode in 1972 and appeared as a main cast member until 1994 with rare occasional appearances since, notably for on-screen son Joe's funeral in June 1995, along with screen husband Amos Brearly. Aged 89, Mercier appeared in a special programme dedicated to Emmerdale's 5,000th episode, where members of the cast were interviewed. It was transmitted on ITV in May 2008. She has occasionally returned to the series since her departure. On 9/10 February 2009, aged 90, she reprised her most famous role, and made a special guest appearance on Emmerdale as Annie Sugden, attending the funeral of her on-screen son, Jack Sugden (played by actor Clive Hornby, who died the year previously). In July 2008 she was a mourner at Hornby's actual funeral.

Annie Sugden

Anne "Annie" Brearly is a fictional character from the ITV soap opera, Emmerdale. She is played by Sheila Mercier as a regular character between 1972 and 1994, while making occasional guest appearances in the show since her original departure. Mercier cut back on location filming during the late 1980s and eventually left the serial in 1994 due to the gruelling schedule. Annie was one of Emmerdale's original characters, appearing in its first episode on 16 October 1972 and became the longest serving female character in the series' history. She was the soap's "first matriarch", the maternal force behind the Sugden family, who were collectively one of Emmerdale's main focal points.

A soap opera is an ongoing drama serial on television or radio, featuring the lives of many characters and their emotional relationships. The term soap opera originated from radio dramas being sponsored by soap manufacturers.

<i>Emmerdale</i> British soap opera

Emmerdale is a British soap opera set in Emmerdale, a fictional village in the Yorkshire Dales. Created by Kevin Laffan, Emmerdale Farm was first broadcast on 16 October 1972. Produced by ITV Yorkshire, it has been filmed at their Leeds studio since its inception. The programme is broadcast in every ITV region.

Personal life

She was widowed when her husband, actor Peter Mercier, died in 1993, after 42 years of marriage. The couple's son, Nigel Mercier (6 December 1954 – 6 January 2017) also worked in the TV industry, initially with BBC Television News at Television Centre as a videotape editor and then at LWT. In 1994 Mercier's autobiography, Annie's Song: My Life & Emmerdale, written with Anthony Hayward, was published. Mercier's brother was actor and campaigner Brian, who was the father of children's author, Jamie Rix.

BBC News BBC department responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs

BBC News is an operational business division of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online news coverage. The service maintains 50 foreign news bureaus with more than 250 correspondents around the world. Fran Unsworth has been Director of News and Current Affairs since January 2018.

London Weekend Television former ITV network franchise

London Weekend Television (LWT) was the ITV network franchise holder for Greater London and the Home Counties at weekends, broadcasting from Fridays at 5.15 pm to Monday mornings at 6:00 am. From 1968 until 1992, when LWT's weekday counterpart was Thames Television, there was an on-screen handover to LWT on Friday nights. From 1993 to 2002, when LWT's weekday counterpart was Carlton Television, the transfer usually occurred invisibly during a commercial break as Carlton and LWT shared studio and transmission facilities.

Anthony Hayward is a British journalist and author. He is a regular contributor to The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and The Independent, and has written more than 20 books about television and film. The subjects of justice and censorship have been constant themes throughout his work.

Filmography

YearTitleRole
1972–1996, 2009 Emmerdale Annie Sugden
1972Six With RixVarious roles
1960–1970Brian Rix PresentsVarious roles
1967Uproar in the HouseAudrey Grey

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Mollie Sugden English comedy actress

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Jack Sugden

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References

  1. Slide, Anthony (10 March 1996). "Some Joe You Don't Know: An American Biographical Guide to 100 British Television Personalities". Greenwood Publishing Group via Google Books.
  2. "Search Results for Birth, Marriage, Death & Parish Records - findmypast.co.uk". www.findmypast.co.uk.
  3. "Emmerdale matriarch Annie Sugden returns after 15 years to lay son Jack to rest". Daily Mail.com. 3 February 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2015.