The Info List - Siân Phillips

Jane Elizabeth Ailwên Phillips, DBE (born 14 May 1933), known professionally as Siân Phillips
Siân Phillips
(/ˈʃɑːn/), is a Welsh actress, author and singer.


1 Early life 2 Career

2.1 Early radio, television and stage 2.2 Later film and television 2.3 Other work

3 Awards and nominations 4 Personal life 5 Others 6 Filmography 7 References 8 External links

Early life[edit] Phillips was born in Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen, Glamorgan, Wales, the daughter of Sally (née Thomas), a teacher, and David Phillips, a steelworker who became a policeman.[1][2] She is a Welsh-speaker: in the first volume of her autobiography Private Faces (1999) she notes that she spoke only Welsh for much of her childhood, learning English by listening to the radio.[3][4] She attended Pontardawe
Grammar School and was originally known there as Jane – but her Welsh teacher, Eic Davies, called her Siân, the Welsh form of Jane.[5][6] Later she took up English and philosophy at University College Cardiff. Phillips graduated from the University of Wales
in 1955. She entered RADA
with a scholarship in September 1955, the same year as Diana Rigg and Glenda Jackson.[7][8][9] She went on to win the prestigious Bancroft Gold Medal for Hedda Gabler
Hedda Gabler
and was offered work in Hollywood when she left RADA.[10] While still a student she was offered three film contracts, entailing her to work for an extended period of time in the United States; but she declined, preferring to work on stage instead.[11] Career[edit] Early radio, television and stage[edit] Phillips began acting professionally at the age of 11 with the Home Service of BBC Radio
BBC Radio
in Wales. Her first role was as a ginger tom cat.[12][13] At the same age she won her first speech-and-drama award, for her performance at the National Eisteddfod
National Eisteddfod
held at Llandybïe
in 1944, where she and a schoolfriend played the parts of two elderly men in a dramatic duologue. She made her first British television appearance at 17 and won a Welsh acting award at 18. In 1953, while still a student at Cardiff University, she worked as a newsreader and announcer for the BBC
in Wales
and toured Wales
in Welsh-language productions of the Welsh Arts Council.[9][10][14] From 1953 to 1955 Phillips was a member of the BBC
Repertory Company and the National Theatre Company
National Theatre Company
and toured Wales
performing Welsh and English plays for the Welsh Arts Council. For the Nottingham Playhouse in 1958, she was Masha in Three Sisters. She performed as Princess Siwan in Saunders Lewis' The King's Daughter at the Hampstead
Theatre Club in 1959 and as Katherine in Taming of the Shrew
Taming of the Shrew
for the Oxford Playhouse in 1960. She was Princess Siwan again in the BBC's production of Siwan: The King's Daughter alongside Peter O'Toole
Peter O'Toole
with Emyr Humphrys as producer. It was broadcast on BBC
One ( Wales
only) on 1 March 1960.[15][16] From October 1958 to April 1959 she was compere of the Land of Song (Gwlad y Gân) monthly programme at TWW (Television Wales
and the West) Channel 10 with baritone Ivor Emmanuel.[17] She made her first appearance on the London stage in 1957 when she appeared in Hermann Sudermann's Magda for RADA.[18] Magda, about an opera diva, was her first real success in London. The play did well and benefited her career greatly; although she was only a student at the time, she was the first since Sarah Bernhardt
Sarah Bernhardt
to play the role.[19] In 1957 (some sources say 1959) Phillips performed the title role in Ibsen's Hedda Gabler.[20][21][22] Many sources consider this her London stage debut but she actually did Magda before Hedda Gabler.[23] In September 1958 she was performing as Margaret Muir in John Hall's The Holiday at Oxford
New Theatre.[24] In May 1958 Phillips performed as Joan in G. B. Shaw's Saint Joan, at the Belgrade Theatre
Belgrade Theatre
in Coventry, which had opened just six weeks before, produced by Bryan Bailey. An observer described her performance: "Sian Phillips' portrayal of Joan defies the law of averages, since, after seeing Siobhan McKenna in the 1955 Arts Theatre production, I reckoned it impossible to equal within half a century. Like the Irish girl, the Welsh girl is perfect... 'This girl doesn't act Joan – she is Joan.' In short, perfection."[25] She was Julia in the Royal Shakespeare Company's 1960–1961 version of The Duchess of Malfi.[26] Her Royal Shakespeare Company performances are:

Julia in The Duchess of Malfi: at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre (Stratford, 30 November 1960, opening night). Julia in The Duchess of Malfi: at the Aldwych Theatre
Aldwych Theatre
(London, 15 December 1960, opening night) Bertha in Ondine: at the Aldwych Theatre
Aldwych Theatre
(London, 12 January 1961, opening night) Miss Havisham
Miss Havisham
in Great Expectations: at Royal Shakespeare Company (Stratford, 6 December 2005).[27]

Later film and television[edit] Her long career has included many films and television programmes, but she is probably best known for starring as Livia
in the popular BBC adaptation of Robert Graves's novel I, Claudius (BBC2, 1976), for which she won the 1977 BAFTA Television Award for Best Actress, and for many appearances on the original run of Call My Bluff. She also appeared opposite her then-husband Peter O'Toole
Peter O'Toole
and Richard Burton
Richard Burton
in Becket (1964); as Ursula Mossbank in the musical film Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), again starring O'Toole; once more opposite O'Toole in Murphy's War
Murphy's War
(1971); as Emmeline Pankhurst
Emmeline Pankhurst
in the TV mini-series Shoulder to Shoulder (1974); as Clementine Churchill in Southern Television"s "Winston Churchill: the Wilderness Years" (1981) starring Robert Hardy; as Lady Ann, the unfaithful wife of Alec Guinness's character George Smiley, in the BBC1 espionage dramas Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1979) and Smiley's People (1982), adapted from John le Carré's eponymous novels; in Nijinsky (1980); and as the queen Cassiopeia in Clash of the Titans (1981). Another popular role was that of the Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam
Gaius Helen Mohiam
in David Lynch's Dune (1984) and Charal from Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985). She also appeared in seasons 2 and 4 (1998 and 2000) of the Canadian TV series La Femme Nikita
La Femme Nikita
as Adrian, the renegade founder of the powerful Section One anti-terrorist organisation. In 2001, she appeared as herself in Lily Savage's Blankety Blank.[28][29] and in Ballykissangel as faith healer Consuela Dunphy in Episode 7 ('One Born Every Minute' or 'Getting Better All the Time'). Her most recent film is The Gigolos (2006) by Richard Bracewell, in which she played Lady James. In 2010, she appeared in New Tricks
New Tricks
in the episode 'Coming out Ball' and in 2011 she appeared in the episode 'Wild Justice' in the fifth season of the television series Lewis. Phillips's West End credits include Marlene (in which she portrayed Marlene Dietrich), Pal Joey, Gigi and A Little Night Music. She has also appeared on the American stage in Marlene. Other work[edit] Her National Theatre performances have included:

Lady Britomart in Major Barbara: The Lyttelton Theatre
Lyttelton Theatre
(18 October 1982, opening night). Madam Armfeldt in A Little Night Music: Olivier Theatre
Olivier Theatre
(18 September 1995, opening night). Hope in In Bed With Magritte (1 December 1995, opening night).[30] She currently appears as Madame Nielsen in 'Les Blancs' at the National Theatre.

Between 2001 and 2002 she played a leading role in the BBC Radio
BBC Radio
4 comedy The Leopard in Autumn.[citation needed] She provided spoken-word backing to a track on Rufus Wainwright's 2007 album Release the Stars, and appeared live with him at the Old Vic Theatre in London on 31 May/1 June 2007. Phillips starred in London's West End production of Calendar Girls. Phillips played Juliet opposite Michael Byrne's Romeo in Juliet and her Romeo at the Bristol Old Vic from 10 March until 24 April 2010.[31] In January 2011 she appeared in a new cabaret show, Crossing Borders, at Wilton's Music Hall
Wilton's Music Hall
in Cable Street, London. Reviewing the show for cabaretscenes.org, Harold Sanditen said: "Her cabaret shows are always of the more traditional type. She’s had a long and very impressive career, and her show followed its progression, with backstage anecdotes about the people she’s met and worked with along the way. It may not be edgy, but it’s a truly delightful evening, by a truly delightful performer, in a truly delightful venue."[32] In 2015 she played the lead character Fania Fénelon in the Arthur Miller stage version of Playing for Time at Sheffield Theatres.[33] In 2017 she played Lady Yvette Bristow in the TV series Strike.[34] Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref

1969 Golden Globe Award Best Supporting Actress Goodbye, Mr. Chips(1969) Nominated

1970 National Society of Film Critics Best Supporting Actress Goodbye, Mr. Chips(1969) Won

1976 BAFTA TV Award Best Actress I, Claudius & How Green Was My Valley Won

1977 Royal Television Society Best Performance I, Claudius Won

1980 Olivier Award Best Actress in a Musical Pal Joey Nominated [35]

1996 Olivier Award Best Supporting Performance in a Musical A Little Night Music Nominated

1998 Olivier Award Best Actress in a Musical Marlene Nominated

1999 Tony Award Best Actress in a Musical Marlene Nominated [36]

1999 Online Film & Television Association Award Best Guest Actress in a Cable Series La Femme Nikita Nominated [37]

2001 BAFTA Cymru
(Wales) Special
Award Siân Phillips Won

2013 Olivier Award Best Supporting Performance in a Musical Cabaret Nominated

Phillips was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2000 Birthday Honours and Dame
Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2016 New Year Honours
2016 New Year Honours
for services to drama.[38][39] In January 2018, Phillips was recognised for her illustrious career spanning more than 70 years at the BBC
Audio Drama Awards, and was given a Radio Lifetime Achievement Award.[40] Personal life[edit] Phillips' first husband was Don Roy, a post-graduate student at the University of Wales. They were married in 1956 and divorced in 1959.[41][42] Already pregnant with their first child, Phillips married Peter O'Toole in December 1959. They had two daughters: Kate, born 1960 and Patricia, born 1963.[43] Patricia is a theatre practitioner,[44] and Kate is an actress. The couple divorced in 1979, and Phillips wrote about this tempestuous period of her life in the second volume of her autobiography, Public Places. Her third husband was actor Robin Sachs, who was 17 years her junior. Their relationship began in 1975. They were married on Christmas Eve 1979, very shortly after the divorce with O'Toole. They divorced in 1991.[42] She is a patron of the Bird College of Dance, Music & Theatre Performance, based in Sidcup, Greater London. Her great aunt was Welsh evangelist Rosina Davies.[45] Her two volumes of autobiography – Private Faces and Public Places – were published in 1999 and 2001, respectively.[42] Others[edit] Since 2005, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Cymru (BAFTA in Wales) has presented the Tlws Sian Phillips Award to a Welshman or woman who has made a significant contribution in either a major feature film or network television programme.[46][47][48] Filmography[edit]

Television Playwright (1958) BBC
Sunday Night Theatre (1959) Siwan the Kings Daughter (1960) Armchair Theatre
Armchair Theatre
(1961) Espionage
(TV series) (1964) Becket (1964) Young Cassidy
Young Cassidy
(1965) Laughter in the Dark (1969) Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969) Murphy's War
Murphy's War
(1971) Under Milk Wood (1972; also the 2003 BBC Radio
BBC Radio
and 2014 BBC
Wales productions) I, Claudius (1976) Nijinsky (1980) Clash of the Titans (1981) Dune (1984) The Doctor and the Devils
The Doctor and the Devils
(1985) Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985) A Killing on the Exchange
A Killing on the Exchange
(1987) Valmont (1989) The Borrowers
The Borrowers
(1992 miniseries) The Age of Innocence (1993) House of America (1997) Alice Through the Looking Glass (1998) The Gigolos
The Gigolos
(2006) Checkmate (short film) (2016)


– South West Wales
– Hall of Fame Archived August 31, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Sian Phillips Biography (1934–)". filmreference.com. Retrieved 7 March 2016.  ^ Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2008 ^ "Sian Phillips" BBC: Wales
Arts at www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 12 December 2011. ^ "Sian Phillips: Stage and Screen Actress" at www.terrynorm.ic24.net. Retrieved 12 December 2011 ^ Dr Myron Evans. "The Actress Siân Phillips". Retrieved 18 January 2013.  ^ Jenny Gilbert, "How We Met: Diana Rigg
Diana Rigg
and Valerie Solti" The Independent (6 September 1998). Retrieved at www.independent.co.uk, 13 December 2011 ^ "Sian Phillips Biography" at www.filmreference.com. Retrieved 13 December 2011 ^ a b "Sian Phillips" in Turner Classic Movies at www.tcm.com. Retrieved 13 December 2011 ^ a b "Phillips, Siân (1933–)" in BFI Screenonline at www.screenonline.org.uk. Retrieved 16 December 2011 ^ " Wales
Video Gallery: Sian Phillips" (video interview) at walesvideogallery.org. Retrieved 18 December 2011 ^ CynbytheSea Interview with Sian Phillips (Adrian) at www.cynbythesea.com. Retrieved 16 December 2011 ^ Terri Paddock, "20 Questions With . . . Sian Phillips" in Whats On Stage (15 March 2004) at www.whatsonstage.com. Retrieved 16 December 2011 ^ "Siân Phillips: Stage and Screen Actress" at www.terrynorm.ic24.net. Retrieved 13 December 2011 ^ Sian Phillips Biography in www.filmreference.com. Retrieved 16 December 2011 ^ "Siwan: The King's Daughter" in BBC
One at www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 16 December 2011 ^ "TWW (Television Wales
and the West) Channel 10" at www.78rpm.co.uk. Retrieved 24 December 2011 ^ "University of Kent: Special
Collections Theatre Collections" at www.kent.ac.uk. Retrieved 12 December 2011 ^ Terri Paddock, "20 Questions With... Sian Phillips" in Whats On Stage (15 March 2004) at www.whatsonstage.com. Retrieved 16 December 2011 ^ "V&A Search the Collections: Sian Phillips in The Holiday" at collections.vam.co.uk. Retrieved 18 December 2011 ^ " BBC
Arts: Siân Phillips" at www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 18 December 2011 ^ "Sian Phillips: Milestones" in Turner Classic Movies in www.tcm.com. Retrieved 18 December 2011 ^ " Wales
Video Gallery: Sian Phillips" (video interview) at walesvideogallery.org. Retrieved 16 December 2011 ^ "V&A Search the Collections: Sian Phillips in The Holiday" at collections.vam.co.uk. Retrieved 12 December 2011 ^ Mervyn Jones, "Socialist Coventry
Scores Another Triumph" Tribune Magazine (23 May 1958). Retrieved from archive.tribunemagazine.co.uk, 13 December 2011 ^ "Sian Phillips" BBC: Wales
Arts in www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 12 December 2011 ^ Royal Shakespeare Company
Royal Shakespeare Company
Archive Catalogue at calm.shakespeare.org..uk. Retrieved 16 December 2011 ^ Lily Savage's Blankety Blank. 25 March 2001. ITV.  ^ Lily Savage's Blankety Blank. 13 May 2001. ITV.  ^ National Theatre: Archive Catalogue at worthing.nationaltheatre.org.uk. Retrieved 16 December 2011 ^ " BBC
Arts: Siân Phillips
Siân Phillips
to star as Shakespeare's Juliet". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 7 March 2016.  ^ Sanditen, Harold. "Cabaret Scenes Review – Sian Phillips". archive.cabaretscenes.org.  ^ Rees, Jasper (2015-03-17). "Siân Phillips: 'Saying yes to work is just a way of life'". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2017-12-28.  ^ IMDb: Strike, full cast and crew ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20140903055901/http://www.olivierawards.com/about/previous-winners/?portal:componentld=4232&portal:type=action&portal:isSecure=false&portal. Archived from the original on September 3, 2014. Retrieved April 29, 2013.  Missing or empty title= (help) ^ "Search Past Tony Award
Tony Award
Winners and Nominees – TonyAwards.com – The American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards® – Official Website by IBM". TonyAwards.com. Retrieved 7 March 2016.  ^ "3rd Annual TV Awards (1998–99) – Online Film & Television Association". www.oftaawards.com. Retrieved 25 November 2016.  ^ "No. 61450". The London Gazette
The London Gazette
(Supplement). 30 December 2015. p. N8.  ^ "New Year's Honours 2016". GOV.UK. Cabinet Office. 30 December 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2015.  ^ "Radio lifetime achievement award for Sian Phillips". BBC
News. 29 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.  ^ "Sian Phillips Biography" in www.filmreference.com. Retrieved 16 December 2011 ^ a b c "When the magic wore off", The Observer, 29 July 2001. Retrieved 10 December 2015. ^ "Peter O'Toole" in www.superiorpics.com. Retrieved 16 December 2011 ^ Pat O'Toole web site Archived February 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Rolf's tips for budding artists". BBC
News. 30 May 2007. Retrieved 7 May 2017.  ^ "British Academy of Film and Television Arts Cymru" at www.bafta.org. Retrieved 13 December 2011 ^ " BBC
News Wales: Welsh Bafta honour for actor Matthew Rhys" (25 May 2011) at www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 13 December 2011 ^ "BAFTA Awards, Wales" at www.imdb.com. Retrieved 13 December 2011

External links[edit]

Siân Phillips
Siân Phillips
on IMDb Siân Phillips
Siân Phillips
at Mario Huet's web site Siân Phillips
Siân Phillips
bio, Ammanford Web Site Siân Phillips
Siân Phillips
at the Wales
Video Gallery: this video interview was conducted shortly after Phillips performed in Israel Horovitz's My Old Lady, where she played the 94-year-old Mathilde Giffard. The play opened at the Promenade Theatre on Broadway in October 2002.

v t e

BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress

Googie Withers
Googie Withers
(1955) Virginia McKenna
Virginia McKenna
(1956) Rosalie Crutchley
Rosalie Crutchley
(1957) Gwen Watford
Gwen Watford
(1959) Catherine Lacey (1960) Billie Whitelaw
Billie Whitelaw
(1961) Ruth Dunning (1962) Brenda Bruce
Brenda Bruce
(1963) Vivien Merchant (1964) Katharine Blake (1965) Gwen Watford
Gwen Watford
(1966) Vanessa Redgrave
Vanessa Redgrave
(1967) Judi Dench
Judi Dench
(1968) Wendy Craig (1969) Margaret Tyzack
Margaret Tyzack
(1970) Annette Crosbie (1971) Patricia Hayes
Patricia Hayes
(1972) Billie Whitelaw
Billie Whitelaw
(1973) Celia Johnson
Celia Johnson
(1974) Lee Remick
Lee Remick
(1975) Annette Crosbie (1976) Siân Phillips
Siân Phillips
(1977) Penelope Keith (1978) Francesca Annis
Francesca Annis
(1979) Cheryl Campbell (1980) Peggy Ashcroft
Peggy Ashcroft
(1981) Judi Dench
Judi Dench
(1982) Beryl Reid
Beryl Reid
(1983) Coral Browne (1984) Peggy Ashcroft
Peggy Ashcroft
(1985) Claire Bloom
Claire Bloom
(1986) Anna Massey
Anna Massey
(1987) Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson
(1988) Thora Hird
Thora Hird
(1989) Diana Rigg
Diana Rigg
(1990) Geraldine McEwan (1991) Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren
(1992) Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren
(1993) Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren
(1994) Juliet Aubrey (1995) Jennifer Ehle
Jennifer Ehle
(1996) Gina McKee (1997) Daniela Nardini (1998) Thora Hird
Thora Hird
(1999) Thora Hird
Thora Hird
(2000) Judi Dench
Judi Dench
(2001) Julie Walters
Julie Walters
(2002) Julie Walters
Julie Walters
(2003) Julie Walters
Julie Walters
(2004) Anamaria Marinca (2005) Anna Maxwell Martin (2006) Victoria Wood
Victoria Wood
(2007) Eileen Atkins (2008) Anna Maxwell Martin (2009) Julie Walters
Julie Walters
(2010) Vicky McClure
Vicky McClure
(2011) Emily Watson
Emily Watson
(2012) Sheridan Smith
Sheridan Smith
(2013) Olivia Colman
Olivia Colman
(2014) Georgina Campbell (2015) Suranne Jones (2016) Sarah Lancashire
Sarah Lancashire

v t e

National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress

Marjorie Rhodes
Marjorie Rhodes
(1967) Billie Whitelaw
Billie Whitelaw
(1968) Siân Phillips
Siân Phillips
/ Delphine Seyrig
Delphine Seyrig
(1969) Lois Smith
Lois Smith
(1970) Ellen Burstyn
Ellen Burstyn
(1971) Jeannie Berlin (1972) Valentina Cortese
Valentina Cortese
(1973) Bibi Andersson
Bibi Andersson
(1974) Lily Tomlin
Lily Tomlin
(1975) Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster
(1976) Ann Wedgeworth (1977) Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
(1978) Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
(1979) Mary Steenburgen
Mary Steenburgen
(1980) Maureen Stapleton
Maureen Stapleton
(1981) Jessica Lange
Jessica Lange
(1982) Sandra Bernhard
Sandra Bernhard
(1983) Melanie Griffith
Melanie Griffith
(1984) Anjelica Huston
Anjelica Huston
(1985) Dianne Wiest
Dianne Wiest
(1986) Kathy Baker
Kathy Baker
(1987) Mercedes Ruehl
Mercedes Ruehl
(1988) Anjelica Huston
Anjelica Huston
(1989) Annette Bening
Annette Bening
(1990) Jane Horrocks (1991) Judy Davis
Judy Davis
(1992) Madeleine Stowe
Madeleine Stowe
(1993) Dianne Wiest
Dianne Wiest
(1994) Joan Allen
Joan Allen
(1995) Barbara Hershey
Barbara Hershey
(1996) Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore
(1997) Judi Dench
Judi Dench
(1998) Chloë Sevigny
Chloë Sevigny
(1999) Elaine May
Elaine May
(2000) Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren
(2001) Patricia Clarkson
Patricia Clarkson
(2002) Patricia Clarkson
Patricia Clarkson
(2003) Virginia Madsen
Virginia Madsen
(2004) Amy Adams
Amy Adams
(2005) Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
(2006) Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett
(2007) Hanna Schygulla
Hanna Schygulla
(2008) Mo'Nique
(2009) Olivia Williams
Olivia Williams
(2010) Jessica Chastain
Jessica Chastain
(2011) Amy Adams
Amy Adams
(2012) Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence
(2013) Patricia Arquette
Patricia Arquette
(2014) Kristen Stewart
Kristen Stewart
(2015) Michelle Williams (2016) Laurie Metcalf
Laurie Metcalf

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 85088270 LCCN: n86139814 ISNI: 0000 0000 7825 1759 GND: 12236628X SUDOC: 181034522 BNF: cb142157968 (data) MusicBrainz: 5b74ff1b-2223-41ff-a9c4-