Thursday 10 July 2014

Sheila White

British actress Sheila White

Sheila White
† Oct 18 1950 – Sep 7 2018*
Probably still best known from the ever-popular screen version of 'Oliver!' (1968) in which she played Nancy's good hearted friend Bet, the name of pretty and talented actress and singer Sheila White is not as familiar as perhaps it should be.   

As Paula, seen here with Barry Evans, in 'Here We
Go Round The Mulberry Bush' (1967)
As well as 'Oliver!', she appears in quite a few films, including the pretty rotten (not through her fault) 'The Ghost Goes Gear' (1966) with Nicholas Parsons and the Spencer Davis Group, 'Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush' (1967) with Barry Evans, 'Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter' (1968), 'Villain' (1971), 'Alfie Darling' (1976) and 'Silver Dream Racer' (1980), Walt Disney's 'The Spaceman and King Arthur' (1979), she also played the non-saucy role of Rosie Noggett in various Robin Askwith 'Confessions' films.

As the insatiable Empress Messalina, about to
get down to business in 'I, Claudius'

On TV, there is high-end popular drama like 'I, Claudius', the pre-raphaelite artists bonkbuster 'The Love School' and 'Poldark' alongside a good mixture of lighter fare, variety and comedy. She was quite memorable as Arthur's singer protégée in 'Minder', and is credited as originating the Rodney Bewes comedy series 'Dear Mother... Love Albert' in which she also starred for a couple of seasons. To this, add boatyard sitcom 'Don't Rock The Boat', the Paul Shane talent agency comedy 'Very Big Very Soon' and a brief stint in 'EastEnders' as adopted Sharon Watts's hard-hearted birth mother, Carol. 

Making a bid for French 'Ye-Ye' pop stardom.
She also had a bit of post-'Oliver!' success in France as a pop star in the clean-cut Pet Clark mould. Check her out in this Gallic TV curiosity. My Tailor is Rich.   (Apparently, that's the first phrase you learn from an English textbook in French schools.) 

*As of Sep 12, 2018, Sheila White's passing has not been notified to the press/imdb/wikipedia, but the sad news has been confirmed by her agent. 

Sheila White-imdb


  1. Blimey,
    I thought by "still with us" you meant "thought were long dead".
    As she's only 63, I suddenly feel very very old!

  2. awesome death scene in I, Claudius!

  3. She also played, fairly recently, in the wonderful BBC series 'Call the Midwife', starring in the 2012 Christmas special. It was an incredibly heart-breaking, VERY well-played role of an old woman who had spent 26 years in the workhouse, all here children (all 5) that were taken in with her and put in the children's section, died. She was haunted by their deaths, barely alive, living in a run-down hovel, in ill-health...and the young nurse who helps her, those scenes are incredible! The older nun Sr. Evangelina, having grown up in poverty, helps her open up about what happened. There are several scenes with Ms White that will bring you to tears--I weep every time I watch this episode. She hasn't lost the actor's touch, the ability to thoroughly inhabit a role--still wonderful!!

  4. It's reported she very sadly passed away this week (12th Sept-2018)

  5. It's reported she very sadly passed away this week (12th Sept-2018)

  6. So sad to hear of Sheila's passing . We were together from 1967-1970,,a sweet wonderful girl..gutted to hear of her death

  7. I never even got to know her work, but it's already too late. Bummer. Let's go back in time so I can actually get to see her talent, instead of having to regret missing it.