Sheila Mercier Biography – Wiki
Sheila Betty Mercier was an English actress, of stage and television, best known for playing Annie Sugden in soap opera Emmerdale for over 20 years from the show’s first episode in 1972 until the mid-1990s, with a guest return in 2009.
Sheila Mercier Quick Facts You Need to Know
Sheila Mercier Age
She was 100 years old as of 2019.
Sheila Mercier Early life and education
Mercier was born in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England, the daughter of Herbert Rix (of J.R. Rix & Sons Ltd) and his wife Fanny. 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 under Randle Ayrton.
Sheila Mercier Husband
She was widowed when her husband, actor Peter Mercier, died in 1993, after 42 years of marriage.
Sheila Mercier Children
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. In it, she disclosed that she had been raped by an officer early in the war, had become pregnant and given her baby daughter up for adoption, and had been contacted by her daughter thirty years later. Mercier’s brother was actor and campaigner Sir Brian Rix, who was the father of children’s author, Jamie Rix. She died on 13 December 2019.
Sheila Mercier Career
Mercier had a long career on stage before his television career. Donald Wolfit discovered her and she traveled with Wolfit’s own Shakespeare company in 1939. During World War II, he joined the WAAF division of the Royal Air Force, served in the combat command and eventually became an assistant. After the war, he worked in the repertoire theater until 1951 and received positive reviews from critics. A critic said about her appearance at The Enchanted Cottage in 1948: “Sheila Rix is an exceptional housekeeper.” In Hay Fever by Noel Coward of the Tonbridge Repertory Theater in the same year, a critic said: “Sheila Rix portrays the former actress, mother of the extremely emotional family, in a great way.” Another reviewer said of the two-headed eagle from Cocteau: “The number of repertoire companies that have dealt with this amazing work has been very small. Notable in the cast was Sheila Rix as the tragic queen who kept her audience at all times. ”
From 1951 to 1972 he worked with his brother Brian Rix on the Whitehall Farce, at the Whitehall Theater as well as on tours in regional theaters and on television shows on BBC television. Critics commented: “Sheila Mercier … [is] up to the second in pace and sense of fun.” “In Chase Me, Comrade! Jacqueline Ellis and Helen Jesson and Sheila Mercier all make a great contribution to making an excellent job fun.” and “Sheila Mercier is refreshingly healthy like the commander’s wife.” She also appeared in the television series Dial RIX (1963) with her husband Peter Mercier.
In 1972 she was selected for her most famous role, the matriarch Annie Sugden, one of the main characters of the new British soap opera Emmerdale Farm (later simply Emmerdale). He appeared as the leading actor until 1994, with rare appearances later, including the funeral of the son Joe on the screen in June 1995, along with the canvas husband Amos Brearly. In 1979, Hazel Holt wrote on stage: “I always admire the coherence of Sheila Mercier’s appearance as Annie Sugden at Emmerdale Farm in Yorkshire. Every Tuesday and Friday, week after week, it is always convincing.” , During the 1000th episode in 1985, he was introduced to the “Big Red Book” by This Is Your Life. At the age of 89, Mercier appeared in a special show for Emmerdale episode 5,000 in which cast members were interviewed. It aired on ITV in May 2008. From time to time he returned to the series after his departure. In February 2009, at the age of 90, he repeated his most famous role and performed as Annie Sugden in Emmerdale to attend his son Jack Sugden’s funeral (played by actor Clive Hornby, who had died the previous year). ) In July 2008 she mourned Hornby’s royal funeral.
Sheila Mercier Cause of Death
Actress Sheila Mercier who was best known as Emmerdale’s Annie Sugden has died at the age of 100.
The soap legend passed away peacefully in her sleep according to former co-star Frederick Pyne, who played Matt Skilbeck in Emmerdale Farm from its launch in 1972 until 1989.
Mr. Pyne posted on social media: ‘Sad to tell all you Emmerdale fans that Sheila Mercier, Annie Sugden, died peacefully in her sleep… She would have been 101 years old on New Years Day. She was a great character and wonderful to work with,’ Metro reported.
Fast Facts You Need to Know
- Soap legend passed away peacefully in her sleep according to former co-star
- Mercier, from Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, was cast as Annie Sugden in 1972
- Co-star Frederick Pyne announced soap star had passed away on social media