Feb. 22nd, 1933
Blackgang, Isle of Wight, England, UK
Guest TV Roles
Sheila Hancock was born 22nd February 1933 on the Isle of White, she later moved to King's Cross in London where her mother and father ran a pub. Sheila went to Dartford Grammar School, and then with a grant she went to RADA. Sheila then went into 9 years of weekly rep around the country. While in Rep in Bath she meet actor Alec Ross, who she married in 1955 and had a daughter Melanie 'Ellie Jane' Thaw on 15th July 1964. Sheila's first big TV hit was her appearance in The Rag Trade in the early 1960s, her first theatre success was in Rattle of a Simple Man at the Garrick Theatre London. In 1969 Sheila starred in the West End hit So Want About Love? where she meet the actor John Thaw. The same year her mother died of cancer, followed nearly nine months later by Alec's tragic death. On 24th December 1973 she married John Thaw, with their daughters Melanie and Abigail present. On 27th July 1974 at Queen Charlotte's Hospital, Hammersmith, Sheila gave birth to her only child with John, Joanna Suzy Thaw. In the 1980s Sheila toured the UK with RSC and later with the National Theatre. In 1988 Sheila was told she had breast cancer, she fought and won her battle against it. She and Thaw split briefly during this period.
In the early 1990s Sheila and John bought a house in Luckington Wiltshire. As well as farm house in Provence in France. In 2001 John was told he had cancer. For nine months John fought against it, and with Sheila's help his privacy was protected. John died in Sheila's arms the day before her 69th birthday. Since his death Sheila has written a book called The Two of Us: My Life with John Thaw, and has made numerous Television and stage appearance talking about the book and her life with John.
Sheila lives in Hammersmith near her daughters and grandchildren.
- Mother of actress 'Melanie Thaw' (qv), born 1964, (with first husband 'Alec Ross' (qv)) and 'Joanna Thaw' (qv), born 1974, (with second husband 'John Thaw' (qv)). When John Thaw married Hancock he decided to adopt Melanie officially, which is why she bears his surname.
- An Associate Member of RADA.
- Became the Chancellor of The University of Portsmouth - May 16th 2007.
- Attended Dartford County Grammar School and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
- She was awarded the O.B.E. (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in 1974 for her services to drama.
- A breast cancer survivor, her first husband (divorced), actor Alec Ross, died of cancer in 1971 and her second husband, actor John Thaw, died of oesophagus cancer in 2002. She has been a spokesperson for Cancer BACUP.
- Was nominated for Broadway's 1966 Tony Award as Best Actress (Dramatic) for "Entertaining Mr. Sloan."
- Married John Thaw on 24 December 1973 in Cirencester, Gloucestershire.
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