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Sheila Sim

Sheila at Canterbury, October 2004
Born Sheila Beryl Grant Sim
5 June 1922 (1922-06-05) (age 87)
Liverpool, England
Years active 1944–1955
Spouse(s) Richard Attenborough (1945-present) 3 children

Sheila Beryl Grant Attenborough, Baroness Attenborough (born 5 June 1922), known professionally by her maiden name Sheila Sim, is an English film and theatre actress and the wife of actor and director Richard Attenborough. Sheila Sim was born one year before her husband, whom she married in 1945.


She was mainly active as an actress in the 1940s and 1950s: amongst her credits are the role in the Powell and Pressburger 1944 film, A Canterbury Tale; she starred alongside her husband in the Boulting brothers' The Guinea Pig of 1948; and opposite Anthony Steel in 1954's West of Zanzibar.

In theatre, she notably co-starred with her husband in the first production of The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie, which opened in 1952 (creating the role of "Mollie Ralston"). This thriller has since become the world's longest-running production of a play.

After recruitment by Noel Coward, Lady Attenborough has actively served the Actors' Charitable Trust for more than 60 years. She was instrumental in the success of two redevelopments of the actors' care home, Denville Hall, in the 1960s and 2000s, and is currently a Trustee and Vice President of the charities.

More recently, Lady Attenborough has been a significant benefactor to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (normally known as "RADA"), where she originally trained; her husband has been RADA's president since 2003.


The Attenboroughs had three children: Charlotte, Michael, and Jane. Jane, along with her daughter, Lucy, and her mother-in-law, were killed in the Indian Ocean tsunami on Boxing Day, 2004. Michael and Charlotte are both involved, like their parents, in the dramatic professions: he as a director, she as an actress. Lady Attenborough's brother, Gerald Sim, is also an actor.

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