Sylvia Sims, the actress who starred in such classic British films as “Ice Cold in Alex” and “Victim,” has died, her family said Friday. She was 89. Sims’ children said she “died peacefully” on Friday at Denville Hall, a London retirement home for actors and entertainers.
“She lived a wonderful life and brought us joy and laughter until the end,” children Beattie and Ben Edney said in a statement. “Yesterday we reminisced about all our adventures together. She will be greatly missed.”
Born in London in 1934, Sims became a British film star, appearing in many memorable British films of the 1950s and 60s. She starred opposite John Mills in the World War II adventure “Ice Cold in Alex” in 1958, and the following year appeared in the rock musical “Expresso Bongo” with Lawrence Harvey and Cliff Richard.
She played Dirk Bogard’s closeted gay wife in the 1961 thriller “Victim,” the first British film to deal openly with homosexuality. Other notable films in a career spanning seven decades include the 1974 Cold War drama “The Tamarind Seed” with Julie Andrews and Omar Sharif.
Sims played British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 1991 TV movie “Thatcher: The Final Days” and appeared in Stephen Frears’ Academy Award-winning 2006 film “The Queen” as Queen Mother Elizabeth – the mother of Helen Mirren’s Queen Elizabeth II.
” The following year, she was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by the real Queen at Buckingham Palace. Sims had a recurring role on the BBC soap opera “EastEnders” between 2007 and 2010, and she continued to appear in film and television throughout the 1980s. Sims married Alan Edney in 1956; The couple divorced in 1989. She has a daughter and a son.