Sheila won the British Book Award for Author of the Year for her autobiography The Two of Us which she followed with Just Me; and then, aged 81, with her debut novel Miss Carter's War for which she was nominated in the Political Fiction Awards. Her first book, Ramblings of An Actress, was published in 1987, and she is currently working on another non-fiction work.
Her extensive career has ranged from playing in the original West End casts of Sweeney Todd, Annie and Sister Act to being the first Woman Artistic Director of the RSC’s tour; from playing Ranyevskaya in The Cherry Orchard at the Royal National Theatre to being a judge on BBC TV’s search for a Dorothy in Over the Rainbow, and from playing Senna Pod in Carry on Cleo to winning an Olivier Award for her performance as Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret.
Her most recent work includes the title role in the feature film Edie (about to have its DVD release) as well the films The Dark Mile and The More You Ignore Me; the ITV series Endeavour; The Dali and the Cooper in Sky TV’s ‘Urban Myths’ series, and as Maude in Harold & Maude at the Charing Cross Theatre. She has just finished filming a third series of the Sky TV drama Delicious.
Sheila is an active Patron of the Digismart Charity; Trustee of the John Thaw Foundation, and Vice President of St Christopher’s Hospice. She was also Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth University 2008-2012.