Rag Trade actress Miriam Karlin dies

Actress and political activist Miriam Karlin has died aged 85, following a battle with cancer.

Karlin, who was best known for playing Paddy in TV sitcom The Rag Trade, also appeared in Stanley Kubrick’s film A Clockwork Orange. She was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company in the seventies and appeared opposite Laurence Olivier in the film version of The Entertainer. Karlin also starred as Golde in the original West End production of the musical Fiddler on the Roof.

She was also well known as a political activist – both for Equity and for many left-wing causes. Karlin was awarded an OBE for her union and welfare work.

Malcolm Sinclair, Equity president, said: “We’ve lost one of the dearest members of the Equity family, a wonderful actress, and a great trade unionist. She was the main reason I ever committed myself to the union and this will be true for many, many of us. A very sad day, but she remains both an example and huge inspiration. She was also very, very funny, and we loved her for it.”

Equity spokesman Martin Brown added: “She was a wonderful actress, an absolutely indefatigable campaigner and a marvellous friend. We will miss her enormously.”

Karlin died this morning, June 3, at St John’s Hospital in St John’s Wood.

A full obituary will appear in a future print edition of The Stage.

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