Sheila Dunn

The Stage
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Actress Sheila Dunn was a TV stalwart whose face became familiar to millions in popular series from Dr Who to EastEnders and The Bill.

In a career spanning more than 40 years, she appeared in episodes of Z-Cars, The Professionals and The Sweeney, as well as other sixties hits.

Born in Wolverhampton, the daughter of ICI chairman Bill Dunn – the man famous for inventing the bullet-proof engine of the Spitfire – Sheila moved to London to study at LAMDA. She won her first appearance in Dr Who after director Douglas Camfield saw her photograph in Spotlight. He cast her in several episodes with the original Doctor, William Hartnell, and later married her. Their marriage would last until his untimely death from a heart attack in 1984 at the age of 51.

Her film career included roles in Roman Polanski’s Dance of the Vampires and John Schlesinger’s A Kind of Loving.

In later years Sheila turned to comedy, starring as Harry Hill’s mother and also playing a unique role as an “old Baby Spice” (Emma Bunton) in An Audience with the Spice Girls. Last year she featured in the acclaimed TV drama The Lost Prince and recently in the comedy series Bremner, Bird and Fortune.

Under her married name Sheila Camfield, she was a leading light with the Richmond Shakespeare Society. For the past 25 years she appeared in numerous productions at the Mary Wallace Theatre in Twickenham, as well as being a key member of the committee behind the scenes.

She died peacefully on March 3 at her home in Twickenham, aged 63, and is survived by her son.

William Hall

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The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, London. Photo: Noel Foster