UK & World News

  • 26 November 2012, 1:24

Railway Children Star Dinah Sheridan Dies

The actress Dinah Sheridan, who starred in The Railway Children, has died.

Ms Sheridan, who also starred in Genevieve, passed away peacefully at her home in Northwood surrounded by her family. She was 92.

Ms Sheridan was considered quintessentially English because of her elegance and quiet beauty.

But she was born Dinah Nadyejda Ginsburg in Hampstead in 1920 to a Russian father and German mother who were photographers to the Royal Family.

She secured her first stage role at the age of 12 and went on to tour as Wendy in Peter Pan, which starred Charles Laughton as Captain Hook.

Ms Sheridan's film break came shortly after when she appeared in such films as Irish And Proud of It (1938) until her momentum was interrupted by the Second World War.

In 1983 she made a guest appearance in the television series Doctor Who as the Time Lady, Chancellor Flavia.

The Railway Children was an adaptation of E Nesbit's 1906 novel in which three children and their mother are forced to swap Edwardian city luxury for rural poverty.

Ms Sheridan played the role of the children's mother, Mrs Waterbury. The film also starred Jenny Agutter, Sally Thomsett and Bernard Cribbins.

The film received widespread critical acclaim when it was released in 1970. A British Film Institute survey concluded it to be one of the greatest British films ever made.

Ms Thomsett, who played Mrs Waterbury's daughter Phyllis, paid tribute to Ms Sheridan on Twitter: "RIP Dinah Sheridan, my beautiful mother in The Railway Children Xxxxxx".

Ms Sheridan was married four times. First to actor Jimmy Hanley in 1942 with whom she had three children, then to business executive John Davis in 1954, then to actor John Merivale in 1986 and to Aubrey Ison in 1992.

Her son, Jeremy Hanley, became an accountant and Conservative Party politician.

Her daughter, Jenny Hanley, became an actress and a co-presenter of the British television series Magpie.

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