PETE WALKER STAR SHEILA KEITH DIES
2004 has not been a good year for horror actresses of the old school. We have lost Fay Wray and Janet Leigh, and now comes the news that Sheila Keith has passed away. Keith was a regular fixture in Pete Walker?s films in the 1970s, with memorable roles as demented matriarchs in movies such as FRIGHTMARE, THE COMEBACK, HOUSE OF MORTAL SIN and HOUSE OF WHIPCORD. She also starred in Walker?s HOUSE OF THE LONG SHADOWS, alongside the classic quartet of Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Vincent Price and John Carradine, in a role originally written for Elsa Lanchester.
Born in Aberdeen in 1920, Keith worked extensively in British television, appearing in sitcoms, soaps and dramas, but her lasting legacy is as the grand dame of British horror, gleefully killing and torturing her way through younger, more glamorous co-stars. Appropriately, her final screen role paid tribute to these films when she was cast in an episode of the 2001 BBC spoof anthology DR TERRIBLE?S HOUSE OF HORRIBLE.
Reporting her death on the BritishHorrorFilms.co.uk site, Marc Morris?who had been hoping to interview the actress for a forthcoming Pete Walker boxed set?said: 'Sheila had been very ill for the past few months, and her condition had deteriorated badly over the past few weeks. She was a lovely, kind lady and a fabulous, often terrifying performer.'
Courtesy of Fangoria