Dinah Sheridan

  1. Eileen Herlie, The Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, 1953.       She auditioned for Mrs D’Oyly Carte and was made Sullivan’s girlfriend. “I was much happier in that role.”
  2. Moira Lister, Grand National Night, 1953.       Suddenly, Dinah received three scripts in the same mail. This “fairly ordinary B picture”…
  3. Anne Crawford, Street Corner, 1953. … and this “one about women police…” and what became a comedy classic, Genevieve. She swiftly arranged lunch with the comedy’s maker Henry Cornelius. He greeted her – loudly – ”I see you’re sitting with your back to the light because you know you’re too old for this part.” Dinah soon made him forgot all about Claire Bloom.
  4. Jane Griffiths, The Million Pound Note, 1954.       UK director Ronald Neame called for her to co-star with Gregory Peck in Mark Twain’s tale, although Dinah had retired on her Genevieve laurels after marrying the Rank Organisation boss, John Davies…which seemed a good idea at the time. It was not.
  5. Barbara Murray, Doctor Who #120: Black Orchid, TV, 1982.          Infamus producer John Nathan-Taylor first offered Lady Cranleigh to Sheridan (mother of another Whoverse candidate, Jenny Hanley). When she was unavailable, he tried 17 other actresses. From such definitive ladies as Jean Anderson, Renee Asherson, Honor Blackman, Claire Bloom, Faith Brook, Kathleen Byron, Rachel  Kempson (mother of Lynn and Vanessa Redgrave), Virginia McKenna, Muriel Pavlow, Maria Redmond, Dinah Sheridan, Elizabeth Spriggs… and 40s’ UK screen queens Phyllis Calvert, Joan Greenwood… to Hammer horror icon Barbara Shelley… and two comic character stars Beryl Reid and Joan (Carry On) Sims!
  6. Joan Sims, Doctor Who #143: The Trial of a Time Lord, TV, 1986.       When Joan Sims is competing with Sylvia Syms… not to mention Ingrid Pitt, Beryl Reid versus Honor Blackman, Billie Whitelaw… you realise a certain desperation has entered the casting process. Indeed, never had so many women – 20 – been flagpoled for one part… The other Katryca contenders were Linda Baron, Jill Bennett, Isla Blair, Brenda Bruce, Adrienne Corri, Sheila Hancock, Janet Henfrey, Rosemary Leach, Jean Marsh, Sian Phillips, Dinah Sheridan (Chancellor Flavuia in #129: The Five Doctors, 1983), Elizabeth Spriggs, Wanda Ventham (the mother of Benedict Cumberbatch), Fiona Walker. The winner was, inexplicably, Sims. She didn’t enjoy it one bit. So she did not… carry on.

 Birth year: 1920Death year: 2012Other name: Casting Calls:  6