Sylvia Syms, the prolific English actress whose career stretched from 1955-2019, died at 89 on Friday, three weeks after celebrating her birthday, The Guardian reports.
Her family announced she died “peacefully” at Denville Hall, an assisted living facility in London specifically for retired performers.
“Our mother, Sylvia, died peacefully this morning,” a family statement read. “She lived an extraordinary life, and gave us joy and laughter until the end. We were just reminiscing about our adventures yesterday. She will be missed.
She was born January 6, 1934. Syms was a classically trained actor. Her second movie role in “My Teenage Daughter,” (1956) made her an overnight star.
Her next major success came in “Expresso Bongo” (1959), which capitalized upon the “delinquent” trend.
In 2006, Syms played the Queen Mother in “The Queen,” directed by Stephen Frears and featuring Helen Mirren as Elizabeth II. Next, she was BAFTA-nominated for her work in “Woman in a Dressing Gown” (1957).
Other acclaimed work came in “Ice Cold in Alex” (1958), a thriller, and “Expresso Bongo” (1959).
In 1961, she played the wife of a man (the late Dirk Bogarde) being blackmailed for his homosexuality in “Victim,” a breakthrough film for queer cinema.
Excelling at comedy in the ’60s, her next major acclaim arrived via the romantic thriller “The Tamarind Seed” in 1974, earning her a second BAFTA nod.
In 2006, she took on the role of the Queen Mother in “The Queen,” directed by Stephen Frears and featuring Helen Mirren as Elizabeth II.
Syms had over 120 credits, many of them on TV later in her career, including the British series “Peak Practice” (1993-1995) and “EastEnders” (2007-2010).
Her greatest challenge on TV was playing British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 1991 telefilm “Thatcher: The Final Days. “
With Cara Delavingne, “Playhouse Presents : Timeless” in 2014.
Despite her impressive career, Syms said that she would have loved to have played any part Judi Dench had done. Anything!”