Actress Sylvia Syms, best known for the films Ice Cold In Alex and Victim, has died at the age of 89, her family reports.
The former EastEnders star ‘peacefully’ passed away early Friday at Denville Hall, a London care home for people in the entertainment industry, at the age of 89.
She will also be remembered for her role as Sister Diana in the 1958 war film Ice Cold In Alex, which chronicled the Western Desert campaign during World War II.
Her most recent role was in 2019 in the BBC period drama Gentleman Jack as Mrs Rawson.
A statement from her children, Beatie and Ben Edney, said: ‘Our mother, Sylvia, passed away peacefully this morning. She has lived a wonderful life and has given us joy and laughter to the very end. Only yesterday we sat together reminiscing about all our adventures. She will be missed so much.
Sylvia Syms, 89, (pictured) has passed away, her family announced
Her family says she passed away peacefully. Sylvia is pictured in 1963
“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Denville Hall for the truly outstanding care they have taken for our mother over the past year.”
Born on January 6, 1934, she was educated at convent schools before taking drama training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
She had a huge career, which started in 1954 when she made her stage debut at the age of 20 in a production of ‘The Apple Cart’ in 1954.
The talented star went on to star in more movies, including Ice-Cold in Alex, The Moonraker, and Woman in a Peignoir.
Sylvia also starred alongside Sir Cliff Richard in Expresso Bongo and before later working with Dame Helen Mirren in the hit film The Queen where she acted as the Queen Mother alongside the Oscar-winning actress.
Sylvia has worked with some of the biggest stars in the world, including Benedict Cumberbatch (right) when they appeared together on ‘Miss Marple’ in 2008 – Murder is Easy
And in 2006, she co-starred with Oscar winner Helen Mirren in The Queen, starring Sylvia as the Queen Mother.
Sylvia had a huge career spanning over 60 years. She is pictured, left, at the 2004 premiere of When I’m Dead and again at the 2006 premiere of The Queen
She is pictured with Adam Ant in Joe Orton’s Entertaining Mr Sloane at the Manchester Royal Exchange.
Other big stars that Sylvia has acted alongside include Benedict Cumberbatch in the 2008 portrayal of ‘Miss Marple’ and Cara Delevingne in the short film Timeless.
And she also focused on soap acting, appearing as Olive Woodhouse in EastEnders from 2007 to 2010.
Tributes have already started pouring in, with heartbroken fans saying they are devastated to learn of the beloved star’s death.
Stuart Antony, who starred in EastEnders, tweeted: ‘Saddened to hear that the wonderful Sylvia Syms has passed away at the age of 89. She was really sweet every time I met her. What a loss – RIP x’
Rubbing shoulders with legends: The veteran actress appeared alongside Sir Cliff Richard (left to unveil a Blue Heritage Foundation Plaque) to the late Sir John Mills at his former home in Denham, Buckinghamshire in 2006
Sylvia was later made an OBE by Queen Elizabeth II in 2007. The actress is pictured taking her honors from the late Queen at a service at Buckingham Palace
Sylvia Syms, center, with actor’s daughter Beatie Edney and son Ben Edney. The grieving siblings announced their mother’s death on Friday, saying she died ‘peacefully’ at age 89
Fellow actor Scot Williams added: ‘Rest in peace Sylvia Syms. When I was a young actor, someone introduced her to me at Bafta headquarters. “Sylvia, this is Scot Williams,” they said. “Oh I know exactly who he is”, said Sylvia. I felt so empowered by her. She made me feel like my work was appreciated. #Rip mind. X
One fan tweeted, “Dearest Sylvia Syms has gone to the big cinema on the air, Sylvia, we promise we will keep your memory alive and think of your family and friends at such a sad time, rest in peace dear lady.”
Silvia was married to Alan Edney from 1956 to 1989. The couple had two children, daughter Beatie, 60, and son Benjamin.