Last of the Summer Wine star Shirley Anne Field dies as family pay tribute

The world of entertainment is mourning the loss of Shirley Anne Field who has passed away at the age of 87, as reported by the Daily Mirror.

Her family shared the sad news in a statement, which read: "It is with great sadness that we are sharing the news that Shirley Anne Field passed away peacefully on Sunday, December 10 2023, surrounded by her family and friends.

"Shirley Anne will be greatly missed and remembered for her unbreakable spirit and her amazing legacy spanning more than five decades on stage and screen."

She was perhaps best known for her roles in Last of the Summer Wine, Alfie, and The Entertainer.

Tributes have been quick to pour in across social media, with one writing: "Sad to hear of the death of Shirley Anne Field a fine actress, a familiar figure in North London and a loyal supporter of the National Childrens Home (now called Action for Children) one of whos homes she was once upon a time a resident."

"As a young PR, my first work was in showbiz PR and I had to visit the #ArtsClub where #ShirleyAnneField was in #KennedysChildren. She was nice to me. God, I was green. #RIPShirleyAnneField" added another.

Born in Essex as the third of four children, Shirley was placed in a children's home near Bolton at just six years old. A few years later, she moved to another children's home and eventually ended up in a hostel in London as a teenager.

In an interview with MailOnline, she opened up about her childhood, saying: "I grew up in children's homes. I finally met my mother again when I was 38 and discovered my whole other family – three lovely American half-sisters. My mother lived to 98. She had a lot of stamina."

Before finding fame as an actress, Shirley attended the Lucie Clayton School and Model Agency and even modelled for pin-up magazines.

Her first appearance in movies was as an extra in Simon and Laura in 1955.

She had other small roles in All For Mary, Lost, Yield to the Night, It's Never Too Late and It's a Wonderful World. Her first big role was in 1959's Horrors of the Black Museum as well as Peeping Tom.

In 1960, she had her breakthrough role in The Entertainer, where she played the role of model Tina Lapford. The movie also starred Laurence Olivier. She went on to feature in films including Alfie and Saturday Night And Sunday Morning.

Other roles included Lunch Hour, The Damned, Kings of the Sun, The Wedding March, Doctor in Clover and Hell is Empty. In the 70s and 80s, Shirley took on roles in My Beautiful Laundrette, Shag, Getting It Right and Hear My Song.

In 1967, Shirley married aristocratic RAF pilot and racing driver Charles Crichton-Stuart. They welcomed a daughter two years later. However, in the late 70s, their marriage fell apart and they got a divorce.

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