Caroline Munro is an English actress and model known for her many appearances in horror, science fiction and action films of the 1970s and 1980s. Munro's career commenced in 1966 when her mother and a photographer friend entered some headshots of her in The Evening News's "Face of the Year" contest; as she said: I wanted to do art. Art was my love. I went to art school in Brighton but I was not good at it. I just did not know. I had a friend at the college, studying photography and he needed somebody to photograph and he asked me. Unbeknownst to me, he sent the photographs to a big newspaper in London; the fashion photographer, David Bailey, was conducting a photo contest and my picture won. This led to modelling work for Vogue magazine at the age of 17, she moved to London to pursue modelling work and became a cover girl for fashion and TV advertisements while there. She had bit parts in films such as Casino Royale and Where's Jack?. One of her photo ads lead to a screen test and a one-year contract with Paramount where she was cast as Richard Widmark's daughter in the comedy western A Talent for Loving.
She appeared alongside Vincent Price in The Abominable Dr Phibes, playing the deceased Victoria Regina Phibes. She reprised the role Dr Phibes Rises Again. Hammer Films Chairman, Sir James Carreras, spotted Munro on a Lamb's Navy Rum poster/billboard, he asked James Liggett, to find and screen test her. She was promptly signed to a one-year contract, her first film for Hammer proved to be a turning point in her career. It was during the making of Dracula AD 1972 that she decided from this film onward she was a full-fledged actress. Munro acted in Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter. Directed by Brian Clemens, she played the barefoot gypsy girl Carla. In Paramount Pictures DVD commentary, Clemens explains that he envisioned the role as a fiery, Raquel Welch-type, redhead. Munro has the distinction of being the only actor signed to a long-term contract by Hammer Films, she turned down the lead female roles in Hammer's Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde and the Monster from Hell, the unmade Vampirella because they required nudity.
Brian Clemens helped her to be cast in the role of Margiana, the slave girl in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. I got the part – I had been signed by Hammer, for one year, for a contract, out of which I did two films, one being Dracula AD 1972, the second one being Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter, kind of, would come full-circle, to Sinbad, it was written and directed by Brian Clemens, who wrote the screenplay for The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, so, I was lucky enough to be chosen for Captain Kronos, they were searching for somebody to do Sinbad, they wanted a big name, somebody American, or well-known, but Brian said "No". He kept lobbying Charles Schneer and Ray Harryhausen — saying:'I think you should come and look at the rushes, see what you think, because I think she's right'. So, they said "No", but Brian persuaded them to do that, they saw the rushes, and, how I got the part. So, it was lovely, like work-out-of-work. I was lucky to have done that. Today Caroline is a Trustee of the Diana Harryhausen Foundation.
Other appearances during this time included I Don't Want to Be Born with Joan Collins, At the Earth's Core with Peter Cushing and Doug McClure. She appeared as Tammy, a nursing employee of a sinister health farm, in "The Angels of Death", an episode of the TV series The New Avengers that featured rising stars Pamela Stephenson and Lindsay Duncan. In 1977, Munro turned down the opportunity to play villainess Ursa in Superman in favour of Naomi in The Spy Who Loved Me. Munro continued to work in numerous British and European horror and science fiction films through the 1970s and 1980s, such as Starcrash with David Hasselhoff, Christopher Plummer and Marjoe Gortner. Munro's career continued to thrive well in the 1980s, she appeared in many slasher and Eurotrash productions, her first film shot on American soil was the William Lustig production Maniac. This was soon followed by the "multi-award winning, shot during the Cannes Film Festival" shocker The Last Horror Film, in which she was reunited with her Maniac co-star Joe Spinell.
She had a cameo role in the film Don't Open Till Christmas, Slaughter High, Paul Naschy's Howl of the Devil, Jess Franco's Faceless, followed in rapid succession. She reteamed with Starcrash director, Luigi Cozzi, for Demons 6: De Profundis. Between 1984 and 1987, Munro was a hostess on the Yorkshire Television game show 3-2-1. Munro was a popular pin-up girl during this time, though she refused to pose nude. In the early 1980s, she appeared in music videos for Adam Ant's "Goody Two Shoes" and Meat Loaf's "If You Really Want To". An early effort of Munro was a release Columbia with "Tar and Cement" backed with "The Sporting Life"; the musicians who played on the recording included Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. During the 1970s, she recorded a number of singles with her husband Judd Hamilton, they included "You Got It" bw "Where Does Love Begin", "Rhythm Of The Rain" bw Sound Of The Rain" and "Love Songs" bw "Sound Of The Sun". In 1984, Munro collaborated with Gary Numan for the single "Pump Me Up", released on Numan's Numa record label.
Her film roles were confined to performing cameos as herself in Night Owl, as Mrs. Pignon in To Die For, as the counsellor in her friend Jeffrey Arsenault's film Domestic Strangers, as Carla the Gypsy in Flesh for the Beast. In 2018, Munro re-teamed with her Dracula
John Altman (actor)
John Jeremy Clarkson Stewart, known as John Altman, is an English actor and singer best known for playing Nick Cotton in the popular BBC soap opera EastEnders. He was among the show's original cast members appearing in the first episode in February 1985 and appeared on the show on and off as a recurring character, his character was killed off in the 30th anniversary episode of the show which aired in February 2015. Altman has appeared in several films, television series and stage productions. In 2010, he became the new frontman of the band Heavy Metal Kids following the death of former frontman Gary Holton in 1985. Altman was born in Berkshire, to parents Tina Florence and Cecil Clifton Stewart, his maternal grandfather was actor Johnnie Schofield. Altman made his acting debut in the 1979 film The First Great Train Robbery where he played a minor role. In 1979, he portrayed musician George Harrison in the biographical television film Birth of The Beatles, he made brief appearances in several other films including Quadrophenia, An American Werewolf in London and Memoirs of a Survivor.
In 1982, Altman played the role of a Royal Navy rating alongside Timothy Spall in the Channel 4 film Remembrance. Altman featured in a 1982 short public information film, "Stupid Git", part of the British government's campaign against drink-driving. In 1985, he first appeared as Nick Cotton in the new BBC television soap opera EastEnders, appearing in the first episode in February that year, he went onto make recurring appearances in the show and has been part of many famous storylines in the show including the murders of Reg Cox and Eddie Royle, his attempt to kill his own mother Dot by poisoning her and his various feuds with characters like Pete Beale, Den Watts and Mark Fowler. His character was given his own television spin-off episode titled Return of Nick Cotton which aired in October 2000, his character was killed off in the episode that aired on 13 February 2015 and made his final appearance as a corpse in the episode that marked the 30th anniversary of the show on 19 February 2015.
His body was found in the same way as his victim Reg Cox was found in the first episode. A year earlier, his character's death had been announced in the show, only for it to emerge within a few months that Nick had faked his own death. Away from television, he appeared in an adult pantomime, which released on video in 1994 titled Pussy in Boots. In the pantomime he appeared alongside fellow EastEnders stars Mike Barbara Windsor. In 2001 he won the Rear of the Year Award alongside Claire Sweeney. In the same year he performed in the Leiber and Stoller tribute evening at the Hammersmith Apollo, singing Trouble performed by Elvis Presley. In 2002, he toured around the UK playing Billy Flynn in the long-running musical Chicago, he appeared in the John Godber written stage play Bouncers opposite fellow soap actor Nigel Pivaro, best known for playing Terry Duckworth in Coronation Street. In 2004, he made an appearance in the comedy sketch series Bo' Selecta! as his EastEnders character. In 2006, Altman was set to appear in an upcoming British film called It's Been Real, the trailer can be seen on YouTube.
It still has yet to be released in cinemas. John Altman appeared on 18 July 2009 episode of Totally Saturday by climbing out of the boot of a car. In August 2010, he joined. From late 2010, until early 2011, Altman appeared in adverts for Daz along with actors, from rival soap opera Coronation Street. In February 2011, he appeared on Live from Studio Five. In January 2012, he appeared as one of the first five couples in the third series of Celebrity Coach Trip partnering fellow actor Derek Martin. In February 2015, he appeared as a guest on The Graham Norton Show as part of an EastEnders special episode alongside June Brown, Adam Woodyatt, Letitia Dean, Danny Dyer, Kellie Bright, Shane Richie, Jessie Wallace and Pam St. Clement. In February 2017, he appeared in June Brown at 90 – A Walford Legend, a special BBC documentary that aired to celebrate June Brown's 90th birthday. Altman married Brigitte Poodhun in 1986 and they divorced in 1997, he has one daughter named Rosanna. Born in Reading, he moved to Kent as a young child, attended the Community College, Whitstable known as the Sir William Nottidge.
He was a high-profile supporter of the Rose Kingston. In 2008, Altman played the part of King Rat in Dick Whittington, a pantomime featured at the Hexagon venue in Reading, Berkshire. June Brown who plays his on-screen mother Dot Cotton, shared a great working relationship with Altman and she campaigned for five years to the producers to bring him back to EastEnders following his departure in 2001. According to Altman, she was like his second mother, always there to give him support during any difficult times in his life. Altman was a patron of the Born Free Foundation and has supported the wildlife charity for many years. In September 2010, John participated in the Bupa Great Yorkshire Run to raise funds for Alzheimer's Society, Bupa's nominated charity for the 2010 Bupa Great Run Series. Altman released his autobiography, In the Nick of Time, published on 30 June 2016. John Altman on IMDb John Altman Website John Altman profile BBC John Altman Interview John Altman Online
Jean Boht is an English actress, most famous for the role of Nellie Boswell in Carla Lane's sitcom Bread. Boht was born in Bebington and was a pupil at Wirral Grammar School for Girls, she trained at the Liverpool Playhouse. In a career spanning the period from 1962 to the present day, she has appeared in TV productions such as Softly, Some Mothers Do'Ave'Em, Grange Hill, Last of the Summer Wine Boys from the Blackstuff, Juliet Bravo in the mid-1980s, Bread. In 1989, she was the subject of This Is Your Life, in 2008 she made a guest appearance in BBC daytime TV soap, Doctors. On stage she appeared with Jeremy Irons in Embers at the Duke of York's Theatre in London, she appeared in the film Mothers and Daughters, starred in Chris Shepherd's award-winning short film Bad Night for the Blues. Her first marriage to William Boht was dissolved and she married conductor/composer Carl Davis in 1970. Jean Boht on IMDb
Tony Declan James Slattery is an English actor and comedian. He has appeared on British television since the mid-1980s, most notably as a regular on the Channel 4 improvisation show Whose Line Is It Anyway? His serious and comedic film work has included roles in The Crying Game, Peter's Friends, How to Get Ahead in Advertising. Slattery was born in Stonebridge, north London, into a working-class background, the fifth and last child of Irish immigrants and Margaret Slattery, he was much younger than his sister and his triplet brothers, Christopher and Stephen. In his youth, Slattery represented England in under-15 judo, achieving a black belt before he was 16, he was educated at Gunnersbury Boys' Grammar School in west London and won a scholarship to read Modern and Medieval Languages at Trinity Hall, specialising in French literature and Spanish poetry. At the University of Cambridge, Slattery discovered a love of the theatre, taking delight in making people laugh, he met Stephen Fry. Other members at that time included Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, Sandi Toksvig, Jan Ravens and Richard Vranch.
In 1981, Fry, Laurie and Toksvig won the inaugural Perrier Award for their revue The Cellar Tapes. The following year, Slattery was made President of the Footlights. During his tenure, the touring annual revue was Premises Premises. Slattery first broke into television as a regular performer on Chris Tarrant's follow up to O. T. T. Saturday Stayback, while appearing for children in Behind the Bike Sheds and the Saturday-morning show TX. By 1989 he was a regular on Whose Line Is It Anyway?, starred in his own improvisational comedy series, S&M, alongside Mike McShane, appeared on other panel quizzes such as Have I Got News for You. He was a regular on the TV version of the quiz show Just a Minute and was on the radio version several times, including the live version held at the Edinburgh Festival; as a dramatic actor he has appeared in The Crying Game, To Die For, Peter's Friends and The Wedding Tackle. At the end of the 1980s he became a film critic, presenting his own show on British television, Saturday Night at the Movies.
He appeared in the ITV sitcom That's Love with Jimmy Mulville. Other TV appearances include The Music Game alongside Richard Vranch and as a regular guest with both Ruby Wax and Clive Anderson. In 1988, Slattery appeared in the BBC sci-fi comedy series Red Dwarf, in the episode "Kryten" he played the voice of the main character on Kryten's favourite soap opera, "Androids", he has been a regular guest with the Comedy Store Players, both at the Comedy Store in London and on tour. Early in the 1990s he appeared on many TV shows to the extent. For example, the Have I Got News for You 1991 annual showed images of the game from around the world, each local variant featured Slattery as a guest. Spitting Image showed a sketch in which an anthropomorphised BBC2 logo refused to have blue paint splattered on it and Slattery intervened for the sake of publicity; the satirical magazine Private Eye once published a memorable cartoon depicting his answering machine with the outgoing message "Yes, I'll do it!"
In 1992 he appeared in the film Carry On Columbus. In the same year he appeared in the series Dead Ringer, filmed for the observation round in The Krypton Factor. In 1992 Slattery appeared as a contestant on the Channel 4 show GamesMaster, in which he said that he hated video games, despite the show being devoted to them, he played the real-time arcade shooter Who Shot Johnny Rock?, failing the challenge by shooting an innocent victim in the game. In 1993 he starred in the ITV sitcom Just a Gigolo. Only one series was made. From 1993 to 1994 he was the host of the game show Trivial Pursuit. Personal problems overshadowed Slattery's career, leading to a reduced profile. Due to an extended period of illness, he undertook only occasional television work from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, he reappeared in Red Dwarf in 1999 as the voice of a vending machine that threatens Arnold Rimmer in the final episode of the series, "Only the Good...". In January 2005 Slattery appeared in the TV film Ahead of the Class with Julie Walters.
In December 2005 he joined the long-running drama Coronation Street as Eric Talford and in April 2006 he appeared in Grumpy Old Men on BBC Two. In 2007 he played Tom O'Driscoll in the feature film'Lady Godiva Back In The Saddle'. In 2007 he appeared as a regular cast member in the ITV series Kingdom, playing the eccentric Sidney Snell, returning for a third series in 2009. In 2005 Slattery appeared in series 7 of Bad Girls, as D. I. Alan Hayes, investigating the murder of Jim Fenner. In 2005 he won a celebrity edition of the gameshow The Weakest Link, beating Vanessa Feltz in the final round, he announced at the end of the show that he would donate his prize money to the Terrence Higgins Trust. He appeared as well in a cameo role in ITV's Life Begins as a date for Maggie. In addition, he played the Canon of Birkley in the Robin Hood episode "Show Me the Money" on 17 November 2007. In January 2010 he appeared with Phyllida Law on Ready Steady Cook. In March 2011 Slattery appeared in a reunion special of Whose Line Is It Anyway? along with David Walliams, Josie Lawrence, Clive Anderson, Humphrey Ker and Neil Mullarkey for the BBC Comic Relief show 24-Hour Panel People.
In 1981 he teamed with Richard Vranch as a comedic duo calling themselves "Aftertaste". For a number of years they toured throughout Great Britain performing in small venues: theatres and clubs, most notably the Tunnel Club, King's Head Theatre in London and aboard the Thekla known as the "Old
NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt
The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt abbreviated to AIDS Memorial Quilt, is an enormous quilt made as a memorial to celebrate the lives of people who have died of AIDS-related causes. Weighing an estimated 54 tons, it is the largest piece of community folk art in the world as of 2016; the idea for the NAMES Project Memorial Quilt was conceived in 1985 by AIDS activist Cleve Jones during the candlelight march, in remembrance of the 1978 assassinations of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone. For the march, Jones had people write the names of loved ones that were lost to AIDS-related causes on signs, they taped the signs to the old San Francisco Federal Building. All the signs taped to the building looked like an enormous patchwork quilt to Jones, he was inspired, it started in 1987 in San Francisco by Jones, Mike Smith, volunteers Joseph Durant, Jack Caster, Gert McMullin, Ron Cordova, Larkin Mayo and Gary Yuschalk. At that time many people who died of AIDS-related causes did not receive funerals, due to both the social stigma of AIDS felt by surviving family members and the outright refusal by many funeral homes and cemeteries to handle the deceased's remains.
Lacking a memorial service or grave site, The Quilt was the only opportunity survivors had to remember and celebrate their loved ones' lives. The first showing of The Quilt was 1987 on the National Mall in Washington, DC; the Quilt was last displayed in full on the Mall in Washington, D. C. in 1996, a display that included a visit by President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, but it returned in July 2012 to coincide with the start of the XIX International AIDS Conference, 2012. The Quilt is a memorial to and celebration of the lives of people lost to the AIDS pandemic; each panel is 3 feet by 6 feet the size of the average grave. The Quilt is still displayed by The NAMES Project Foundation. In observance of National HIV-Testing Day in June 2004 the 1,000 newest blocks were displayed by the Foundation on The Ellipse in Washington, D. C; the largest display of The Quilt since it was last displayed in its entirety in October 1996, the 1,000 blocks displayed consisted of every panel submitted at or after the 1996 display.
In 1997, the NAMES Project headquarters moved from San Francisco to Washington, D. C. and in 2001 the quilt panels were moved from San Francisco to Georgia. The NAMES Project Foundation is now headquartered in Atlanta, has 21 chapters in the United States and more than 40 affiliate organizations worldwide; the AIDS Memorial Quilt itself is warehoused in Atlanta when not being displayed, continues to grow consisting of more than 48,000 individual memorial panels and weighing an estimated 54 tons. The goal of the Quilt is to bring awareness to how massive the AIDS pandemic is, to bring support and healing to those affected by it. Another goal is to raise funds for community-based AIDS service organizations, to increase their funding for AIDS prevention and education; as of 1996, more than $1.7 million had been raised, the effort continues to this day. 3' x 6' panels made of fabric are created in recognition of a person who died from AIDS-related complications. The panels are made by individuals alone or in a workshop, such as Call My Name or in quilting bees, such as the one held during the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall.
Construction choices are left to the quilter and techniques such as traditional fabric quilting, applique and stencil, iron-ons are common. Items and materials included in the panels: Fabrics, e.g. lace, leather, taffeta Bubble Wrap and other kinds of plastic and metal. Decorative items like pearls, quartz crystals, sequins, buttons. Clothing, e.g. jeans, T-shirts, boots, uniforms, flip-flops. Items of a personal nature, such as human hair, cremation ashes, wedding rings, merit badges and other awards, car keys. Unusual items, e.g. stuffed animals, jockstraps and bowling balls. Panels are submitted to the NAMES Project, along with a panel-maker identification form and a documentation letter. Other supplemental material is donated along with the panel such as photographs of the subject; the information about the panel is recorded in a database. Panels are backed in sewn together in blocks of eight. Grommets for hanging are attached and the blocks are numbered and photographed; the numbers help with identification and location in storage, on the AIDS Memorial Quilt website, when the quilt is displayed.
The quilt is maintained and managed by Hand Maidens of the Quilt. The most dedicated Hand Maiden is Gert McMullin. McMullin, chief quilt production coordinator for the NAMES Project Foundation, volunteered her anger-driven energy and sewing skills to Cleve Jones in the early days of the quilt in San Francisco. After witnessing and experiencing the deaths of so many friends from HIV, McMullin dedicated herself, working nights after her job at a Macy's cosmetic counter, to combat the invisibility her community felt. Materials and sewing machines were donated and McMullin and a group of volunteers worked in a storefront on Market Street, they created hundreds and thousands of panels. McMullin's first two panels were for Roger Lyon and David Calgaro, her panel for Lyon was accessioned into the collection of the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History (accession n
Sir Ian Murray McKellen is an English actor. He is the recipient of six Laurence Olivier Awards, a Tony Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BIF Award, two Saturn Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, two Critics' Choice Awards, he has received two Oscar nominations, four BAFTA nominations and five Emmy Award nominations. McKellen's career spans genres ranging from Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction; the BBC states that his "performances have guaranteed him a place in the canon of English stage and film actors". A recipient of every major theatrical award in the UK, McKellen is regarded as a British cultural icon, he started his professional career in 1961 at the Belgrade Theatre as a member of their regarded repertory company. In 1965, McKellen made his first West End appearance. In 1969, he was invited to join the Prospect Theatre Company to play the lead parts in Shakespeare's Richard II and Marlowe's Edward II, he established himself as one of the country's foremost classical actors.
In the 1970s, McKellen became a stalwart of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre of Great Britain. He achieved worldwide fame for his film roles, including the titular King in Richard III, James Whale in Gods and Monsters, Magneto in the X-Men films, Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. McKellen was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1979 Birthday Honours, was knighted in the 1991 New Year Honours for services to the performing arts, made a Companion of Honour for services to drama and to equality in the 2008 New Year Honours, he has been gay since 1988, continues to be a champion for LGBT social movements worldwide. He was awarded Freedom of the City of London in October 2014. McKellen was born on 25 May 1939 in Burnley, the son of Margery Lois and Denis Murray McKellen, a civil engineer, he was their second child, with a sister, five years his senior. Shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, his family moved to Wigan.
They lived there until Ian was twelve years old, before relocating to Bolton in 1951, after his father had been promoted. The experience of living through the war as a young child had a lasting impact on him, he said that "only after peace resumed... did I realise that war wasn't normal." When an interviewer remarked that he seemed quite calm in the aftermath of 11 September attacks, McKellen said: "Well, you forget—I slept under a steel plate until I was four years old.". McKellen's father was a civil engineer and lay preacher, was of Protestant Irish and Scottish descent. Both of McKellen's grandfathers were preachers, his great-great-grandfather, James McKellen, was a "strict, evangelical Protestant minister" in Ballymena, County Antrim, his home environment was Christian, but non-orthodox. "My upbringing was of low nonconformist Christians who felt that you led the Christian life in part by behaving in a Christian manner to everybody you met." When he was 12, his mother died of breast cancer.
After his coming out as gay to his stepmother, Gladys McKellen, a member of the Religious Society of Friends, he said, "Not only was she not fazed, but as a member of a society which declared its indifference to people's sexuality years back, I think she was just glad for my sake that I wasn't lying anymore." His great-great-grandfather Robert J. Lowes was an activist and campaigner in the successful campaign for a Saturday half-holiday in Manchester, the forerunner to the modern five-day work week, thus making Lowes a "grandfather of the modern weekend". McKellen attended Bolton School, of which he is still a supporter, attending to talk to pupils. McKellen's acting career started at Bolton Little Theatre. An early fascination with the theatre was encouraged by his parents, who took him on a family outing to Peter Pan at the Opera House in Manchester when he was three; when he was nine, his main Christmas present was a fold-away wood and bakelite Victorian theatre from Pollocks Toy Theatres, with cardboard scenery and wires to push on the cut-outs of Cinderella and of Laurence Olivier's Hamlet.
His sister took him to his first Shakespeare play, Twelfth Night, by the amateurs of Wigan's Little Theatre, shortly followed by their Macbeth and Wigan High School for Girls' production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, with music by Mendelssohn, with the role of Bottom played by Jean McKellen, who continued to act and produce amateur theatre until her death. In 1958, McKellen, at the age of 18, won a scholarship to St Catharine's College, where he read English literature, he has since been made an Honorary Fellow of the College. While at Cambridge, McKellen was a member of the Marlowe Society, where he appeared in 23 plays over the course of 3 years. At that young age he was giving performances that have since become legendary such as his Justice Shallow in Henry IV alongside Trevor Nunn and Derek Jacobi and Doctor Faustus. During this period McKellen had been directed by Peter Hall, John Barton and Dadie Rylands, all of whom would have a huge impact on McKellen's future career. McKellen made his first professional appearance in 1961 at the Belgrade Theatre, as Roper in A Man for All Seasons, although an audio recording of the Marlowe Society's Cymbeline had gone on commercial sale as part of the Argo Shakespeare series.
After four years in regional repertory theatres he made his first West End appearance, in A Scent of Flowers, regarded as a "notable success". In 1965 he was a member of Laurence Ol
Louise Miriam "Dillie" Keane is an Olivier Award-nominated actress and comedian. She is best known as one third of the comedy cabaret trio Fascinating Aïda since its 1983 inception, but she has had a prominent solo career. Born in Portsmouth in 1952, Keane is the daughter of Frank Keane, a doctor from County Mayo, by his marriage to Miriam Slattery from Tralee, County Kerry, was brought up in Portsmouth as a Roman Catholic, she has described her mother as something of a dragon. She was educated at the strict Roman Catholic Woldingham School, where she sang in the school choir and played the guitar on the "Folk Mass" album recorded by some of the girls at Abbey Road in 1967, she has described the School as disorganised. At the age of eighteen, she was expelled for going to see Fellini's Satyricon in London with boys from Worth School. Keane crammed for A-levels and studied music at Trinity College, but left the four-year course after three years and went on to study acting for three years at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Keane was nominated for a Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival in 1990 for her one-woman theatre show Single Again, returning the following year with Citizen Keane. In 1995, with Fascinating Aïda, she was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Entertainment. Between 1999 and 2001 she toured a one-woman show, Back With You, taking in the UK and Germany, winning the Best Comedy Award at the Moers Comedy Festival in 2001. In 2002, Keane wrote the songs for Sandi Toksvig's musical comedy Big Night Out at the Little Palace Theatre. Other works include the plays A Slice of Boat People, she has written songs for two pantos with Adèle Anderson. Keane continued her acting career, including touring versions of Dancing at Lughnasa and Charley's Aunt and the Paycock at the Leicester Haymarket, she was included in the premiere production of The Vagina Monologues in Dublin in 2002. She appeared with Kit and The Widow in Tomfoolery during 2005 and in the premiere one night only staging of a new musical version of Little Women at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
In 2006, Keane appeared with Jenny Eclair and Linda Robson, in Grumpy Old Women Live, as the Duchess in Me and My Girl on a new national tour. She performed the role of Dolly in Frank and Dolly a new play by Lizzie Hopley at the Edinburgh Festival 2007, for which she was nominated for the Stage Best Actress Award, before getting back on tour with Grumpy Old Women Live, she toured round Ireland performing the role of Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest, before returning to England, beginning to write new songs for the 25th anniversary of Fascinating Aïda, which performed for a few weeks at the Jermyn Street Theatre. On 29 June 2008, she appeared in The Lovely Russell Concert, which celebrated the life of her friend and colleague Russell Churney. In 2009, she toured England with Fascinating Aïda, completed a new album; as well as appearing in documentaries about Fascinating Aïda, Keane has appeared with Richard Griffiths and Samantha Janus in Pie in the Sky, with Phil Cool on a number of his series.
Keane has written and presented on radio for shows such as Stop the Week, 4th Column, Booked! and Call Me When You're in Something. Keane was a columnist for the Mail on Sunday, published two books connected with Fascinating Aïda: The Joy of Sequins—The Fascinating Aïda Songbook and Fascinating Who?. Keane lives in Oxfordshire with her partner, she travels for her work, enjoys working in Ireland, the homeland of her parents. She drives a Ford Transit: "I'm colossally uninterested in cars... but vans are different. They're incredible fun to drive. You are always the bigger dog. People always back up in small country lanes to let you pass, and lorry drivers are much nicer. Keane was made an honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of Portsmouth, in recognition of her musical career and her links with the city. Fascinating Aïda Grumpy Old Women Live Liza Pulman Adèle Anderson Interview with The Theatre Guide A Dillie Keane Column at The Stage Fascinating Aïda Official Website Jermyn Street Theatre Fascinating Aïda Notice Dillie Keane at Gavin Barker Associates Interview on Grumpy Old Women Live Grumpy Old Women interview with the Lancashire Telegraph