Author(s): Sheila Hancock
When John Thaw, star of The Sweeney and Inspector Morse, died from cancer in 2002, a nation lost one of its finest actors and Sheila Hancock lost a beloved husband. In this unique double biography she chronicles their lives - personal and professional, together and apart.
John Thaw was born in Manchester, the son of a lorry driver. When he arrived at RADA on a scholarship he felt an outsider. In fact his timing was perfect: it was the sixties and television was beginning to make its mark. With his roles in Z-Cars and The Sweeney, fame came quickly. But it was John's role as Morse that made him an icon. In 1974 he married Sheila Hancock, with whom he shared a working-class background and a RADA education. Sheila was already the star of the TV series The Rag Trade and went on to become the first woman artistic director at the RSC. Theirs was a sometimes turbulent, always passionate relationship, and in this remarkable book Sheila describes their love - weathering overwork and the pressures of celebrity, drink and cancer - with honesty and piercing intelligence, and evokes two lives lived to the utmost.
The hardback is the second non fiction bestseller of 2004, after only Himalaya by Michael Palin Like Pamela Stephenson's Billy, this is a sought-after biography of one of the nation's best loved stars Serialised for Radio 4 'Book at Bedtime' read by Sheila Hancock, plus serialisation in a major newspaper and TV interviews ensures that this will be unmissable
'A book of exceptional emotional candour' Sunday Telegraph 'Wise, witty and at times unbearably moving' Glasgow Herald 'Startlingly good Hancock is remarkably good at evoking period and place' Sunday Times 'Her honest, graceful account leaves nothing out - Thaw's alcoholism, his depression, their separation, their love' Dublin Sunday Independent
Sheila Hancock was born in 1933 and attended RADA before embarking on a successful career in acting, both on stage and screen. She was awarded the OBE in 1974. Sheila Hancock lives in London.