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Shirley Anne Field, ‘Alfie’ And ‘The Entertainer’ Star, Dead at 87

Shirley Anne Field, ‘Alfie’ And ‘The Entertainer’ Star, Dead at 87

Actress Shirley Anne Field, best known for her work in the films Alfie and The Entertainer, has died at 87 years old. Field, born on June 27, 1936, in London, England, initially worked as a model in the 1950s. Later on in the decade, she moved into being an actress.

“It is with great sadness that we are sharing the news that Shirley Anne Field passed away peacefully on Sunday … surrounded by her family and friends,” a family statement read according to the BBC and The Guardian. “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.”

Shirley Anne Field’s Film Credits Start In 1956

Field’s early film credits included two 1956 pieces, Loser Takes All and It’s A Wonderful World, according to People. Then, in 1959, Field picked up her first major starring role in the movie Horrors of the Black Museum. When 1960 rolled around, business picked up for her.

She played Tina Lapford opposite Laurence Olivier in The Entertainer. Field, in that year alone, would star in eight different acting projects. During her career, besides Olivier, other famous costars included Michael Caine, Robert Wagner, and Steve McQueen.

Field, on television, starred in Madson, Where the Heart Is, Waking the Dead, and others. Live stage work included The Cemetery Club and Five Blue Hair Ladies Sitting on a Green Park Bench.

Recent work has included Doctors, Last Of The Summer Wine, The Bill, and Dalziel And Pascoe

The Daily Mail reports that, at one time, Field reportedly had romances with Dudley Moore, Labour politician Anthony Crosland, and photographer Terry O’Neill. 

Actress Was Escorted By Frank Sinatra

Field was escorted to the Pigalle Club by Frank Sinatra in 1958. She was introduced to Patricia Kennedy, sister of John F Kennedy and then-wife of actor Peter Lawford. Later on, she became friends with President Kennedy himself. Field also recalled talking with England football legend George Best. 

But she turned down a chance to be a Bond girl. She acknowledged that an appearance opposite Bond would have seen her “pensioned for life.” 

Field had a troubling childhood. When she was five years old, her East London home was bombed during the Second World War. It led to her losing ties with her family for decades. She was sent to live in a Bolton orphanage run by Methodist Sisters. Field didn’t see her mother again until she was 38.

“I kept crying and getting into a temper,” Field told the Glasgow Times in an interview. “I kept saying ‘I’ve got a little baby brother, who is two years younger.’ I had two sisters as well, but they were old enough to be evacuated. Finally, the nuns brought my brother up to Bolton and he was put into a boys’ building on the other side of a field, which was full of cows, which I was terrified of. I only got to see him at special times.”