Amanda Barrie



Real name: Shirley Anne Broadbent
Born: 14 September 1935, Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire (see note below !)
Parents: Connie Pyke and Hubert Howarth Broadbent
Married: Robin Hunter, 1967 (divorced)
Children:Contact: c/o Granada Television



Played: Alma Baldwin (22 June - 1 July 1981; 19 April - 5 May 1982; 1989 - 17 June 2001)

Shirley Anne Broadbent was born in Ashton-under-Lyne, Cheshire on 14 September 1935 to Hubert Howath Broadbent and his wife Connie Pyke. Her grandfather was a theatre owner. She was named after the actress Shirley Temple and it soon became obvious that a career in the theatre was going to begin, she made her acting debut as a young child playing the Christmas Tree Fairy.

At the age of three, she began taking ballet and singing lessons and also won a talent contest singing I'm Just A Little Girl Who's Looking For A Little Boy. She was educated at St Anne's College in St Anne's-on-Sea but was expelled when she played truant to attend ballet lessons. She studied drama at the Cone-Ripman School.

At the age of thirteen, her parents divorced and she moved to London where she lived at the Theatre Girls Club in Greek Street, Soho and she worked as a chorus girl. At the age of sixteen she danced at the Windsor Club alongside Danny La Rue and Barbara Windsor then the following year she performed in the play Five Past Eight and she dated the show's writer, John Law for three years. In 1958, Shirley changed her name to Amanda Barrie before making her West End debut in April 1961 at the Findsbury Park Empire in Babes In The Wood.

Prior to this, Amanda had made her television debut in The Bulldog Breed alongside Donald Churchill. Throughout the sixties Amanda worked flat out on stage in productions such as Cabaret, Private Lives, See You Inside, On The Brighter Side, Hobson's Choice, Aladdin, Any Wednesday, A Public Mischief, Six Of One, She Loves Me, Cinderella and Little by Little. She worked as the hostess on Double Your Money with Hughie Green and appeared in the films Operation Bullshine, A Pair of Briefs, Doctor In Distress and I've Gotta Horse. In 1963 she gained the role of Arthea, a female taxi driver in Carry On Cabby and the following year she played the title role in Carry On Cleo.

Amanda appeared as wife to Paul Eddington in Absurd Person Singular and appeared in the musical Stepping Out with Julia McKenzie. She played Mrs Spence in the 1976 film One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing and had television roles in Koroshi, A Midsummer Nights Dream and Time Of My Life. More theatre roles followed in productions such as The Mating Game, Lady Audrey's Secret, Hay Fever, Come When You Like, Who's Who, The Beggars Opera, Twelfth Night, Oh Kay!, Blithe Spirit, A Touch of Spring, Ooh La La and Lord Arthur Saville's Crime. She also danced on the Morecambe and Wise Show. Other television shows include L For Lester. In 1981 Amanda made her Coronation Street debut as Alma Sedgewick, a role that should have lasted two weeks but continued on and off appearances until the character became a regular in 1989.

Amanda married theatre director Robin Hunter in 1967 but they separated in the eighties, but remain good friends and have never divorced. She once dated singer Billy Fury.

Amanda lives in Covent Garden, London and has a flat in Manchester. She loves horse riding, collecting antiques and occasional gambling. In 1997 she shocked the nation when she told a tabloid newspaper that her eye sight was in danger after she had contracted the incurable eye disease retina vein occlusion.

In September 2000 it was revealed that Amanda had been 'economical with the truth' about her birth date. According to TV biographies and the official Corrie Street website, Amanda was born in September 1939. But in fact she was born a full four years earlier. Her birth certificate, under her real name of Shirley Anne Broadbent, records she was born on September 14, 1935. This was a very well-kept secret, and even Amanda'a ex-husband, actor Robin Hunter believed his bride was still in her 20s - the marriage certificate recorded her age as 27 on their wedding day - June 19, 1967 - when in fact Amanda was nearly 32 !


TV credits: Koroshi (1967); A Midsummer Night's Dream; Are You Being Served ?; Time of My Life; L for Lester;
Play for Today
(BBC1): A Tale Of Two Wives (1966); Absolute Aggers & Torters (1969); A Midsummer Night's Dream (1971); Early Struggles (1976)

Film credits include: Between Heaven and Hell; Operation Bullshine as ATS Girl; A Pair of Briefs; Doctor in Distress as Rona; Carry On Cabby (1963) as Arthea; Carry On Cleo (1964) as Cleo; I've Gotta Horse as Jo;






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