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Carmen Silvera

Last updated 27 July 2014


Carmen Silvera (1922-2002)
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Carmen Blanche Silvera

Born: Fri 2nd June 1922
Died: Sat 3rd August 2002 (age: 80)

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Carmen Silvera  was a Canadian-born British comic actress. Silvera was possibly best known for her starring role in the British television programme, 'Allo 'Allo! as Edith Artois.

She appeared twice in Doctor Who, in the serials The Celestial Toymaker as Clara the Clown, Mrs. Wiggs, and the Queen of Hearts, and as Ruth in Invasion of the Dinosaurs. 

During World War II, Silvera was evacuated to Montreal and narrowly escaped death when, at the last minute, her name was taken off the passenger list of a troopship that was sunk by the enemy shortly afterwards, drowning 350 children. In Canada, she took classes with the Ballet Russes and appeared in three of its productions. On her return to Britain, she felt called to acting and trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, before gaining experience in repertory theatre.

Carmen Silvera first made her name as a television actress in the 1960s British police drama Z-Cars in 1962, going on to appear in the BBC soap opera Compact from 1964 to 1965. She played Mrs Van Schuyler in Lillie in 1978, ITV's drama series about the future Edward VII's mistress, Lillie Langtry.

She also appeared in the Dad's Army episode Mum's Army as Fiona Gray, the love-interest for Captain Mainwaring.

She appeared with Ted Rogers at the New Wimbledon Theatrein 1997 in Jimmy Perry's stage musical That's Showbiz. HerWest End stage appearances included roles in Waters of the Moon, starring Ingrid Bergman, Hobson's Choice with Penelope Keith, A Coat of Varnish and School for Wives, which was directed by Peter Hall. She also played a grandmother in the 1997 film La Passione and had roles in Keep It Up Downstairs (1976), Mrs Berkley in On The Game, and in the American film Clinic Exclusive.

In 1990, she was the subject of a This Is Your Life television programme. She did charity work for the Grand Order of Lady Ratlings, the ladies branch of the Grand Order of Water Rats.