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Patricia Heywood (born 1 August 1931[1] in Gretna Green, Dumfriesshire, Scotland), is a Scottish character actress who has appeared in stage productions, films and television. She is married to Oliver Neville, the former principal of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.



She was born as one of five children to John David Heywood who was an engineer. In her teens she was educated at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, transferring to the theatre company afterwards and appearing in their production of Salad Days as Rowena in 1954. The same year the entire production transferred to the Vaudeville Theatre in London, where it played for five years, a record for a musical at the time.

In 1968 her film debut at the age of 36 was as Juliet's nurse in Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet, followed by small roles in Staircase (1969) and Battle of Britain (1969). Her next role was as a maid in the psychodrama Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly (1970) by Freddie Francis. After that film she was seen (often in supporting roles or short appearances) in comedies, thrillers and horror films. Her other film roles include parts in All the Way Up (1970), Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? (1971), 10 Rillington Place (1971, where she played Ethel Christie, the wife of serial killer John Christie), Young Winston (1971, as Winston Churchill's nurse), Bequest to the Nation (1973), Wish You Were Here (1987, as Lynda's aunt Millie), Young Toscanini (1988), Getting It Right (1989), and Franco Zeffirelli's Sparrow (1993).

In 1978 Heywood played Ellen (Nelly) in the BBC's television production of Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights. She also appeared on the comedy television mini series Root Into Europe in which an elderly British couple visit several countries in Europe. She played Dickon's mother in the 1987 Hallmark Hall of Fame version of The Secret Garden. She was also in the Inspector Morse episode "Second Time Around".

She was nominated for BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Romeo and Juliet in 1969.


Year Title Role Notes
1968 Romeo and Juliet The Nurse
1969 Staircase Nurse
1969 Battle of Britain WRAF Cpl. Seymour Uncredited
1970 Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly Nanny
1970 All the Way Up Hilda Midway
1971 10 Rillington Place Ethel Christie
1971 Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? Dr. Mason
1972 Young Winston Mrs. Everest
1973 Bequest to the Nation Emily
1987 Wish You Were Here Aunt Millie
1988 Young Toscanini Madre Allegri
1989 Getting It Right Mrs. Lamb
1993 Sparrow Sister Teresa (final film role)


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