Sheila Hancock is the widow of the original Inspector Morse John Thaw

Seasoned actress Sheila Hancock appears in Inspector Morse’s prequel Endeavor tonight (Friday 5th February) and is the widow of John Thaw.

Fans of the crime novel will know that John was the show’s original star.

As Inspector Morse, John became a mega hit around the world.

But now his widow, 87-year-old Sheila, shows up on this episode of Endeavor, playing a tarot card reader.

But who is Sheila Hancock and how long were she and John married?


Sheila has a family connection with Endeavor (Photo credit: SplashNews.com)

Who is Sheila Hancock in Endeavor?

Sheila was born on the Isle of Wight in 1933. She began her first foray into acting in 1958 when she starred in the West End play Breath Of Spring.

Inspired by her West End debut, she appeared in the legendary Peter Cook comic book review, One Over The Eight.

In fact, Sheila appeared in comedy rather than direct acting during her early career.

So much so that it was followed by a host of BBC sitcoms in the 1960s.

JOhn thaw as Inspector Morse
John Thaw as Inspector Morse (Photo credit: YouTube / ITV)

What is Sheila’s connection to Endeavor?

After her first husband Alec Ross died in 1971, Sheila found love again with another actor – John Thaw.

From 1987 to 2000, John played the role of Inspector Morse in the title ITV series based on the novels by Colin Dexter.

In 33 episodes, the Oxford-based show became a huge global hit.

Unfortunately, John was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2001.

He died the following year at the age of 60.

When did Sheila appear in EastEnders?

In 2000, Sheila landed a role on the BBC soap EastEnders.

For a year she played Steve and Jackie Owen’s poisonous mother Barbara.

When she got seriously ill, it was found that she had molested Steve (played by Martin Kemp) when he was younger.

When Barbara died, Steve’s wife, Mel (Tamzin Outhwaite), was the only person who went to the funeral.

Abigail Thaw in Endeavor
Abigail is John’s daughter (Image Credit: ITV)

Is Abigail Thaw John Thaw’s daughter?

Endeavor – who portrays the young Morse in the 1960s and 70s – also stars Abigail Thaw.

Abigail plays Dorothea Frazil, editor of the local Oxford newspaper.

She is John’s daughter from his first marriage to Sally Alexander.

Going to work at Endeavor is no homage to my father.

She told that Radio times: “Going to work at Endeavor is no homage to my father.

“But it jerks me every now and then – it strangely happens when I’m in Oxford, where I think about him a lot more.

“I’m tired after a few days of filming and I’m like, ‘Blimey, he did this for months.’ I never noticed when I went to visit him for Sunday lunch and to clap. “


Viewers can see Endeavor at various points of sale (Credit: ITV)

Where can I see old episodes of Lewis and Endeavor?

The good news is that there are two ways to watch old episodes of Inspector Morse: spin-off Lewis and prequel Endeavor.

ITV3 regularly shows reruns of all three shows.

Read more: Great Canal Journeys: Sheila Hancock compared herself to ‘Wonder Woman’ when viewers praised her and Gyles Brandreth

However, if you are impatient and want to watch on-demand, the subscription service Britbox offers all three shows.

Go to the streaming channel Here sign up and sign up and subscribe.

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