Homosexuality until recent times has been frowned upon and people who happen to be homosexuals have lived their lives with a façade. Holding an important role in society or a career that gave people access to your private life meant you had to be more careful if you were a homosexual. Amanda Barrie is one of such people; the British actress and comedian is most popular for her appearance in the comedy film Carry On and for her work on the ITV show Coronation Street. Here is more about her life and sexual orientation.
Amanda Barrie’s Biography – How Old is She?
Amanda Barrie was born Shirley Anne Broadbent on the 14th of September 1935 in a town called Ashton-under-Lyne in Lancashire, England, where she spent most of her childhood. Her father, Hubert Howath Broadbent, was an accountant and her mother was Connie Broadbent and they named her after the actress – Shirley Temple.
For her formal education, Amanda Barrie attended St. Anne’s College, got trained in the arts at the Arts Educational School in London before she went ahead to study theatre at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
Amanda Barrie’s first time on a stage was in a play at her grandfather’s theatre where at the age of three, she partook in a play as a fairy on a Christmas tree. After her part in the play, she began to train to become a singer and dancer, with the support of her mother who wanted her to become an entertainer like the star she was named after.
Her parents went through a divorce while she was a teenager and in wake of their split, Barrie ran off to London. While in London, she lived at a girls’ club theatre and then found a job working as a chorus girl. Her name change from Shirley Broadbent to Amanda Barrie occurred in 1958 and in the same year, she had her first role on a television show. In a funny incident which occurred while she acting on a live show, her skirt dropped from her waist.
In 1961, she had a role in the West End production of Babes in the Wood and for the most part of the ’60s, Barrie decided to work majorly at the West End, where she got roles in different shows, which were majorly comedy. Most of her works during this time were in Revue, a majority of which brought her recognition. Some of these Revues that gave her recognition are Six of One and See You Inside both in 1963
Barrie’s roles in BBC’s Carry On films gave her international fame and introduced her to a much wider audience. That notwithstanding, her biggest break came in the early ’80s with the role of Alma Sedgewick on the show Coronation Street in 1981, which she worked on before quitting in 2001
Since leaving Coronation Street, Barrie has had roles in other movies and television shows and most recently in 2018 she was a contestant on the game show Celebrity Big Brother.
Is Amanda Barrie Gay? Wife/Partner – Hilary Bonner
In 2002, with the release of her biography; It’s Not a Rehearsal, Amanda Barrie at the age of 67 came out as bi-sexual. In the autobiography, she stated that she had maintained a relationship with Heather Chasen (who is also an actress) for a very long time.
Amanda Barrie in 2014 got married to her partner of many years, Hilary Bonner, an English crime novelist. Most of Bonner’s works are focused on her real-life experiences and are mostly controversial. Some of her books include; The Dead Cry Out, No Reason to Die, and The Cruellest Game.
At the age of 17, Barrie’s partner got accepted to the Daily Mirror Training Scheme. She would then become the show business editor of the national newspapers, The Sun, and The Mail on Sunday. Barrie and her wife live in London and Somerset.
Before coming out as gay, Amanda Barrie had relationships with the opposite sex. On the set of the musical comedy, I’ve Gotta House, she met the musician Billy Fury. They dated briefly but Barrie turned down his marriage proposal.
She instead decided to get married to Robin Hunter, a director who worked in theater. The two got married in 1967 but would split up some time in the ’80s. The couple had no children together and were never divorced but remained married till Hunter’s death in 2004.