Selina Cadell is an English actress, director and drama teacher who is best known for her portrayal of Mrs. Tishell throughout the nine seasons of the medical comedy 'Doc Martin', which has been renewed for the tenth season. Coming from an entertainment background, she has been acting in theatre, films and on television for nearly five decades. Her other notable television appearances were in series such as 'Life Without George', 'Bodger and Badger', 'EastEnders', 'Cardiac Arrest', 'The Amazing Mrs Pritchard', 'Lab Rats', 'Father Brown' and 'Love, Nina'. She played the lead role in the TV movie 'The Lady Vanishes', apart from doing supporting roles in several films. She worked with Sam Mendes in the Broadway production of Anton Chekhov's 'The Cherry Orchard' and the critically acclaimed production of 'Twelfth Night' in London and New York. In 2015, she directed the first performance of 'Love for Love' by William Congreve at the Royal Shakespeare Company. She is the head of drama at the National Opera School and is a teacher at the drama school attached to Johannesburg’s famous Market Theatre.
Unlike her older brother Simon, who was determined to be an actor since childhood, Selina Cadell had initially resisted following the family tradition of showbiz started by her grandmother Jean Cadell. However, she eventually followed her brother and mentor to theatre and to screen. She began acting in the late 1970s and appeared as Mary Dove in the TV movie 'Agatha Christie's Miss Marple: A Pocket Full of Rye' in 1985. She went on to play recurring roles on the television series 'Life Without George' (1989), 'Bodger and Badger' (1991) and 'Cardiac Arrest' (1996), and had guest roles on series like 'Victoria Wood', 'Jeeves and Wooster', 'EastEnders', among many others. Her film credits include movies such as 'The Madness of King George', 'Match Point', 'Wild Child', 'Gambit', and 'The Lady in the Van'. In 2013, she was cast in the lead role of Miss Froy in the BBC telefilm 'The Lady Vanishes'. One of her recent popular roles was as pharmacist Mrs. Tishell on the ITV series 'Doc Martin' from 2004 to 2019.
You May Like
Continue Reading Below
Friendship with Sigourney Weaver
Selina Cadell has been close friends with American actress Sigourney Weaver, famed for her roles in films such as the Alien franchise, the Ghostbusters series and 'Avatar', since the two met in a London pub in summer 1974. The two clicked immediately and Weaver, who was supposed to be in London for a few weeks, spent the whole summer there "bombing around in my yellow Renault 4" and they "giggled until it hurt", as Cadell remembers. They kept in touch through letters and phone calls after Weaver left for New York in autumn, and often met there as Cadell had theatrical performances in the city.
She was one of the first people to know when Weaver bagged the role of Ellen Ripley in Ridley Scott's 'Alien'. Even after becoming a huge Hollywood star, Weaver would often ask her trusted friend for suggestions as directors were too afraid to direct her properly, and stated that Cadell's inputs gave her a lot of courage while playing an autistic woman in the film 'Snow Cake', in which they first worked together. Later, Weaver made a surprise guest appearance on Cadell's ITV1 series 'Doc Martin' on October 26, 2015. Cadell said in an interview that they admit their fears to each other, despite it being rare among actors.
Family & Personal Life
Selina Jane Cadell was born on August 12, 1953, in London, England, United Kingdom, to actor and director Gillian Howell and the late theatre agent John Cadell. She is the granddaughter of late Scottish character actress Jean Cadell who had starred opposite W.C. Fields in the 1935 adaptation of 'David Copperfield'. Her older brother, Simon Cadell, also an actor known for his role in the situation comedy series 'Hi-de-Hi!', died of lung cancer at the age of 45. Her twin brother, Patrick Cadell, is a commercials director. She is also the niece of the Scottish painter Francis Cadell and the cousin of actor Guy Siner. She was educated at Bedales School, the co-educational boarding school at Petersfield. She told in an interview that, at the age of eight, she was abused by the matron soon after her parents left on the first day, and was threatened with bullying in her dorm.
She was married to theatre actor Michael Thomas – known for his work for the Old Vic, the National Theatre, and the Royal Shakespeare Company – from 1975 to his death on March 4, 2019. She has two children from the marriage: son Edwin and daughter Letty, both of whom are actors. Edwin also worked in education during the 2010s when he was forced to stop acting temporarily due to ill health.