Rag Trade actress Miriam Karlin dies aged 85

Actress Miriam Karlin, known for her role in TV sitcom The Rag Trade and many notable screen roles, died yesterday at the age of 85.

The star, who also appeared in films such as A Clockwork Orange and Room At The Top, died in a London hospital after a battle with cancer.

She was best known to TV viewers for her role as shop steward Paddy in The Rag Trade, who punctuated the show with her call to action: “Everybody out”.

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Among those today paying tribute to Mim – as she was known to friends – were Lord and Baroness Kinnock.

In a statement they said: “As an actor Miriam Karlin was superbly talented in roles of every kind. As an activist for freedom she was supremely brave and persistent.

“Mim was easy to love, an infectious friend, a true comrade and a sparkling spirit. She will be mourned by all who work for justice, admire creativity and enjoy fun.”

The Hampstead-born Jewish actress – who lost some of her family in Auschwitz – trained at RADA, and cut her teeth as a performer with forces entertainment organisation ENSA.

She performed in rep, making her film debut in 1952 in Down Among The Z Men.

Later roles included appearing opposite Lord Olivier in The Entertainer, and she was the “Cat lady” in an infamously brutal scene in which she was beaten to death in A Clockwork Orange.

Her trade union and welfare work was recognised with an OBE.