Miriam Karlin Archive


Miriam Karlin (born Miriam Samuels; 1925-2011) was an English actress and political activist. Training at RADA, she began working with ENSA (Entertainments National Service Association) and then in repertory theatre. She went on to have a successful career over 60 years on stage and on TV, film and radio. 

She was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company in the seventies and appeared opposite Laurence Olivier in the film version of The Entertainer, also appearing in Stanley Kubrick’s film A Clockwork Orange. Karlin starred as Golde in the original West End production of the musical Fiddler on the Roof. However, she was probably best known for playing Paddy in TV sitcom The Rag Trade.

Karlin was awarded an OBE for her union and welfare work and was well known as a left-wing political activist. Despite being a self-proclaimed atheist, she was born into an orthodox Jewish family and was a lifelong campaigner for Jewish causes. Her autobiography is titled "Some Sort of Life".

What the collection holds

Archive of actress Miriam Karlin (1925-2011), including material relating to her career on stage, television, film and radio. Contains scripts, programmes, notes, reviews, photographs, costumes, AV material and personal papers related to her activism with Jewish organisations.

The online catalogue for this collection can be viewed here: 
MK - Miriam Karlin Archive

It is currently uncatalogued so please contact us for further information regarding its contents and access.

Miriam Karlin Autobiography
Cover of Miriam Karlin's autobiography Image credit: Oberon Books
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