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BERYL REID, 76, DIES; HAD CAREER AS ONE OF BRITAIN'S BEST-LOVED ACTRESSES

Beryl Reid, an untrained music hall performer who parlayed her comic timing and dramatic versatility into a career as one of Britain's best-loved actresses, died Sunday. She was 76.

She had been ill with pneumonia after an operation on her knees, her agent Robert Luff said. He would not say where she died.

Ms. Reid was best known overseas as the bitter lesbian radio soap opera star in the 1968 film version of "The Killing of Sister George," a role she created on stage.

Her Broadway appearance in that play won her the Tony award for best actress in 1966.

She also starred opposite Sir Alec Guinness in the 1982 television series, "Smiley's People," based on characters created by spy novelist John LeCarre. She won Britain's highest acting award for the series.

In the 1970s, Ms. Reid performed at the National Theater, a haven usually reserved for the classically trained, proving as adept at Shakespeare as she had been at music hall.

Ms. Reid was awarded an Order of the British Empire in 1986. She lived out her final years with her cats in a country home on the Thames, west of London. She had no known survivors.

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