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The Railway Children Return: Jenny Agutter and Sheridan Smith star in EXCLUSIVE first look

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It’s a film that holds a special place within the hearts of film-goers five a long time after its release.

Now fans of The Railway Children will have the option to rediscover the magic with the sequel The Railway Children Return, which begins filming within the UK next week. 

Actress Jenny Agutter will return as Bobbie Waterbury, the character that propelled her to stardom when she was just 18 years old. 

Now 69, Jenny’s profession has gone from strength to strength within the a long time since. She has won a BAFTA and an Emmy and for the last ten years has starred in hit BBC drama Call The Midwife as Sister Julienne. 

But not all of The Railway Children solid have been so fortunate of their careers. Sally Thomsett, who played Phyllis, the youngest Waterbury, struggled to seek out her way back into acting after welcoming her first child in her 40s. 

She also made headlines in 2019 when it was revealed she was still married to a person she had separated from within the Eighties because she had ‘no clue’ where he lived’. 

Meanwhile Gary Warren, who played middle child Peter Waterbury, dropped off the showbiz map after a handful of acting gigs and has led a quiet life raising a family.   

Here, FEMAIL reveals how the remainder of the solid have fared since they waved their red petticoats at that oncoming train – from kid’s TV legend Bernard Cribbins to Don’t Wait Up’s Dinah Sheridan… 

JENNY AGUTTER (ROBERTA ‘BOBBIE’ WATERBURY)

Jenny in 2019

Jenny Agutter played plucky Roberta ‘Bobbie’ Waterbury in each the 1968 TV and 1970 film adaptations of the kids’s classic, The Railway Children. Right, in 2019

Jenny Agutter played plucky Roberta ‘Bobbie’ Waterbury in each the 1968 TV and 1970 film adaptations of the kids’s classic, The Railway Children. 

This made her a star on the age of 18, propelling her into Hollywood, where in 1972 she picked up an Emmy for The Snow Goose and big critical popularity of Nicolas Roeg’s coming-of-age movie, Walkabout.

Jenny was based in LA for 17 years where she had major success with a slew of flicks including Logan’s Run, The Man In The Iron Mask and Equus, which earned her a BAFTA nomination. But Jenny never enjoyed the networking side of the industry.

‘I wasn’t excellent on the celebrity stuff,’ she has said previously. ‘I’d go to parties and other people would ask what I used to be doing and I’d say, “Oh nothing in the intervening time”, after which I’d be pulled to 1 side and told I must not ever say that. But I all the time just told the reality.’ 

In Hollywood Agutter was most definitely something of a sex symbol. She didn’t, nonetheless, behave like a sex symbol – there have been no high-profile relationships, no broken engagements or unsuitable marriages.

In 1989 she returned to England to make the film King Of The Wind with Glenda Jackson and Nigel Hawthorne.

The Railway Children made her a star at the age of 18, propelling her into Hollywood, where in 1972 she picked up an Emmy for The Snow Goose (pictured)

The Railway Children made her a star on the age of 18, propelling her into Hollywood, where in 1972 she picked up an Emmy for The Snow Goose (pictured)

Jenny was based in LA for 17 years where she had major success with a slew of movies including Logan's Run (pictured, with Farrah Fawcett) Agutter in Walkabout, which was met with critical acclaim

Jenny was based in Los Angeles for 17 years where she had major success with a slew of flicks including 1976’s Logan’s Run (left, with Farrah Fawcett) and 1971’s Walkabout (right)

While filming in Bath, after which nearly 40, she met her husband, the Swedish hotelier Johan Tham who was a director of Cliveden Hotel in Buckinghamshire. 

The yr after their marriage in 1990 their son Jonathan was born.

‘I used to be very lucky,’ she has said. ‘I had given up hope of being married and just thought marriage and motherhood isn’t my path. I like what I do but my family is an absolute blessing.’

In 2000 she returned to The Railway Children for a 3rd time, appearing as the kids’s mother in an ITV remake. 

Jenny is now best known to TV audiences as Sister Julienne on BBC’s Call The Midwife, a job she has played because the show’s 2012 premiere. But when she first read the script she believed it could be an enormous flop.

Jenny is now best known to TV audiences as Sister Julienne on BBC's Call The Midwife, a role she has played since the show's 2012 premiere

Jenny is now best known to TV audiences as Sister Julienne on BBC’s Call The Midwife, a job she has played because the show’s 2012 premiere

‘I assumed, who nowadays goes to tune right into a series about midwives, nuns and a very impoverished a part of London within the Fifties?,’ she said in 2019. No person is ever going to look at this. I prepared myself for only one series.’  

Agutter, who was awarded an OBE in 2012, has even landed the Holy Grail of acting gigs lately: a Marvel film role (albeit a small one). 

The actress played Councilwoman Hawley in The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. 

Away from the screen, Agutter has raised awareness of cystic fibrosis, which she believes caused the death of two of her siblings and affects her niece Rachel McGrath. 

SALLY THOMSETT (PHYLLIS WATERBURY)  

Fresh-faced Sally Thomsett shot to fame playing 11-year-old Phyllis in the 1970 movie of The Railway Children, despite being 20 years old at the time Sally on Pointless Celebrities in 2016

Fresh-faced Sally Thomsett shot to fame playing 11-year-old Phyllis in The Railway Children (left), despite being 20 years old on the time. Right, on Pointless Celebrities in 2016

Fresh-faced Sally Thomsett shot to fame playing 11-year-old Phyllis in The Railway Children, despite being 20 years old on the time.

A yr later, she appeared alongside Dustin Hoffman within the controversial film Straw Dogs, playing a seductive teenager. The identical yr, 1971, she married for the primary time.

She later admitted that she realised she’d made a mistake just six weeks after the marriage to shipping magnate’s son Nigel Newman. The pair divorced soon after.

In 1972 Thomsett was appearing in a Bovril advert when she was spotted by directors Brian Cooke and Johnnie Mortimer, who solid her as dizzy blond Jo ITV sitcom Man Concerning the House.  

Throughout the Seventies, she cemented her appeal as a comic book sex symbol, spending three years on the hit show alongside Richard O’Sullivan and Paula Wilcox.

A year after The Railway Children, Sally appeared alongside Dustin Hoffman in the controversial film Straw Dogs, playing a seductive teenager (pictured)

A yr after The Railway Children, Sally appeared alongside Dustin Hoffman within the controversial film Straw Dogs, playing a seductive teenager (pictured)

Throughout the Seventies, Sally cemented her appeal as a comic sex symbol, spending three years on Man About The House alongside Richard O’Sullivan and Paula Wilcox. Sally also famously enjoyed an off-screen romance with O’Sullivan that lasted for several years

Throughout the Seventies, Sally cemented her appeal as a comic book sex symbol, spending three years on Man About The House alongside Richard O’Sullivan and Paula Wilcox. Sally also famously enjoyed an off-screen romance with O’Sullivan that lasted for several years

Sally also famously enjoyed an off-screen romance with O’Sullivan that lasted for several years.

After Man About The House finished in 1976, Sally stepped back from TV but her personal life continued to be stuffed with drama. 

In 1980 Danish entrepreneur Claus Hede Nielsen hired Sally to model for publicity photos for the launch of an early cordless ‘Freedom’ telephone he was attempting to market.  

Born into certainly one of Denmark’s most prestigious and wealthy families, Claus’s grandfather made the Hede Nielsen family fortune on the turn of the twentieth century manufacturing industrial gases and bicycles.

The pair met after his secretary, noting that her boss was single and looking out for a latest girlfriend, invited Sally to certainly one of the legendary pool parties Claus used to carry at his mansion in Wembley Park, London.

The pair fell head over heels in love and just every week later the pair were married, surrounded by family and friends.  

A few years into their marriage, Claus sold his Wembley mansion and the pair relocated to Los Angeles. Claus had plans to establish businesses there; Sally desired to make her name in Hollywood. 

Nonetheless things weren’t to last and Sally eventually returned to the UK without him. 

Sally fell pregnant with daughter Charlotte (above) when she was 46 years old. The mother and daughter at Kings Cross station to launch Millennium Cavalcade Of Steam in 2010

Sally fell pregnant with daughter Charlotte (above) when she was 46 years old. The mother and daughter at Kings Cross station to launch Millennium Cavalcade Of Steam in 2010

In 2019 Sally revealed she was still legally married to Claus and said she couldn’t divorce him because she had ‘no clue’ where he was living.  

The Day by day Mail later tracked him right down to a modest house in Denmark nevertheless it shouldn’t be known whether the pair are still married. 

For her part, Sally has been together with her current partner Paul Agnew, a landscape gardener, for some 30 years. The couple have daughter, Charlotte.   

She became a mother for the primary time on the age of 46 and struggled to get acting work after taking outing to boost her daughter. ‘However the timing didn’t end up well,’ she said in 2019. ‘Reality TV was starting they usually’d stopped making nice comedies. I’ve done a number of chatshows and things like that, but actual acting is what I need to do. I’d say the possibilities of that occuring are zilch.’

Sally has still yet to have had one other credited acting gig. 

GARY WARREN (PETER WATERBURY) 

London-born Gary Warren, 66, was 16 when he appeared as Peter Waterbury in The Railway Children Pictured on YouTube music vodcast Word In Your Ear in August 2020

London-born Gary Warren, 67, was 16 when he appeared as Peter Waterbury in The Railway Children (left). Right, on YouTube music vodcast Word In Your Ear in August 2020

London-born Gary Warren, 67, was 16 when he appeared as Peter Waterbury in The Railway Children. 

The yr before the film was released he starred within the West End production of Mame, as Ginger Rogers’ nephew. 

Although he landed a handful of TV and film roles – including in Catweazle, The Shadow of the Tower and Whacko – Gary didn’t benefit from the same acting profession success as his on screen sisters. 

His last credited role was in 1973, when he was still a teen. 

Gary has stayed largely out of the spotlight although he does attend cast reunion events. Pictured, with cast members Deddie Davies, Bernard Cribbins and Jenny Agutter in 2014

Gary has stayed largely out of the highlight although he does attend solid reunion events. Pictured, with solid members Deddie Davies, Bernard Cribbins and Jenny Agutter in 2014

Gary has stayed largely out of the highlight within the 50 years since, although he does attend solid reunion events.  

There have been widespread rumours Gary had left the UK to work within the fur trade in Canada but in point of fact he led a quiet life raising two children in Oxfordshire.  

Speaking on YouTube music vodcast Word In Your Ear in August 2020, Gary revealed he also has a two-year-old granddaughter who lives in Latest York. 

The doting grandfather explained he and wife Laura had arrived in Latest York early within the yr and decided to stay there over summer in order that they could possibly be near their granddaughter.  

‘I’m pleased we will see her now the entire time,’ he said. ‘That is an actual bonus. She’s my first grandchild, it’s an incredible thing. She’s a genius actually.’ 

BERNARD CRIBBINS (ALBERT PERKS) 

A legend of children's film and television, Bernard Cribbins became the nation's 'Uncle Bernard' when he started telling stories on Jackanory in the mid-Sixties. He appeared as stationmaster Albert Perks in The Railway Children Bernard Cribbins in 2015

A legend of kids’s film and tv, Bernard Cribbins became the nation’s ‘Uncle Bernard’ when he began telling stories on Jackanory within the mid-Sixties. He appeared as stationmaster Albert Perks (left) in The Railway Children. Right, Bernard Cribbins in 2015

A legend of kids’s film and tv, Bernard Cribbins, now 92, became the nation’s ‘Uncle Bernard’ when he began telling stories on Jackanory within the mid-Sixties. 

A couple of years later his friend Lionel Jeffries phoned to ask him to play Albert Perks, the stationmaster in a latest film he was directing. 

‘The movie was called The Railway Children — and, in fact, neither he nor I had any idea it could change into certainly one of the best-loved British movies ever,’ Cribbins wrote in his memoir. ‘Actors never do know that on the time.’

By then Cribbins was already a household name. After his West End debut within the Comedy of Errors in 1956, the actor made early film appearances within the Carry On movies opposite Barbara Windsor – who he once described as a ‘breath of fresh air’ – and Casino Royale, in addition to The Better of Enemies with David Niven and Two Way Stretch with Peter Sellers.

By then Cribbins was already a household name. Pictured, in Crooks In Cloisters with Ronald Fraser (left) and Barbara Windsor (centre)

By then Cribbins was already a household name. Pictured, in Crooks In Cloisters with Ronald Fraser (left) and Barbara Windsor (centre)

His career went from strength to strength after The Railway Children. He voiced 60 episodes of The Wombles between 1973 and 1975

His profession went from strength to strength after The Railway Children. He voiced 60 episodes of The Wombles between 1973 and 1975

Cribbins also guest turns on seemingly every television programme made at the time, including a memorable appearance in Fawlty Towers (pictured)

Cribbins also guest activates seemingly every television programme made on the time, including a memorable appearance in Fawlty Towers (pictured)

He was even a pop singer within the early 60s with the novelty hits Right Said Fred and The Hole In The Ground. 

His profession went from strength to strength after The Railway Children. 

He voiced 60 episodes of The Wombles between 1973 and 1975 and to guest activates seemingly every television programme made on the time, including a memorable appearance in Fawlty Towers.

More recently he has played played Wilf, the grandfather of Catherine Tate’s character, Donna, opposite David Tennant’s Doctor in Doctor Who, and appeared in Coronation Street and Midsomer Murders. 

In 2013 and 2014 he appeared in a string of Cbeebies shows: Old Jack’s Boat, Salty’s Waggy Tales and Old Jack’s Boat: Rockpool Tales. 

In 2003 Cribbins appeared in Coronation Street as Wally Bannister (pictured with Roy Hudd as Archie Shuttleworth)

In 2003 Cribbins appeared in Coronation Street as Wally Bannister (pictured with Roy Hudd as Archie Shuttleworth)

More recently he has played played Wilf, the grandfather of Catherine Tate’s character, Donna, opposite David Tennant’s Doctor (pictured) in Doctor Who

More recently he has played played Wilf, the grandfather of Catherine Tate’s character, Donna, opposite David Tennant’s Doctor (pictured) in Doctor Who

In 2013 and 2014 he made a string of Cbeebies shows: Old Jack's Boat (pictured), Salty's Waggy Tales and Old Jack's Boat: Rockpool Tales

In 2013 and 2014 he made a string of Cbeebies shows: Old Jack’s Boat (pictured), Salty’s Waggy Tales and Old Jack’s Boat: Rockpool Tales

The sad irony of Bernard's life, however, is that he and his wife Gill - who've been married since 1955 after meeting early in his career - couldn't have children of their own in those pre-IVF days after she suffered an early miscarriage. Pictured, the couple in 2010

The sad irony of Bernard’s life, nonetheless, is that he and his wife Gill – who’ve been married since 1955 after meeting early in his profession – couldn’t have children of their very own in those pre-IVF days after she suffered an early miscarriage. Pictured, the couple in 2010

In 2009, was awarded a BAFTA for his kid’s TV work.

The sad irony of Bernard’s life, nonetheless, is that he and his wife Gill – who’ve been married since 1955 after meeting early in his profession – couldn’t have children of their very own in those pre-IVF days after she suffered an early miscarriage. 

Yet young people remain his favourite audience. 

‘They’re splendidly receptive,’ he said in 2014. ‘So although I have no of my very own, I feel very lucky I’ve got plenty of other children who sit and hearken to my stories.’ 

Cribbins battled prostate cancer in 2009 but said in 2018 he was in ‘good health’ except a ‘nagging back condition’. 

DINAH SHERIDAN (MOTHER/MRS WATERBURY) 

Dinah Sheridan, who died in 2012 aged 92, starred as Mrs Waterbury, who is forced to take her three children away from Edwardian London to a remote house in Yorkshire beside the train tracks, after her husband is falsely jailed for spying Dinah Sheridan in 1994

Dinah Sheridan, who died in 2012 aged 92, starred as Mrs Waterbury, who’s forced to take her three children away from Edwardian London to a distant house in Yorkshire beside the train tracks, after her husband is falsely jailed for spying. Right, Sheridan in 1994

Dinah Sheridan, who died in 2012, starred as Mrs Waterbury, who’s forced to take her three children away from Edwardian London to a distant house in Yorkshire beside the train tracks, after her husband is falsely jailed for spying.  

But although she was the image of domestic contentment in her film roles, her home life was somewhat more troubled and unsteady.

By the point The Railway Children premiered in 1970, Dinah had been married twice. She left first husband Jimmy Hanley, with whom she shared two children, for Sir John Davis, the top of the Rank film organisation which co-produced 1953 screwball comedy Genevieve. 

The film was Sheridan’s best success alongside The Railway Children.

But the wedding to Davis was a disaster. Sheridan quickly realised she knew little of her latest husband’s true nature – or his past.

Sheridan's other great film hit was the 1953 screwball comedy Genevieve. Pictured, Sheridan with co-stars John Gregson, Kenneth More and Kay Kendall

Sheridan’s other great film hit was the 1953 screwball comedy Genevieve. Pictured, Sheridan with co-stars John Gregson, Kenneth More and Kay Kendall

Davis had told her something about two previous marriages, but he had neglected to say the existence of two more. He had three children and, perhaps believing an excessive amount of in her screen image, wanted Sheridan to be their perfect mother.  

Davis forbade her to return to acting, although producers were pleading to provide her starring roles. The wedding struggled on for 11 years, before Sheridan was driven to a nervous breakdown. Latest-found religious faith helped save her – she was baptised in 1961, aged 41 – and she or he applied for a divorce.   

Twenty years of hit roles on stage followed and she or he especially enjoyed doing classics by Bernard Shaw and Noel Coward.

Her third marriage, to the Canadian actor Jack Merivale, got here in 1986 after a few years of close friendship. It was a time for mothering of a special kind, as Merivale was seriously ailing and needed constant nursing. He died from a kidney condition in 1990.

Sheridan dazzled as Nigel Havers’s mum in the long-running BBC sitcom Don’t Wait Up. The comic tension between Sheridan and her estranged screen husband, Tony Britton (pictured with Havers), was one of the elements that kept the show going for six series

Sheridan dazzled as Nigel Havers’s mum within the long-running BBC sitcom Don’t Wait Up. The comic tension between Sheridan and her estranged screen husband, Tony Britton (pictured with Havers), was certainly one of the weather that kept the show going for six series

By then, she was playing yet one more maternal role, as Nigel Havers’s mum within the long-running BBC sitcom Don’t Wait Up. The comic tension between Sheridan and her estranged screen husband, Tony Britton, was certainly one of the weather that helped the show to maintain going for six series.

When Merivale died, Sheridan turned to an old friend, Aubrey Ison, an American film producer who had also been recently widowed. He became her fourth husband they usually were together for 15 years, before he died in 2007.

‘I’ve had a really strange life,’ she reflected. ‘Every time I’ve married, I’ve married for all times. But things have gone desperately improper.’ 

Sheridan, who died in 2012 aged 92, was survived by her two children. Daughter Jenny Hanley is an the actress best known as a presenter of the Seventies TV show, Magpie and her son Sir Jeremy Hanley is a former MP and was Tory party chairman under the Major government. 

IAIN CUTHBERTSON (FATHER/CHARLES WATERBURY) 

The Railway Children marked the film debut for the late Iain Cuthbertson, who played the children's imprisoned father Charles Waterbury Cuthbertson in 1996

The Railway Children marked the film debut for the late Iain Cuthbertson, who played the kids’s imprisoned father Charles Waterbury (left). Pictured right, in 1996

The Railway Children marked the film debut for the late Iain Cuthbertson, who played the kids’s imprisoned father Charles Waterbury.  

With only a handful of TV credits to his name including The Avengers, The Borderers and Mogul (later often known as The Troubleshooters), Cuthbertson was within the strategy of establishing himself as an actor having spent several years as a theatre director. 

Success got here quickly and by 1980, Cuthbertson had appeared in no fewer than 35 TV programmes. 

He achieved national recognition as Charlie Endell within the ITV comedy crime-drama Budgie from 1971 to 1972 and within the BBC drama Sutherland’s Law from 1973 to 1976.   

Cuthbertson achieved national recognition as Charlie Endell in the ITV comedy crime-drama Budgie from 1971 to 1972. Pictured, alongside co-star Adam Faith

Cuthbertson achieved national recognition as Charlie Endell within the ITV comedy crime-drama Budgie from 1971 to 1972. Pictured, alongside co-star Adam Faith

Cuthbertson also starred in BBC drama Sutherland's Law from 1973 to 1976

Cuthbertson also starred in BBC drama Sutherland’s Law from 1973 to 1976

Known for his sense of humour, Cuthbertson appeared in an episode of Michael Palin’s and Terry Jones’s Ripping Yarns (1977) and in the kids’s ITV comedy SuperGran (1985-87). He also had small roles in long-running series including Doctor Who, The Avengers and Inspector Morse.  

In 1982 Cuthbertson suffered a stroke which caused paralysis down one side of his body and speech loss. 

It took him two years to get better to the purpose where he could act and he didn’t appear in live theatre again because he feared he would stumble over or forget lines. 

Nonetheless he did proceed with screen work and was solid in movies including Gorillas within the Mist (1988), starring Sigourney Weaver, and in Scandal (1989), portraying Lord Hailsham.

Cuthbertson didn’t have any children but was married twice. His first wife was actress Anne Kristen, best known for enjoying Olive Rowe in Coronation Street. 

Cuthbertson died in 2009, aged 79.  

DEDDIE DAVIES (NELL PERKS)   

Deddie Davies, who died in 2016 aged 78, starred as Nell Perks, the wife of Bernard Cribbins' Albert Perks In the final years of her life she returned to her Welsh roots to play donkey owner Marj Brennig in Ruth Jones and David Peet’s comedy-drama Stella.

Deddie Davies, who died in 2016 aged 78, starred as Nell Perks, the wife of Bernard Cribbins’ Albert Perks (left). In the ultimate years of her life she returned to her Welsh roots to play donkey owner Marj Brennig in Ruth Jones and David Peet’s comedy-drama Stella (right)

Deddie Davies, who died in 2016 aged 78, starred as Nell Perks, the wife of Bernard Cribbins’ Albert Perks.

Although she remained best known for The Railway Children, Davies also found success as a personality actress, particularly in comedies. 

After starting out in period dramas with The Forsyte Saga and Vanity Fair, Davies showcased her flair for comedy as Madame Fouache in nine-part series Clochemerle (1972) and later appeared within the likes of Each Ends Meet (1972), The Rag Trade (1972-1973) and the last two series of That is My Boy (1985-1986). 

Davies became a well-recognized face as a supporting character on TV, picking up roles in The Bill, Doctors and Whitechapel.

 

Mrs Davies in The Rag Trade In That's My Boy in the 1970s

Mrs Davies in The Rag Trade (left) and That is My Boy within the Nineteen Seventies, when she was a household name as a comedy actress

In the ultimate years of her life she returned to her Welsh roots to play donkey owner Marj Brennig in Ruth Jones and David Peet’s comedy-drama Stella.  

Following Davies’ death of cancer, Jones paid tribute to her ‘remarkable’ co-star, saying: ‘She was certainly one of those rare individuals who didn’t possess a grain of self pity and whose company all the time brightened your day.

‘A extremely smart, joyful, talented and spectacularly spirited woman, who was an inspiration to us all.’

Of screen Davies dedicated her time to improving the standard of care in care homes and was a trustee of Compassion in Care. 

In 2008 Davies went undercover to research the standard of life in care homes for BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, keeping an audio diary of her experiences.   

WILLIAM MERVYN (THE OLD GENTLEMAN)

William Mervyn as The Old Gentleman in The Railway Children William Mervyn in 1966

William Mervyn as The Old Gentleman in The Railway Children (left). He died six years after the film was released. Right, in 1966

Trained as a stage actor, William Mervyn had greater than 50 credits to his name when he was solid as The Old Gentleman in The Railway Children. 

Amongst probably the most notable were clerical comedy series All Gas and Gaiters and The Odd Man, in addition to a job in Doctor Who. 

Often solid as an upper class character, Mervyn went on to play the Duke of Tottering in Tottering Towers (1972-1973) and The Hon. Mr Justice Campbell in Crown Court. He also appeared in Carry On Henry (1971). 

Nonetheless Mervyn died just six years after The Railway Children was released.

He was survived by his wife Anne, a theatre designer and architect, and their three sons, TV director Richard Pickwoad, production designer Michael Pickwoad and book-binding expert Nicholas Pickwoad. 

 

By Stephanie Linning for MailOnline  

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