Man About The House actress Sally Thomsett has revealed she can’t marry her partner of 20 years – as she doesn’t know where her second husband is.
The actress, 96, who is living in Britain, starred in hit shows throughout the seventies including The Railway Children and Straw Dogs, before mysteriously disappearing from the limelight.
But while she was no longer seen on the TV, her life unravelled with similar twists and turns similar to those her characters played on the big screen.
In need of some time out, Sally travelled to Los Angeles where she tied the knot with Danish film producer, Claus Hede Nielsen. But it wasn’t to be and a couple of years later, estranged from her husband, she met her now-partner Paul Agnew, who is a landscape gardener.
While the happy couple have daughter Charlotte together after Sally fell pregnant aged 46, they have never been able to get married as she’s still wed to her second husband, Claus.
‘I haven’t seen Claus since 1985,’ Sally told the Daily Mirror. ‘I don’t know where he is to divorce him. I think he went to Denmark of LA. I’m still legally his wife, but I haven’t got a clue where he is.’
Throughout the Seventies, Sally Thomsett (left) was a household name and starred in hit shows including The Railway Children and Straw Dogs. From 1973-76, she played Jo in the popular ITV sitcom ‘Man About The House.’ Pictured with Richard O’Sullivan (inset) and Paula Wilcox
The former actress has had quite a tumultuous love life and flew to Los Angeles where she married Danish film producer, Claus Hede Nielsen. They separated years later and she then met her partner of 20 years Paul Agnew – but they can’t marry as she’s still married. Above, ‘The Railway Children’ press night after party at Waterloo Station, London on July 2010
One of Sally’s earliest roles was starring in the 1970 film The Railway Children as 11-year-old Phyllis – despite being 20 at the time. Pictured with Gary Warren
Sally fell pregnant with daughter Charlotte (above) when she was 46-years-old. The mother and daughter pictured together at Kings Cross station to launch Millennium Cavalcade Of Steam back in 2010
Aged 21 and after five years together, Sally married her first husband, Nigel Newman – something which she regretted just six weeks later.
But it was after falling pregnant with her daughter Charlotte to her long-term partner Paul, that she developed a different outlook on her career.
‘I thought I’m not going to be my best while I’ve got a little child, so I won’t do any acting,’ she told the publication.
‘I’ll take seven years out and when she’s old enough I’ll go back to work. But that timing didn’t turn out well. That was the time of Big Brother and reality TV starting, and they’d stopped making nice comedies.’
A youthful looking Sally appeared in The Railway Children alongside Jenny Agutter and Gary Warren (pictured)
The actress mysteriously disappeared from the limelight after heading to Los Angeles – where she married her second husband, Claus Hede Nielsen
Paula Wilcox, Richard O’Sullivan, Sally Thomsett (pictured left to right) starred in Man About The House – a sitcom which showed the trials and tribulations created by one man and two women flat-sharing in the Seventies
While many actresses of Sally’s era are now campervanning with other famous faces, she revealed it’s not something she’d be interested in. Pictured, the popular TV star in 1979
While other actresses of Sally’s era are now campervanning with famous faces to bring in a wage, she revealed it’s not something she’d be interested in – nor would she be tempted to go in the jungle – even if she got offered £10 million.
Sally’s youthful looks won her the role of 11-year-old Phyllis in the 1970 film version of The Railway Children – despite being just 20 at the time.
While the film was a huge success, her most memorable role to date was playing the seductive character of Janice in the psychological thriller Straw Dogs – which was later banned in the UK because of its prolonged rape scene.
Sally told how she slapped on loads of make-up, a short dress and some high boots so she could be as sexy as possible, and after meeting Dustin Hoffman, who played the lead role, she met the director Sam Peckinpah.
Throughout the Seventies, Sally Thompson was a household name. Pictured, in ‘The Fun Food Factory’ in 1976
The Seventies sweetheart (above) pursued a real-life three-year romance with Robin O’Sullivan and revealed they spent most nights in front of the TV together., She has since visited him in his retirement home after he suffered a stroke in 2003
Sally Thompson (above) starred in six series of the hit ITV sitcom Man About The House from 1973-76
While he instructed her to wash her face and take the stuffing out of the pockets in her dress, she still got the part.
Where are they now?
Now 74, he played 70s heartthrob Robin Tripp in Man About The House. He then got his own spin-off show, Robin’s nest, but had a stroke in 2003. He now lives in a retirement home in Twickenham, which is exclusively for ex-entertainers
She played Chrissy Plummer in the ITV sitcom and has since appeared in Girlfriends, Mount Pleasant and Emmerdale. She is now 69-years-old and is married
He played George Roper and has been married to Hi-de-Hi actress Linda Regan since March 14, 1995. He also appeared in Last of the Summer wine in 1973 and the Catherine Tate how in 2004
Played Larry Simmonds and also appeared in The Stud, Yes, Minister and Goodnight Sweetheart. He died aged 59 after suffering a heart attack
Starred as George’s wife, Mildred Roper. They got a spin-off show together but she died in 1980, aged 53, of liver failure
Then between 1973-76, Sally went on to star as dizzy Jo in ITV sitcom Man About The House.
The series – which followed the antics of Richard O’Sullivan’s character Robin Tripp after he moved in with two girls – also starred Paula Wilcox as Crissy Plummer.
And Sally pursued a real-life three-year romance with the 70s heartthrob off screen, revealing they spent most nights in front of the TV together.
While Paula made a TV comeback in Emmerdale, Robin moved to a retirement home in Twickenham following a stroke in 2003 – and Sally last saw him a few years ago.
She isn’t the only famous face to visit either, as last December Meghan Markle took a trip to Brinsworth House, which is run and managed by the Royal Variety Charity and is home exclusively to ex-entertainers.
The home accommodates up to 36 residents who are cared for by a dedicated team of nurses and care assistants.
The 74-year-old actor had been enjoying a cup of tea in the resident bar when pregnant Meghan popped in to say hello.
He then sprung to his feet to greet her royal highness.
While Sally no longer acts, she still attends fan conventions and has a legion of fans on social media.
‘I feel more popular now than I’ve ever felt. These people online – I feel like I know them,’ she said.
Veteran actor Richard O’Sullivan, 74, is one of the many famous faces to have been cared for by Brinsworth House, and met with the Duchess of Sussexon December 18
Richard had been enjoying a cup of tea but leapt up to greet Meghan upon her arrival at the Royal Variety Charity’s residential nursing and care home