Person details

Beryl Vertue
Producer and Chairman, Hartswood Films

One of Britain’s most respected producers, Beryl Vertue has an enviable track record of international success. Originally she was an agent for renowned comedy writers Spike Milligan, Eric Sykes, Ray Galton and Alan Simpson and Johnny Speight, and comedy stars Tony Hancock and Frankie Howerd. In the sixties she formed Associated London Films. There she was Associate Producer on THE SPY WITH A COLD NOSE , Executive Producer on the silent comedy THE PLANK starring Eric Sykes and Tommy Cooper, followed by the feature film versions of TILL DEATH US DO PART, STEPTOE AND SON, UP POMPEII and a score of comparable films. In 1967 Robert Stigwood invited Beryl to join his company where she became Deputy Chairman and pioneered the original concept of selling basic television formats to Europe and America. Two such formats became big hits in the US TILL DEATH US DO PART became Norman Lear’s long-running series ALL IN THE FAMILY, whilst STEPTOE AND SON became SANFORD AND SON.

Beryl then produced several star-studded Movies of the Week for all three American Networks including THE ENTERTAINER starring Jack Lemmon and CAT & MOUSE starring Kirk Douglas, the first television roles for both movie stars. She also produced the BEACON HILL series, based on “Upstairs Downstairs”, for CBS, and ALMOST ANYTHING GOES, based on “It’s a Knockout”, for ABC. Beryl’s early British producing credits include the series THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE and, one of her favourite achievements as executive producer, the film TOMMY starring Jack Nicholson, The Who, Elton John, Eric Clapton and Tina Turner.

In 1999 Beryl was made a member of the Royal Television Society Hall of Fame.  Women in Film and Television honoured her with an award in the same year for “Outstanding Contributions to the Industry”. She was Chair of PACT for three years and received an OBE in the 2000 New Year’s Honours List for Services to Independent Television Production. In 2004 she was given a Fellowship from the RTS and also received a BAFTA, the Alan Clark Award for Outstanding Contribution to Television. In 2010, together with her daughters Debbie and Sue, Beryl was awarded the Women in Film & TV Achievement of the Year Award for SHERLOCK.