Legendary singer and TV presenter Sheila Black has captured hearts across the country with her wit, Liverpool accent and catchphrases like ‘Laura Laura Laughing’
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National Treasure rose to fame in the swinging sixties as a singer getting hits like Anyone With a Heart and You Are My World.
She later went on to star in the hugely successful TV shows “Blind Date,” “A Moment of Truth,” and “Surprise,” “Surprise,” cementing her status as a TV darling.
But sadly Sira dies after falling at her Spanish villa August 1, 2015, at the age of 72.
This week, the star who celebrated more than 50 years in show business during her long and successful career will turn 79.
Here, we take a look back at how she made her £15million fortune and her ultimate aspirations.
Stories from scratch
Born Priscilla Maria Veronica White on May 27, 1943, it wasn’t an easy start to life for Cilla, who grew up in the slums of Liverpool.
She used to hang out at the city’s now-infamous cave club, which helped kick off the Beatles’ career – and when she started singing there after a brief stint as a cloakroom assistant, she herself started her own career.
The Beatles manager Brian Epstein went on to sign her, known as Cilla Black after a local newspaper reporter mistakenly published her name.
Instead of complaining, she decided to keep the nickname as her stage name.
Sheridan Smith recently portrayed her early musical career in the three-part drama Cilla.
During this time, she recorded two number one singles, duet with the likes of The Beatles, Cliff Richard and Dusty Springfield, and traveled the world.
In 1978, Cilla got her own entertainment show BBC See her singing, dancing and interviewing celebrity guests.
This sparked the start of her television career, which made her a household name in the 80s and 90s.
The hits “Blind Date,” “Surprise,” “Surprise,” and “Moment of Truth” followed, with the entire country affectionately calling her “our Cilla” and using her catchphrase, “a lorra lorra lol “.
She was last seen on TV at ITV The 2011 comedy Benidorm, in which she played herself.
During her singing career, Cilla met Bobby Willis, a talented manager who became her manager and then her husband.
The two tied the knot in 1969 and have three sons together, Robert, Jack and Ben.
They also had a daughter, Ellen, who tragically passed away shortly after birth.
Family is more important than fame to Shiraz. She told the Daily Mail: “I remember thinking ‘Go to hell with the singing, I want a family’.
“When our first son, Robert, was born, I remember Bobby saying ‘This is it. It’s done. It’s true.'”
£15 million fortune
Peter Byrne/PA Wire)
When she died, Syrah’s estate was listed in her will as worth £15,217,454.
The beneficiaries are her three sons, who were instructed to receive more than £3m each after paying estate tax of around £5.95m.
However, as she owns a £2m Spanish mansion and a £1.5m Barbados penthouse, the trio are expected to get more as they are not included in her UK property.
A year after her death, Cilla’s sons put her eight-bedroom Buckinghamshire mansion in the village of Denham for 45 years on the market for £4.5 million.
The impressive property includes tennis courts, leisure centre, indoor swimming pool and spa.
gift for housekeeper
INS News Agency Limited)
In addition to her three sons, Syrah left £20,000 to her housekeeper, Penny Walker.
After working for her for more than three decades, the star sees the employee as “part of the family”.
Penny even lived in a detached cottage in Syrah’s Buckinghamshire mansion for 30 years.
Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)
The star’s ultimate wish is to be buried in her native Liverpool as “Singer Syrah”.
Her funeral was held at St Mary’s Church in Woolton on August 20, 2015, and she was subsequently buried next to her parents John and Priscilla.
Her good friends Cliff Richard, Paul O’Grady and Christopher Biggins paid tribute to the beloved entertainer. And her son Robert delivered a touching eulogy.
In 2016, a life-size bronze statue of Cilla was unveiled outside the cave club to pay tribute to the star.
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