Death of BHA Distinguished Supporter Miriam Karlin OBE

The BHA was sad to hear of the news of the death of actor and Distinguished Supporter, Miriam Karlin.

Karlin appeared in iconic films such as, A Clockwork Orange, The Entertainer, Children of Men, and Room at the Top.

Karlin was a devoted political activist as well as being a BHA Distinguished Supporter, she was a patron of Dignity in Dying, a body that campaigns for a change to the laws on assisted dying.

Miriam Karlin described herself to the BHA as ‘a born again atheist’ and a ‘fundamentalist atheist’ and said, ‘The only certainty about life is that it ends in death.’

In July 2006, she wrote the following letter to The Independent:

As a Jew (now a humanist) who lost close relatives in the Holocaust and one who was banned by all Arab states in 1967 because of my known sympathy and work for Israel, Linda Grant’s excellent article (18 July) has encouraged me to speak out.

Has Israel learnt nothing from the abortive Bush/Blair “war on terror”? We all know there would be massive recruitment to al-Qa’ida inspired by that obscene exercise. Now, with the totally disproportionate Israeli bombardment of Lebanon, there will be countless Lebanese, hitherto unsympathetic to Hizbollah, who will be queuing to join them.

What will have been achieved by this terrifying cycle of killing? Simply more and more generations growing up with hatred in their hearts.

BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson said, ‘Although very recently her time in residential care prevented her from being active, Miriam always remained in close and supportive contact with us and telephone calls with her were a joy for her strong and principled opinions and consistent support for our work.’