was born on 8 January 1937 in Putney, London. She was a British radio and television writer and former actress.
She studied at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. Early experience as an actress saw her perform at the Connaught Theatre Worthing, where one of her roles was as Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion,
and in films such as The Trunk
(1961) with Phil Carey. In 1962 she made her West End debut in Goodnight Mrs Puffin
with Irene Handl.
On television, Hyem appeared in Richard the Lionheart
(1962) with Dermot Walsh, Dixon of Dock Green
(two episodes 1959 and 1960), Sergeant Cork
(one episode, 1964), and as Peggy Briggs, the daughter of Jimmy Edwards and Beryl Reid, in the comedy series Bold as Brass
Playing various minor roles persuaded Hyem that she would do better as a writer and create more challenging parts for women.
Hyem's writing career began to develop when she became one of the principal writers on the radio soap opera The Dales
(originally Mrs Dale's Diary
). When that series was coming to an end, she was asked to devise a more contemporary replacement (with Alan Downer) and Waggoner's Walk
was commissioned. The two writing partners stayed with the series over its 11-year run. She also wrote 30 radio plays including the lesbian love story Now She Laughs, Now She Cries, A Shape Like Piccadilly
which tackled adult illiteracy, and the thriller Remember Me
with Jill Balcon and Julian Glover which won the annual Giles Cooper award. Several of her radio plays became theatre productions including Equal Terms, Life Sentence
and Thank You
, which was renamed Post Mortems for the stage. Her original theatre plays include: Buzz
, an adaptation of Lorna Doone, and in 2010, We'll Always Have Paris
Her TV works include the BAFTA-nominated drama Tenko
(1981-5) for which she wrote half the episodes. Her other work includes episodes of the nurses drama Angels, Wendy Craig's Nanny
, anthology series Sharing Time
(1984), the first series of sex and sailing soap opera Howards' Way
(1985), a mini-series adaptation of Barbara Taylor Bradford's Act of Will
(1989), period costume drama The House of Eliott
(1991), the Campion
episodes "The Case of the Late Pig" (1989) and "Sweet Danger" (1990), the Miss Marple mystery At Bertram's Hotel
(1987), and Body and Soul
(1993), with Kristin Scott Thomas, for which Hyem was nominated for a BAFTA.
She became an active member of the Writers' Guild of Great Britain (WGGB), with a particular interest in promoting women's talents and issues within the profession. She co-founded the Women's Committee to represent areas of women's concern to balance the majority of committees, which were at the time male-dominated. For her works, she was awarded the guild's Gold Badge in 2007.
She died on 5 June 2015 in London.