Your browser (Internet Explorer 6) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.
X

Archive for November, 2011

Aside

James Lilburn

Tall & handsome James Lilburn was the younger brother of Maureen O’Hara. He was born in Dublin in 1927. He made his movie debut with his sister and John Wayne in the classic “The Quiet Man” as the young curate Fr Paul. He then went on to Hollywood and made such movies as “What Price Glory”, “Titanic”, “Desert Rats”, “Suddenly” and “The Long GrayLine”. He died in 1992 in Glendale, California.

James Lilburn & Marisa Pavan
James Lilburn & Marisa Pavan
Aside

Virginia Bruce

 

Virginia Bruce
Virginia Bruce

 

 

Virginia Bruce was a beautiful blonde actress who shone in some fine movies in Hollywood primarily in the 1930’s and 40’s. She was born in 1910 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She had the title role in the 1934 film adaptation of “Jane Eyre”. Other films include “The Great Ziegfeld”, “Born to Dance”, “Arsene Lupin Returns” and “Adventure in Washington”. Her final film role was as the mother of Kim Novak in “Strangers When We Meet”. She died in 1982.

Source: Wikepidia, the Free Encyclopedia

Helen Virginia Briggs, later know as Virginia Bruce, was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on the day of September 29th, 1910. Though born in Minnesota, she grew up in Fargo, North Dakota. In 1929, she left North Dakota to attend a womans college in California. Upon arrival to California she caught the “acting-bug” and went to MGM Studios were she landed bit-parts in silent-films and early talkies. It was while at MGM, that she meet screen legend John Gilbert, then in his decline as both a star and a human-being. They were married in 1932, and in 1933 Virginia Bruce gave birth to a daughter whom she christined Susan Ann. In 1934, Virginia divorced Gilbert. After the divorce she continued her movie career landing suitable roles in movies like The Great Ziegfeld (1936) and Born to Dance (1936). In 1939, she proved to Hollywood and the world that she was a true actress when she starred in Stronger Than Desire (1939). The film was a remake of the 1935 film, Evelyn Prentice, yet the plot was the same. It was with this film that Virginia Bruce cemented her career, playing a New York Socialite who murders her lover and uses her brains and beauty to evade her crime. In 1941, she married J. Walter Reuban, a screenwriter at MGM Studios. That same year she gave birth to a son. (The name of the offspring is unknown). In 1942, Reuban went to serve in the war and ended up dying there, leaving Virgina a widow. It was doing that war that Virginia took time off from movies to help with the war-effort by attending War-Bond Rally’s, Touring with the USO, and even being a nighthostess at the Hollywood Canteen in downtown Los Angeles. The 1950s, saw her married to Ali Ipar, a Turkish film director. She was divorced from Ali Ipar for the first time in 1951 when he began his compulsory Turkish army service because Turkish law forbids commissions to men married to foreigners. In 1952, they remarried and in 1964, they divorced for the second and final time. The 1950s also saw Virginia Bruce in television, working with the Ford Television Theatre and also with the Lux Video Theatre in a television adaption of the 1945 film, Mildred Pierce, with Virginia Bruce in the title role. In the late 60s, work was hard to come by for Virginia Bruce and when the 1970s began she retired from acting. In 1981, she came out of retierment to star in the film, Madame Wang’s. By 1982, her health problems had increased and on February 24th, 1982 Virginia Bruce died in Woodland Hills, California of cancer at age 71.

Virginia Bruce
Virginia Bruce
Aside

Philip Friend

Philip Friend was born in 1915 in Horsham, Sussex. His film debut was in “Inquest” in 1939. His other films include “Dangerous Moonlight”, “Pimpernal Smith” and “Thunder on the Hill” which he made in Hollywood in 1951 with fellow Briton Anne Crawford and Claudette Colbert. He died in 1987.

IMDB entry:

On stage from 1935. Starred in ‘French Without Tears’ on Broadway, 1937-38. Suave leading man who never quite hit the big time on screen. At his best in light adventure film, such as Buccaneer’s Girl (1950), as a pirate opposite Yvonne De Carlo.

Philip Friend
Philip Friend
Philip Friend
Philip Friend
Aside

Dan Stevens

Dan Stevens was born in Croydon, Surrey in 1982. He gave an acclaimed performance in 2006 in “The Line of Beauty”. His other films include “Hide” and “The Turn of the Screw”. He  starred as Matthew Crawley on television in the award winning period drama “Downton Abbey”.

TCM Overview:

Classically trained actor Dan Stevens had all the makings of a romantic lead, yet it was not until he appeared on the critically acclaimed period drama “Downton Abbey” (ITV, 2010- ), that audiences truly took notice. Starting off his career on stage, he first made his mark onscreen with a starring role in the miniseries “The Line of Beauty” (BBC, 2006), as a young gay man living in the materialistic and careless “Thatcherite” Britain of the 1980s. Stevens continued to impress on television, with featured roles in made-for-TV films, including BBC’s “Dracula” (2006) and the real life-inspired drama “Maxwell” (2007). As his career thrived, he gravitated towards characters with refined manners and moral intentions, similar to the role he played on the television adaptation of the classic novel “Sense & Sensibility” (BBC, 2008). Yet, it was his role on the beloved series “Downton Abbey,” as an upright young aristocrat who treated everyone equally despite their class strata, which made Stevens brought the actor international stardom.

Daniel Jonathan Stevens was born on Oct. 10, 1982 in Surrey, England to parents who were both teachers. He started acting at an early age, first at Tonbridge School and then at the National Youth Theatre in England. An English literature major at Emmanuel College in Cambridge, Stevens performed in several student productions, including the title role in a 2002 performance of William Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth.” While he was still a student, he had a featured role on the American miniseries “Frankenstein” (Hallmark, 2004). After his college graduation, Steven went on to perform in a string of stage productions, including Peter Hall’s “As You Like It” (2004), which also held performances in California and New York City in 2005. By the mid-2000s, Stevens started to make inroads on British television, beginning with a lead role in the 2006 miniseries “The Line of Beauty,” based on Alan Hollinghurst’s 2004 bestseller, in which Stevens played a gay post-graduate student who moves in with his best friend’s wealthy family. The story explored his character’s experiences with the British upper class, and his love affairs at a time when the AIDs crisis was beginning.

Stevens continued with his television projects, appearing in a string of made-for-TV movies including “Dracula,” the crime drama “Miss Marple: Nemesis” (ITV, 2007), and the true-life story “Maxwell,” as a financial director who had a first-hand account of the monetary and marital downfall of Robert Maxwell (David Suchet). Stevens starred in the 2008 television adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic 1811 novel “Sense & Sensibility,” as the shy and dependable admirer of the novel’s protagonist Elinor Dashwood (Hattie Morahan). In 2010, Stevens finally nabbed the role that would make him an international celebrity on Julian Fellowes’ award-winning, period drama “Downton Abbey,” about the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants. He portrayed Matthew Crawley, a lawyer who was also the family’s heir presumptive and husband of Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery). In spite of his boyish appeal and seeming distaste for his family’s lavish lifestyle, Crowley still managed to endear himself to his wealthy relatives and their servants. He also enjoyed one of the series’ most exciting plot lines, ranging from his time as a wounded war hero and as a determined suitor to the standoffish Lady Mary. A series favorite, Stevens’ evolving characterization of Crawley nabbed most of the episodes’ buzz during the third season, and elicited mostly strong reactions from its international audience.

By Candy Cuenco

The above TCM overview can also be accessed online here.
Dan Stevens
Dan Stevens
Aside

Jeremy Irons

Jeremy Irons was born in Cowes on the Isle of Wight in 1948. His breakthrough roles occured with “Brideshead Revisited” in 1981 and on film “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” with Meryl Streep. He has several notable films to his credit including “Moonlighting”, “Dead Ringers”, “Damage”, “M Butterfly” and is Oscar winning movie “Reversal of Fortune” with Glenn Close in 1990. He is married to Irish actress Sinead Cusack and has a home in West Cork. His son is the actor Max Irons.

TCM Overview:

Classically trained stage actor Jeremy Irons enjoyed one of the most varied international film careers of his peers, going beyond the expected costume dramas to offer award-winning performances as men of all eras and motives. Leveraging his rich, haunting voice for both good and evil, Irons elicited deep-seated discomfort in films like “Dead Ringers” (1988) and “Reversal of Fortune” (1990), but romanced with charming nobility in “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” (1981) and “Being Julia” (2004). Irons earned two of his handful of Golden Globe nods while exploring British culture in the television miniseries “Brideshead Revisited” (ITV/PBS, 1981) and “Elizabeth I” (HBO, 2006), but was cast as everything from artists to executives by some of the most renowned directors in the international film community, including Louis Malle, Bernardo Bertolucci, Franco Zeffirelli and Wayne Wang. Irons made his mark in everything from period films to studio blockbusters to everything in between, playing one of the original Musketeers in “The Man in the Iron Mask” (1998), an over-the-top villain in “Dungeons & Dragons” (2000), Antonio in “The Merchant of Venice” (2004), and a cold-blooded investment banking CEO in “Margin Call” (2011). Meanwhile, he made a rare turn to the small screen to give an acclaimed performance as Pope Alexander VI on the widely hailed cable series, “The Borgias” (Showtime, 2011- ). Regardless of the role or medium, Irons could always be counted on to deliver still waters that ran deep – often deep into the realms of great emotional anguish.

Irons was born on England’s Isle of Wight on Sept. 19, 1948. While a boarding school student in Dorset, Irons could often be found performing, sometimes with his four-piece band (as the drummer) and sometimes in comedy skits for school events. He decided to pursue a future on stage and studied drama at the Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol, where he got his professional start as a member of the company beginning in the late 1960s. After several years of acting in modern dramas and Shakespeare alike, Irons made his London stage debut in 1971 playing John the Baptist in “Godspell,” a role that employed the actor for two years. On screen, Irons first gained notice for his portrayal of classical composer Franz Liszt in the British miniseries, “Notorious Woman” (PBS, 1975). Following a starring role in the 1977 British television miniseries “Love for Lydia,” Irons made a less-than-stellar big screen debut as Mikhail Fokine in Herbert Ross’ biopic, “Nijinsky” (1980), but became internationally renowned when he was cast opposite Meryl Streep in the romantic drama, “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” (1981), based on John Fowles’ novel.

Hot on the heels of Irons’ BAFTA-nominated performance in that film, he took the lead as observant narrator Charles Ryder in the TV adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s “Brideshead Revisited” (ITV/PBS, 1981). The international television event was one of the most lauded of the year, earning Irons his first Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. He went on to more eclectic roles, playing the caddish lover in David Jones’ critically acclaimed adaptation of Harold Pinter’s “Betrayal” (1983), but was miscast as Proust’s hero in “Swann in Love” (1984). In 1984, Irons made his Broadway debut and took home a Tony Award for Best Actor for the Mike Nichols-directed “The Real Thing,” written by Tom Stoppard and co-starring Glenn Close. Two years later, Irons appeared in a Royal Shakespeare Theater production of “The Winter’s Tale” and was back in the film spotlight for his Golden Globe-nominated portrayal of an 18th century Jesuit priest touring South America in Roland Joffe’s “The Mission” (1986).

After starring as Richard II on the London stage, Irons gave a bravura dual performance as deranged twin brother doctors in David Cronenberg’s classic creeper “Dead Ringers” (1988). In another career highlight, Irons won Academy and Golden Globe Awards for his portrayal of real-life international playboy and suspected murderer Claus von Bulow in Barbet Schroeder’s “Reversal of Fortune” (1990), which reunited him with Glenn Close. Irons’ haughty, conniving performance made a strong impact, but Irons avoided villainous typecasting by displaying versatility with his leading role as a paranoid insurance clerk in Steven Soderbergh’s psychological thriller, “Kafka” (1991), a history teacher haunted by memories of his childhood in “Waterland” (1992), and a conservative English politician undone by an obsessive affair with his son’s girlfriend in Louis Malle’s “Damage” (1992). Although he tried gamely, his reunion with Cronenberg for “M. Butterfly” (1993) failed to impress critics or audiences, and his second film with Streep and Close, “The House of the Spirits” (1993), unfortunately miscast the team of great thespians as South American aristocrats.

Irons rebounded with a box office and critical hit by providing the sinuous voice of the subtly villainous Scar in Disney’s monster animated hit, “The Lion King” (1994). In an effective follow-up bad guy role, he was next cast as the action film cliché “evil foreigner” opposite Bruce Willis in the popular sequel “Die Hard With a Vengeance” (1995). The actor’s next two roles were thematically linked. In Bernardo Bertolucci’s “Stealing Beauty” (1996), Irons starred as an ailing writer reinvigorated when confronted with the voluptuous teenaged Liv Tyler, while in Adrian Lyne’s remake of “Lolita” (1997), he was well-chosen to play classic literary character Humbert Humbert, also enamored of the pubescent title character (Dominique Swain). Irons’ run of lovelorn leading roles also included director Wayne Wang’s “Chinese Box” (1997), in which Irons was a leukemia-ridden, Hong Kong-based financial reporter who has long held a torch for a bar owner and former “hostess” (Gong Li) from mainland China.

Iconic in the role of Father Aramis in the adaptation of Alexander Dumas’ adventure “The Man In the Iron Mask” (1998), starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Irons’ talents were thereafter squandered in the legendary flop “Dungeons and Dragons” (2000). He balanced the scales with accomplished turns in higher-brow fare including the A&E miniseries, “Longitude” (2000), as a 20th century naval officer who discovers 18th Century clockmaker John Harrison’s abandoned clocks and restores them. A widely praised portrayal of F. Scott Fitzgerald in the Showtime telepic “Last Call” (2002), about the tortured author’s final months, was followed by a turn in director Franco Zeffirelli’s biopic “Callas Forever” (2002), as opera legend Maria Callas’ friend and former manager. The actor became entangled with another musician in “And Now…Ladies and Gentlemen” (2003), in which he starred as a dissatisfied criminal mastermind who sets out on a one-man sailing trip around the world to find meaning in his life and becomes caught up with a burned-out jazz singer (Patricia Kaas).

In 2004, Irons turned in a pair of particularly fine performances, first tapping into his considerable Shakespearean track record to play a disdainful Antonio arguing over the pound of flesh with Al Pacino’s Shylock in “William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice” (2004). He then co-starred as the agreeably cuckolded husband-manager of an aging, diva-like 1930s stage actress (Annette Bening) who takes up a dalliance of his own in director Istvan Szabo’s brilliant, “Being Julia” (2004). In director Ridley Scott’s disappointing “Kingdom of Heaven” (2005), however, only Irons, in the role of the Jerusalem king’s closest adviser, had a role juicy enough to withstand the film’s otherwise furious scenery-chewing. “Casanova” (2005), director Lasse Hallstrom’s fictionalized account of the legendary lothario (Heath Ledger) falling in love at last, was easily one of the most ill-conceived and disappointing films of the year, despite lavish production values and a game performance by Irons, who lustily attacked his role as the villainous Catholic Church inquisitor Pucci, who is out to execute the renowned libertine for heresy.

However there was plenty of positive attention on Irons the following year when he joined the cast of the lavish miniseries “Elizabeth I” (Channel 4 UK/ HBO, 2006). While Helen Mirren earned soaring reviews for her incomparable portrayal of the Virgin Queen, Irons matched her talent with his performance as Earl of Leicester, Elizabeth’s lover and most trusted, if conflicted, confidant. The British production swept the Emmy and Golden Globe Awards that year, garnering two supporting actor trophies for Irons. Meanwhile, Irons appeared on movie screens as a film director in David Lynch’s enigmatic “Inland Empire” (2006) and in the far more accessible but considerably less original family fantasy blockbuster, “Eragon” (2006). Returning to the London stage, Irons had a starring run playing conservative post-war British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan in “Never So Good” and went on to co-star on Broadway opposite Joan Allen in “Impressionism,” which paired the two as world-weary artist and gallery owner who fall in love.

Allen and Irons coupled again on the small screen that year in the biopic “Georgia O’Keeffe” (Lifetime, 2009), which chronicled the early career of the famous painter (Allen) and her professional-turned-romantic relationship with influential New York photographer and art gallery owner, Alfred Stieglitz (Irons). Irons’ absorbing performance led to Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations for Best Actor in a TV Movie. Also at the time, Irons returned to the stage opposite Allen in the Broadway production of Michael Jacobs’ play “Impressionism” (2009). Back on screen, he starred in the well-received historical drama, “The Borgias” (Showtime, 2011), a series created by Irish filmmaker Neil Jordan that focused on the corrupt and murderous Italian Renaissance family headed by Roderic Borgia (Irons), who went on to become the debased Pope Alexander VI. The role earned Irons a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a drama series. Also that year, he returned to features with “Margin Call” (2011), playing the CEO of a Lehman Brothers-like investment bank caught in the throes of the 2008 financial meltdown.

The above TCM overview can also be accessed online here.

Jeremy Irons
Jeremy Irons
Jeremy Irons
Jeremy Irons
Jeremy Irons
Jeremy Irons
Aside

Joanne King

Joanne King was born in Dublin in 1983. She is best known for her roles on TV’s “Casualty” and “The Tudors”. Her films include “Massive” in 2008.

“Mirror” article:

As Casualty’s sexy new paramedic, she’s setting millions of male pulses racing every Saturday night.   But if actress Joanne King hadn’t managed to sneak off for the audition during her lunch break, life could have been very different.   Joanne was working part time as a #10-an-hour tour guide at the BBC when she cheekily stole her chance to nip away.   “It was a bit of a rush and I had to quickly dash back because I was leading a tour in the afternoon,” says the 23-year-old.   “But I remember my agent calling me a few days later and saying, ‘I’m really sorry but you’ve got to pack your bags and move to Bristol.’ So it was worth the effort.”   She can’t quite believe it now but, just a few months ago, she was about to give up her acting dream.   After two years of scrimping and saving in London, desperately trying to get her big break in the theatre, Dublin-born Joanne was beginning to wonder if she should have followed her mum’s advice and gone to university.   But then she received the phone call which would change her life. Within a week she had left her dingy London flat and was filming her first scenes for the Bristol-based hit BBC1 medical drama.   “It all happened so fast I didn’t have time to think about it,” she says in her gentle Irish lilt. “I was honestly starting to think that my mum was right. I should have gone to university and got a proper job.   “Life was hard. I moved to London determined to become a successful actress but it’s not that simple and I had so many jobs just to get by.   “I was sweeping up hair at a hairdresser’s, packing bags at a supermarket and working nights at a pub in North London.   “I was sharing a flat with a friend and we had to get out in a hurry because we couldn’t afford the rent. London has so much to offer young people but I couldn’t be part of that because I had no money. Every penny counted.   “I really didn’t think it was worth the heartache anymore. All I wanted was to act but it’s tough and I’ve done some ridiculous jobs to see me through.”  When she heard she’d won the part of paramedic Cyd Pyke, Joanne was about to start a new job dressing up as a fairy for children’s parties.   “Can you imagine?” she laughs. “I was due to start training to be a fairy when Casualty came up. It was all a bit mad.”   Joanne can afford to splash out on the odd designer outfit now, but you’re more likely to find the thrifty actress rummaging around charity shops.   She remembers how miserable life on the breadline was and still lives on a strict budget. “I love a bargain,” she says. “When something’s half-price I get all excited about it. I like vintage clothes and get a lot from secondhand shops.

“Moneywise, things are more stable for me now but I’m not at the stage where I can go out and buy a Hollywood mansion.   “I don’t live a glamorous lifestyle. I’m more at home in my trackies than I am getting dressed up. When I’m off work I don’t bother wearing any make-up. Maybe I should start making more of an effort now I’m on TV.”   Although she’s been on our screens since September, it’s only now that Joanne is getting her teeth into a meaty storyline, finding herself at the centre of a lesbian love triangle.  Millions of viewers have watched Cyd’s developing romance with hospital hunk Greg Fallon, played by Aussie Kip Gamblin.   Unbeknown to Cyd, her best friend Kathleen “Dixie” Dixon, is in love with her and wracked with jealousy over her relationship with Greg. Tonight viewers will see Dixie try to sabotage the couple’s affair.   Joanne says: “Cyd’s totally oblivious to Dixie’s feelings but I think Greg’s starting to cotton on to it now. When I started on the show I had no idea I’d be caught up in a lesbian storyline but it’s been a nice little challenge.”

One “challenge” most women would relish would be having to snog gorgeous ex-Home And Away actor Kip on a daily basis. But, surprisingly, Joanne isn’t too keen.   “It’s weird kissing him because I remember him from that show,” she smiles. “Kissing him for the first time was scary with the crew there. All these people standing around, watching you kiss.   “Luckily I get on really well with Kip and I know his wife and kids so that’s helped put me at ease. But I’ve been told that love scenes never get any easier. My first day on set is a blur now. I was so nervous. But the cast are so lovely they made me feel really welcome and I’m one of the family now. We have a great craic.”   The second of four children, Joanne grew up in Dublin with her accountant father Ronan and volunteer teacher mum Adele.   Although she has settled easily in both London and now Bristol, her heart remains firmly in Ireland.    “I don’t get home often enough,” she says. “I love it back in Dublin. We have the most beautiful theatres and wonderful people. I love going back.”   She might boast a perfect figure and model looks but Joanne is currently single – and happily so.      I’m not prepared to just settle for Mr OK,” she adds. “He has to be Mr Right.   “I prefer my men to be a bit scruffy – I’m not into the clean-cut look. But talent is very sexy as well.   “Kelly Jones from the Stereophonics is gorgeous and I think James McAvoy is lovely, but he’s already been snapped up. Mind you, a relationship with another actor could be a recipe for disaster. It’d be very dramatic.   “I’m happy being single for now but I’d love to settle down one day and have a big Irish family.”   Regular yoga sessions help keep Joanne in trim and she makes sure she eats healthily. And she insists she won’t get sucked into the size zero brigade.   “It’s a horror story, a very worrying trend,” she says. “We need to wake up and take responsibility. People are suffering with eating disorders because of it.  Personally, I like good food and lots of it. I don’t believe in denying yourself treats. I hate the gym but yoga is brilliant. It’s part of me.”   Joanne is staying tight-lipped about how long she plans to stick around in Casualty. But she makes no secret of her ambitions to move into films and follow in the footsteps of another ex-Casualty star.   “Kate Winslet is my inspiration,” says Joanne. “She started out in an episode of Casualty so who knows? I think she’s a great actress and has picked her jobs so well. I’d love to have a crack at America.  “But my first love will always be theatre and it would break my heart not to go back to that sometime.   “Casualty is an amazing training ground and I’m so grateful. But I’ll finish my storylines and then probably say goodbye to Cyd.”

CASUALTY is on BBC1 tonight at 8.35pm.

The above “Mirror” article cn also be accessed online here.

Joanne King
Joanne King
Aside

Dorothy Tutin

 

 

Dorothy Tutin was a legend of British theatre. Her film career though is not extensive. It does though include such highlights as Cecily Cardew in “The Importance of Being Ernest” in 1952, Polly Peachum in “The Beggar’s Opera”, Lucie Manette opposite Dirk Bogarde’s Sidney Carton in “A Tale of Two Cities” in 1958 and in “Savage Messiah” in 1972. Dorothy Tutin was born in 1930 in London and died in 2001. Her husband was the actor Derek Waring.

Gary Brumburgh’s entry:

Dame Dorothy Tutin’s esteemed company of peers included other remarkable dames, including Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. Unlike these others, Dorothy had limited screen time over the years and would develop the respect but not the stardom afforded the other two outside the realm of the theatre. Dorothy was born in London on April 8, 1930, the daughter of John and Adie Evelyne (Fryers) Tutin. Educated at St. Catherine’s, she studied for the stage at PARADA and RADA, making her debut performance as “Princess Margaret” in “The Thistle and the Rose” on September 6, 1949. In the early 1950s, she joined both the Bristol and London Old Vic companies where she rose in stature with secondary roles in “As You Like It”, “The Merry Wives of Windsor”, “Henry V” and “Much Ado About Nothing”. She later demonstrated her versatility outside the classics when she originated the role of “Sally Bowles” in “I Am a Camera” in 1954 and later played “Jean Rice” in “The Entertainer” in 1957.

Great promise was held for Dorothy after an auspicious film debut as “Cecily Cardew” in the classic Oscar Wilde play The Importance of Being Earnest (1952). Despite sterling film portrayals of “Polly Peachum” opposite Laurence Olivier‘s “Macheath” in The Beggar’s Opera (1953) and “Lucie Manette” in a remake of A Tale of Two Cities (1958) with Dirk Bogarde, Dorothy abruptly left the cinema to return to the comforts of a live stage. She continued to play all the illustrious Shakespearean femmes (Juliet, Desdemona, Rosalind, Ophelia, Portia, Cressida) during her excursions with the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre and Royal Shakespeare companies, and won the coveted Evening Standard award for her “Viola” in “Twelfth Night” in 1960. During this time, she returned to the role of “Polly Peachum”, this time on stage, in 1963, and won acclaim for her “Queen Victoria” in “Portrait of a Queen” in 1965. She took the role to Broadway in 1968 and won a Tony nomination. In the 1970s, she appeared in everything from Harold Pinter plays to “Peter Pan”.

Though her film and TV output was limited, the performances Dorothy gave during these sporadic occasions were nothing less than astonishing. Included among these triumphs has to be her “Anne Boleyn” opposite Keith Michell as one of The Six Wives of Henry VIII(1970), and “Goneril” in Laurence Olivier‘s heralded adaptation of King Lear (1983). In a rare and rather bizarre moment on film, she top-lined one of Ken Russell‘s quirky biopics of the 1970s, the flop-turned-cult classic Savage Messiah (1972), in which she played a Polish noblewoman married to the much younger sculptor, “Henri Gaudier-Brzeska”.

In later years, Dorothy enhanced several costumed TV movies with an always fascinating grande dame eloquence. An intriguing “Desiree Armfeldt” in “A Little Night Music” in 1989 and both an Evening Standard and Laurence Olivier Award winner for her superlative work in “A Month in the Country”, Dorothy took her final curtain in a revival of “The Gin Game” opposite Joss Ackland in 1999. Honored with the title “Commander of the British Empire” in 1967, she was made a “Dame” for her services to the theatre in the 2000 New Year Honors.

Diagnosed with leukemia, Dame Dorothy died on August 6, 2001, at the Edward VII Hospital in London. She was survived by her actor husband (since 1963) Derek Waringand their two children, Amanda Waring and Nick Waring, both of whom are actors. Daughter Amanda, in fact, occasionally appeared as younger versions of her mother on TV during the 1990s and went on to gain a bit of fame for herself as a musical “Gigi”. Her husband died in 2007.

– IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Lyn Gardner’s obituary in “The Guardian”:

In many ways it was the misfortune of Dorothy Tutin, who has died aged 70 from leukaemia, to have been born into that generation of actors who bridged the gap between the classical grandes dames of the 1940s and the more modern performers of the 1960s. There remained something almost pre-war about her looks, demeanour and that distinctive and precise voice, speaking in what was once dubbed “Tutinese”.

Her name was a benchmark for quality, but she was initially a reluctant actor. She became, however, a dedicated one, and although she was disgracefully underused in latter years, even in her last major stage performance, a revival of DL Coburn’s The Gin Game at the Savoy Theatre in 1999, she soared way above that rickety old play.

A solitary, pent-up child, she was much affected by the sudden death of her beloved 10-year-old elder brother Eric when she was six. Born in London and educated at St Catherine’s school in Bramley, Surrey, Tutin was determined to make a career as a musician, but abandoned that ambition at the age of 15, accepting, with a maturity beyond her years, that she did not have the talent.

It was her theatre-loving father who, impressed by her performance as a last-minute replacement in a school production of JM Barrie’s Quality Street, pushed his self-conscious daughter – who professed a horror at performing in public – towards the stage. Tutin often recounted how she tried to prevent her father from telephoning Rada to inquire about vacancies.

But it was there that she went, graduating in 1949 when only 19. Within the year she was playing Katherine in Henry V at the Old Vic. During the next 10 years she became one of the most celebrated but self-effacing stars of the British stage, notching up Juliet, Ophelia, Portia and Viola to great acclaim. Her film debut came in 1952 as Cecily in Anthony Asquith’s film version of The Importance Of Being Earnest. In later years she was to regret not making more films, but the 1950s was the age of the Rank starlet and Tutin did not fit the mould – and probably wouldn’t have wanted to.

None the less, in 1984 she did star with James Mason, Edward Fox and Sir John Gielgud in the eve-of-first-world-war allegory, the critically acclaimed The Shooting Party.

The stage was her métier, and she turned in memorable performances as Sally Bowles in I Am a Camera, Hedwig in The Wild Duck and, most notably, as the young Catholic girl Rose in the 1953 production of Graham Greene’s The Living Room. The critic Kenneth Tynan was entranced, describing her as being “ablaze like a diamond in a mine”.

There were signs, however, that she might burn out. Lacking self-confidence and plagued by ill-health, she was hospitalised several times during the 1950s, and took failure hard, blaming herself in particular for the lack of success of Jean Anouilh’s The Lark, in which she starred as St Joan in 1955. One of the regrets of her career is that she never played in Shaw’s St Joan .

Championed by Peter Hall, Tutin was a key figure in the early days of the RSC at Stratford and London’s Aldwych theatre in the early 1960s. She played Desdemona, Varya in The Cherry Orchard, Polly Peachum in The Beggar’s Opera and, later in the decade, Rosalind.

By the early 1970s, partly preoccupied by marriage and motherhood, Tutin was seen far less in the theatre. While she had been doing the classics, the British theatre had changed, having been dragged kicking and screaming into the 20th century. She had little or no reputation for doing the new plays then in vogue.

But, as ever with Tutin, still waters ran deep. When producers and directors had the courage to cast her against type, she always surprised. The pretty, Squirrel Nutkinish features disguised something much rawer and disturbing, as was evidenced as early as 1961 by the violence of her performance as Sister Jeanne in John Whiting’s The Devils.

As Bernard Levin noted in 1977 when she was playing Lady Macbeth and Lady Plyant in Congreve’s The Double Dealer at the National: “She is tiny. She looks too sweet for anything but sweet parts; and although her voice is musical, it doesn’t naturally express hard emotion. Yet she has an astonishing edge as Lady Macbeth. As Cressida, she was a wisp of rippling carnality. Her Sophie Brzeska in Ken Russell’s Savage Messiah was violently earthy, sexual: all the things a Meissen porcelain figure shouldn’t be able to be.”

Regrettably, in later years she seldom got to show her talents to their best. Television and the boulevard drama of the West End and Chichester were her haunts in the 1980s and 90s.

She did, however, have an affinity with Pinter. She was in the original cast of Old Times in 1971, and in 1985 gave a desperately moving performance, both on TV and in the West End, in A Kind Of Alaska. She played Deborah, a teenager struck down by encephalitis lethargia who awakens 29 years later when given the drug L-DOPA. Tutin was mesmerising as this uncomprehending, terrified middle-aged Sleeping Beauty who still perceived herself as a tomboy teenager, and this should have given a boost to her career. Alas, it didn’t. She was pained by her lack of job opportunities, telling the Guardian in 1991: “You may as well ask, why aren’t you employed more, Miss Tutin? One can get depressed.”

It seemed such a waste. It was Caryl Brahms, writing in Plays And Players in 1960 when she was in her prime, who captured her essence: “Miss Tutin is a small-scale hurricane. And once she is unleashed upon a part, there is bound to be, one feels, a short, sharp tussle. But Miss Tutin comes out on top, and having subdued it to her temperamental and technical measure, parades in it, all smiles and sequinned tears. She can be gay, pathetic, lively, stunned – part minx, part poet, part sex-kitten. A comedienne of skill and a pint-sized tragedienne.”

She loved music and solitude, enjoying lonely walks on the Isle of Arran. She is survived by her husband, the actor Derek Waring, and a son and a daughter.

Dorothy Tutin, actor, born April 8 1931; died August 6 2001

The above “Guardian” obituary can also be accessed online here.

Dame Dorothy Tutin
Dame Dorothy Tutin
Dorothy Tutin
Dorothy Tutin
Aside

Richard Armitage

Richard Armitage has had some very prominent roles on British television including Guy of Gisborne in “Robin Hood”, John Thornton in “North and South” and is now cast in the film “The Hobbit”. He was born in 1971 in Leicester.

TCM Overview:

British actor Richard Armitage was a television star in his native country, playing complicated men of action on series like “Spooks” (BBC One/Three, 2001-2011) and “Strike Back” “(Sky 1/Cinemax, 2010- ) before leaping to international attention in Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” (2012-2014) film trilogy. Like Hugh Jackman before him, Armitage began his career in musical theater before finding fame on British television, playing dark, dashing anti-heroes on “North and South” (BBC, 2004) and “Robin Hood” (BBC One, 2007-09). His growing popularity, especially among female viewers, led to a starring role on “Spooks” as a one-time terrorist masquerading as a spy, as well as voiceover work on numerous TV commercials and in documentaries. He then segued into another action series, “Strike Back,” before landing a central role in “The Hobbit,” which necessitated his leaving the series for what would most likely be a star-making turn not unlike Viggo Mortensen’s career-transforming appearance in Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” (2001-2003) trilogy. Having already conquered British television, Richard Armitage’s ascension to worldwide stardom in films seemed a foregone conclusion.

Born Richard Crispin Armitage in the village of Huncote, in Leicestershire, England on Aug. 22, 1971, he was the second son of engineer John Armitage and his wife, Margaret, a secretary. Armitage led a largely solitary childhood in which he found great solace in both reading and music. The latter, which encompassed playing the flute and cello at Brockington College and with a local orchestra, led him to Pattison College, where a school visit to see a production at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre inspired him to pursue acting as well. Armitage began appearing in school productions before leaving Pattinson at the age of 17 to join a theater group, The Second Generation, at a circus in Budapest, Hungary. The experience earned him his Equity card, which allowed him to work professionally as an actor in the U.K. Upon his return to his native country, Armitage worked in musical theater before enrolling at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art to hone his acting skills. Following his completion of the school’s three-year program in 1998, he made his screen acting debut with a one-line role in “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” (1999). Armitage soon found steady work in theater while balancing bit and supporting roles in features and television.

In 2002, Armitage won his first substantive television role in “Sparkhouse” (BBC, 2002) a modern take on Wuthering Heights. More work on television soon led to his first starring turn in “North and South” as a mill owner who fell in love with Daniela Denby-Ashe’s plucky working class heroine. Armitage’s sensitive performance was praised by critics and fans alike, both of which minted him as a romantic leading man on the rise. He further cemented his fan base as Guy of Gisborne on “Robin Hood” (BBC One, 2007-09). At first glimpse, Gisborn was a world-class rogue in league with the series’ main villain, the Sheriff of Notthingham, but over the course of the season, viewers received a glimpse of the character’s conflicted loyalties, especially in regard to Marian (Lucy Griffiths) and his sister (Lara Pulver), who fell in love with Jonas Armstrong’s Robin of Locksley. The program was a sizable hit on both sides of the Atlantic, which increased Armitage’s profile even further.

While working on “Robin Hood,” Armitage also kept up a steady schedule of guest appearances on other series, while adding voiceover and radio work to his list of accomplishments, including a 2007 stint reading the letters of former poet laureate Ted Hughes on BBC Radio 4. The following year, he joined the cast of the popular espionage series “Spooks” as Lucas North, a British operative whose eight-year stint in a Russian prison left him a damaged, compromised figure upon his return to spy work. North remained the series’ leading role until its ninth season, when it was revealed that he had participated in the bombing of the British Embassy in Senegal and murdered a friend, a spy in training whom he then impersonated to gain entry into the government secret service. North’s suicide in the finale of the show’s ninth season marked the end of another critically acclaimed run for the actor, who had also performed his own stunts throughout the action-packed series, including a sequence in which he was briefly put through waterboarding.

Armitage quickly moved into another action series, “Strike Back,” playing a former special forces operative who reluctantly returned to duty after a mission that claimed the lives of two fellow soldiers. While working on the series, Armitage’s voiceover career soon encompassed advertisements for Alfa Romeo, Sky Television and the BBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, as well as numerous documentaries, radio programs and audio books. He also found time to make his Hollywood feature debut as Nazi spy Heinz Kruger in “Captain America: The First Avenger” (2011). But when production commenced on the second season of “Strike Back,” Armitage was forced to drop out due to a commitment for what would be his biggest project to date: Peter Jackson’s three-part film trilogy “The Hobbit,” in which he starred as Thorin Oakenshield, leader of a company of 13 dwarves who enlisted Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) in a quest to reclaim their home from a monstrous dragon. Following completion of the film’s 18-month shoot, Armitage was cast in the action-thriller “Black Sky” (2013) as a widowed father protecting his son in the aftermath of a tornado.

By Paul Gaita

The above TCM overview can also be accessed online here.

Richard Armitage
Richard Armitage
Aside

Freddie Fox

Freddie Fox was born in 1989 in Hammersmith, North London. He is the son of actors Joanna David and Edward Fox and younger brother of actress Emilia Fox. His films include “Any Human Heart” in 2010 and “The Three Musketeers”.

“MailOnline” article from 2012:

Freddie Fox is only slightly concerned that most of the scripts which come through his door are for ‘spoiled and entitled brats’.

He is doing rather well with them.

There was Edwin Drood, the arrogant young rich Dickens heir, which brought him to mainstream attention when it  was screened in January.

And he also played the petulant King Louis XIII in the recent Hollywood version of the  Three Musketeers.

There are plenty of reasons to expect that Freddie is spoiled and entitled himself. He is the third generation of an acting dynasty that includes his parents Edward Fox and Joanna David, his actress sister Emilia Fox, uncle Robert Fox, cousin Laurence Fox, and his grandfather Robin Fox, who was  a theatrical agent.

‘I know how lucky I am, and I am aware that I have to fight the perception that I am also a spoiled brat,’ says the 22-year-old. ‘It is very easy to label people, and people especially love to do that in this business.  

‘I know that I am lucky and that when I meet a casting agent they are curious about what the newest member of the Fox family can do. It helps to get me called in to roles. But I have to prove that I am worth the time spent.’

It seems he is doing something right. After briefly planning to be a fisherman, ‘until I realised that it was a lot of work for terrible money’, acting is all he ever wanted to do.

Freddie takes the lead in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, with Rosa Bud played by Tamzin Merchant

‘I tried to work hard at school because I knew that my parents were paying a lot of money for it,’ recalls Freddie who attended the £9,900-a-term Bryanston School in Dorset. ‘But I couldn’t wait for lessons to finish so I could be in rehearsals for the school play.’

He won his first major role aged 20 while still at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and it was a world away from the costume drama you would expect. He played Boy George’s bitchy friend, the cross-dresser Marilyn, in the BBC drama Worried About The Boy.

‘I have learned already that you have to work against people’s perception as they want to box you in very quickly,’ he says. ‘Marilyn was such fun to play and I was desperate to get the part because he was such a bonkers character.’

The Three Musketeers, which he filmed a few months later, was his first American blockbuster and he had a ball as the slightly camp and brattish French King.

‘I had a golden time making that film and I think it shows — I have a smile on my face the whole time,’ he says.

‘As an actor who had come out of drama school just a year earlier to be working with people like Matthew Macfadyen and Christoph Waltz was incredible. I felt like a child in an enormous sweet shop.

‘I particularly loved the costumes. Usually getting dressed on set is boring but I would put on baroque classical music and love getting on these wonderful ornate clothes.’

A love of style is something Freddie has inherited from his dapper father, who found fame in the 1978 mini-series Edward And Mrs Simpson. ‘My dad has kept his clothes in such good nick that I wear a lot of his older suits that don’t fit him any more,’ he says.

‘A lot of people choose not to wear three-piece suits these days but I think there is something amazingly elegant about them and I love to wear them.’

His family are still incredibly close and Freddie, whose latest project is appearing in the West End in Hay Fever, admits that’s his one advantage in life.

‘In showbiz, relationships break up all the time; we all know that,’ he says. ‘So I have huge admiration for my family. They have gone through thick and thin and they really love each other and stay together.

‘It has given me the best possible start. There’s nothing I like more than going round to my sister’s house and having a great big Sunday lunch with her, my niece, and my parents. It is bliss.

‘We don’t ever get bored of each other because we like the same things. Dad is wonderful in that he has done so much. It sounds a bit pretentious but he will bring out a choice quote from Shakespeare if it suits the moment; he is very sweet and philosophical.

‘If you want to offload and complain about something you always have someone who understands you and can help.’

Freddie is dating actress Tamzin Merchant who played his fiancée in the Mystery Of Edwin Drood. They met on set but Freddie insists he is not the type to date every girl with whom he acts.

‘I’m aware that set romances are known for being fleeting but I have never been that sort of person,’ he insists. ‘I have met someone I get on with well and I feel very lucky.’

As a couple they have been been classified as part of the Corset Crew – a name for young actors with breakthrough roles in period dramas.

But Freddie gets angry at the idea that he and his friends are cast only because they are posh and pretty.

‘It annoys me when people group my friends like Eddie Redmayne (Birdsong) or Doug Booth (Great Expectations) and Ben Cumberbatch (Sherlock) together as the pretty posh boys who are ruling our screens,’ he says.

‘People don’t realise how many years they have been working at their craft. People should talk about their talent, not about them looking like Burberry models.’

Similarly, Freddie doesn’t want to be known just for his family connections. ‘My family have been very successful in this business proving what they can do,’ he says.

‘Now it’s my time to prove what I can do.’

The above “MailOnline” article can also be accessed online here.

 

Freddie Fox
Freddie Fox
Freddie Fox
Freddie Fox
Aside

Bosco Hogan

Irish actor Bosco Hogan was born in 1949. His film debut was in 1974 in John Boorman’s “Zardoz” which was lensed in Ireland. Came to prominence in 1977 for his role as Stephen Dedalus in the film of James Joyce’s “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”. Other films include “Miss Morison’s Ghosts” with Wendy Hiller in 1981, as Robert Emmett in”Anne Devlin” with Brid Brennan and “Taffin” with Pierce Brosnan. He has recently been in the television series “The Tudors”.

“The Agency” page:

Bosco Hogan began his acting career with the RTE Radio Repertory Company before joining the Abbey Theatre for a four-year stay. He has played characters in everything from Miller’s The Crucible to Strindberg and the classic work of Shakespeare, and he has worked under the direction of talents such as Garry Hynes, Joe Dowling and Patrick Mason among others in a career which spans over thirty-five years.
His Abbey appearances include The Doll’s House and A Cry From Heaven.   Bosco has toured London, continental Europe and the U.S. with his one-man show, I Am Ireland, in which he presents a magnificent portrayal of W.B. Yeats. He has also toured with b*spoke Theatre Company’s production of Tom Murphy’s The Sanctuary Lamp. London stage roles include: Edmund in King Lear, Delio in The Duchess of Malfi and Richard Greatham in Hay Fever.

His skills on the stage brought him into the fields of film and television. In film he has worked on a number of successful films including; John Boorman’s The General, Antoine Fuqua’s King Arthur, Bruce Beresford’s Evelyn and Jim Sheridan’s In The Name Of The Father among others.
His many appearances on British television include; Count Dracula, Sense and Sensibility, A Taste For Death, Love Lies Bleeding, Act Of Betrayal, The Rockingham Shoot, A Question of Guilt, Prince Regent, and The Chief. He played Dr. Michael Ryan in Ballykissangel and Detective Inspector Gerry Cody in RTE’s DDU.

Bosco has recently appeared as Cardinal Piccolomini in Neil Jordan’s The Borgias, as Prof. John Knowland in the BBC’s Vexed, as well as in Titanic: Blood and Steel.   He performed in My Cousin Rachel at the Gate Theatre in the role of Mr. Seecombe, and the role of Tarpey at the Abbey Theatre’s production of Tom Murphy’s The House.   Bosco also performed in The Picture of Dorian Gray at the Abbey in 2012, before again appearing as Mr. Seecombe in My Cousin Rachel, which returned to the Gate stage last Christmas due to popular demand.   2013 has seen Bosco cast in The Gate Theatre’s production of Mrs. Warren’s Profession directed by Patrick Mason, Stailc 1913 a T.V documentary to be directed by Brian Gray, An Enemy Of The People directed by Wayne Jordan, and A Streetcar Named Desire at the Gate theatre to be directed by Ethan McSweeny.

Bosco recently finished up on Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera, directed by Wayne Jordan at the Abbey Theatre with musical direction by Cathal Synnott.   So far 2014 has seen Bosco cast in the revival of the Gate Theatre’s production of My Cousin Rachel, to be directed by Toby Frow and performed at the Spoleto Festival, USA, and performing in The Irish Orchestra’s production of My Brother Peter to be directed by Patrick Mason.

Bosco is based in Dublin.

The above “The Agency” page can also be accessed online here.

Bosco Hogan
Bosco Hogan