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Janet Munro

Janet Munro’s star shone brightly but sadly all to briefly.   For a period in the late 1950’s until the very early 1960’s she starred in some very popular and then interesting movies.   She was born in Blackpool in 1934.   In 1958 she had a leading role in “The Young and the Guilty” opposite Andrew Ray.   Shortly afterwards she went to Hollywood where she signed a Walt Disney contract and starred opposite Sean Connery in “Darby O’Gill and the Little People” and opposite James MacArthur in both “Swiss Family Robinson” and “Third Man on the Mountain”.   She was leading lady to Tommy Steele in “Tommy the Toredor”, John Stride in “Bitter Harvest” and opposite Edward Judd in the cult classic “The Day the Earth Caught Fire”.   Her film career fizzled out somewhat afterwards and she died at a young age in 1972.   She was married to actor Tony Wright and then Ian Hendry who survived her

His biography features Janet Munro extensively.


Gary Brumburgh’s entry:

As Disney’s lively lass Katie O’Gill she was the freshness of spring. She could inspire you to dance a jig through a field of flowers. Her entrancing green eyes and catchy spirit had that kind of life-affirming effect. Cute, spunky, almond-eyed British actress Janet Munro was deemed to be an actress from day one as the daughter of Scottish stage and variety hall comedian Alex Munro (1911-1986) (born Alexander Horsburgh). Janet Neilson Horsburgh was born in Blackpool (near Liverpool), Lancashire, England on September 28, 1934. Her entertainer father adopted the name Munro as his own a few years after Janet was born. His wife, Phyllis, Janet’s mother, died when Janet was only 8 and the young girl was raised by the comedian’s second wife, Lilias.

She first trained as a teenager in repertory theatre in the Lancashire area and in the late 1950s found popularity on British TV. She even earned the title of “Miss Television of 1958” by a fan magazine. She also dabbled in films with prominent roles in the breezy comedy Small Hotel (1957), the drama The Young and the Guilty (1958) and the creepy sci-fi/horror The Crawling Eye (1958) [aka The Crawling Eye].

Adaptable to both comedy and drama, the little charmer caught the eye of Walt Disneywho saw big things for her, and she was signed to a five-picture deal in 1959. She made four. Appealing to a brand new generation of Britishers and Americans as the scrappy, brunette-banged ingénue of several box-office family films, she brightened up the day with her performances in Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959), Third Man on the Mountain (1959), and Swiss Family Robinson (1960).

The Golden Globe winner for “most promising newcomer” eventually outgrew Disney and tried to moved ahead by altering her wholesome image with some mature, spicier roles. Audiences, however, didn’t respond well to this sudden departure. The idea of an adult Janet Munro playing overly sexy ladies and the seriously downtrodden did not take and her career quickly faltered. Despite a BAFTA nomination for her role in Walk in the Shadow (1962), she began to see life unraveling both personally and professionally right before her very eyes.

Janet’s marriages to actors Tony Wright and Ian Hendry fell by the wayside and two miscarriages plus chronic medical ills only deepened her suffering. Semi-retired from acting between 1964 and 1968 while married to Hendry in order to raise her children, she found the going difficult when she tried to return full time.

Ironically, one of Janet’s last screen roles showed her at her dramatic best, playing that of a boozing pop star in the British film Sebastian (1968). Four years later Janet died.    The immediate cause of her death was acute myocarditis; the underlying cause was chronic ischemic heart disease. The sun set all too soon on this lovely actress at 38 years of age. She was survived by her two daughters, Sally and Connie.

– IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh /

To access the Janet Munro Website, please click here.

Janet Munro
Janet Munro
47 Janet Munro
Janet Munro


Anyone who knows me are aware that I am a bit of a movie buff. Over the past few years I have been collecting signed photographs of my favourite actors.

  • Slight correction to the Biography above…….Janet is survived by her two daughters Sal (Walker) and CORRIE…not Connie..(Hendry). …Also the actual cause of death is not as given but for personal reasons the Family would prefer that it is not made public.

    Liam Byrne

    October 12, 2018

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