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Edith Evans Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (7) | Personal Quotes (6)

Overview (4)

Born in Pimlico, London, England, UK
Died in Cranbrook, Kent, England, UK
Birth NameEdith Mary Evans
Height 5' 7" (1.7 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Edith Evans was the greatest actress on the English stage in the 20th century, treading the boards for over half-a-century. She made her professional stage debut in 1912 and excelled in both classic and modern roles in the West End of London and on Broadway, as well as the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon and the Old Vic. She was made a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (the equivalent of a knighthood) in 1946.

Laurence Olivier has written in his memoirs that Evans's power on stage began to falter in the early 1960s, as her memory dimmed with age. It was about this time that she made a transition to the screen, after generally ignoring the medium for the first two decades of talking films. (After making her movie debut in 1915, Evans appeared in no films at all between 1916 and 1949, when she came back to the screen in support of a young Richard Burton in Emlyn Williams's Women of Dolwyn (1949).) In the 1950s, she had made memorable appearances in film in The Queen of Spades (1949), The Importance of Being Earnest (1952), Fred Zinnemann's The Nun's Story (1959) (1959), and in Tony Richardson's film version of John Osborne's Look Back in Anger (1959), but it was her performance as Miss Western in Richardson's Oscar-winning Best Picture Tom Jones (1963) that established her as a major film presence. She won her first Oscar nomination for "Tom Jones", and her second the following year for The Chalk Garden (1964). She won a Golden Globe and the New York Film Critics Circle Award as Best Actress for her performance as the frightened old lady in Bryan Forbes's The Whisperers (1967). The role also brought her a 1967 Oscar nomination for Best Actress, though she lost the trophy to Katharine Hepburn, who had recently lost her long-time lover Spencer Tracy and rode a wave of Hollywood sentiment to victory.

Dame Edith Evans continued to act in films until her death, though the material generally was beneath her great talent. She died on October 14, 1976, at the age of 88.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse (1)

George Booth (1925 - 1935) (his death)

Trivia (7)

Was a Christian Scientist.
She was awarded the DBE (Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1946 King's New Year Honours List for her services to drama.
She did not make her first talking picture until she was sixty-one.
In 1964, she accepted the Oscar for "Best Director" on behalf of Tony Richardson (her Director for Tom Jones (1963)), who wasn't present at the awards ceremony.
After being nominated twice as Best Supporting Actress in the previous four years, she was considered the favorite for the 1967 Best Actress Oscar for The Whisperers (1967), with Faye Dunaway cast by the media as her strongest competition. They both lost to Katharine Hepburn for Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967).
Debuted in 1912 in Shakespeare's play "Troilus and Cressida".
Had an affair with Michael Redgrave for several years, starting in 1937.

Personal Quotes (6)

As a young actress I always had a rule. If I didn't understand a line I always said it as though it were improper.
People always ask me the most ridiculous questions. They want to know, 'How do you approach a role?' Well, I don't know. I approach it by first saying yes, then getting on with the bloody thing.
I don't think there's anything extraordinary about me except this passion for the truth.
[Exiting a post-Oscar-night discotheque early] It's too noisy and I can't get any cornflakes.
There are too many actors today. They don't speak clearly and they won't take advice. I can't stand old bores who go around talking abut 'when I was young' but I do know there's no discipline today. Kids are snapped up for television and films as soon as they learn to stand up straight. They have no training and many of them go to psychiatrists! I've never heard of anything more ridiculous. No actor of my acquaintance goes to one, and I certainly never would... There are a frightful lot of chi-chi classes teaching 'Method acting,' but it's such bunk... The rhetoric no longer seems to come from the heart as it used to. But I don't want to talk about the past. I live for now. I'm much better now than ever before and my best days are still to come.
Marking ages is a sign of deterioration. Age has nothing to do with me.

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