Virginia-born Lady Astor is the first woman to sit in Parliament. Her outspokenness in unpopular causes leaves her open to heartbreak, public and private.




1984   1982  
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »


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Series cast summary:
 Nancy Astor 9 episodes, 1982
Lise Hilboldt ...
 Brand / ... 8 episodes, 1982
 Waldorf Astor 6 episodes, 1982
 Chiswell 'Chillie' Langhorne 4 episodes, 1982
 Robert Gould Shaw 4 episodes, 1982
 Bobby Shaw 4 episodes, 1982
 Philip Kerr 4 episodes, 1982
Erick Ray Evans ...


Virginia-born Lady Astor is the first woman to sit in Parliament. Her outspokenness in unpopular causes leaves her open to heartbreak, public and private. Written by Cleo <>

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Biography | Drama





Release Date:

8 April 1984 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


(9 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Featured in Life After Who: Philip Hinchcliffe (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

long before Thatcher there was...Nancy.
25 April 2000 | by See all my reviews

Historical BBC series on the life of Nancy Astor one of the three beautiful and talented Langhorne sisters from Virginia,USA. Each of whom was as charismatic as they were charming, but none more so than the second eldest Nancy. She was not only to marry one of the richest men in the world at the time William Waldorf Astor but to make her mark in politics as the first woman member of the british parliament. In the course of a very interesting life she suffered her share of tragedies including her first marriage to a profligate gambling womaniser whom she never stopped loving and a domineering love hate relationship with her first born Bobby. Throughout the series we are also introduced to the famous personalities of the time, Margot Asquith, Winston Churchill, Nancy Cunard, Paul Robson,Charlie Chaplin, Bernard Shaw to name a few. During a parliamentary tour of the soviet union she harangues Joseph Stalin, "when are you going to stop killing people?".Running for election and not wishing to hide her wealthy background Nancy would motor around in her chauffeured rolls royce from factory to slum to colliery urging ordinary working men to vote for her. They did. Nancy as she grew older was never one to hold back and because of this and a very sharp tongue made enemies within her own party. Consequently she was never offered a cabinet post and passed over for many of the important select committees. It was an anti climax to what could have been a promising career. Despite these setbacks Nancy never forgot her debt to the working class englishman and on her death bequeathed a large part of the Astor fortune to the appropriate charities.

This series will appeal to many admirers of victorian and edwardian history. Many of the scenes were filmed on actual location at Nancy's birth place in Virginia and at Cliveden House, the Astor estate in England where she entertained many of her famous guests. Lisa Harrow in the title role gives an uneven performance coming across more convincingly when portraying the older Nancy. James Fox is also to be commended for his role as the kindly and understanding Waldorf. Unfortunately not out on video.

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