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Joyce Redman obituary

13 May 2012 7:18 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Vivacious Irish actor best known for her role opposite Albert Finney in Tom Jones

The red-haired, vivacious and provocative Irish actor Joyce Redman, who has died aged 93, will for ever be remembered for her lubricious meal-time munching and swallowing opposite Albert Finney in Tony Richardson's 1963 film of Tom Jones. Eyes locked, lips smacked and jaws rotated as the two of them tucked into a succulent feast while eyeing up the afters. Sinking one's teeth into a role is one thing. This was quite another, and deliciously naughty, the mother of all modern mastication scenes.

Redman and Finney were renewing a friendship forged five years earlier when both appeared with Charles Laughton in Jane Arden's The Party at the New (now the Noël Coward) theatre. Redman was not blamed by the critic Kenneth Tynan for making nothing of her role as Laughton's wife. "Nothing," he said, "after all, will come of nothing. »

- Michael Coveney

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