The story of a Golden Globe nominated actress who’s done much of it and advice to those who want to do it!


Hello friends, back here in London and having a good time.   I am seriously indulging myself looking back, seeing old friends and remembering past escapades.

Yesterday I went to a screening of THE DANISH GIRL, interesting film, but it did not really get to me..   I loved SUFFRAGETTE, seen the other evening.     It really knocked the breath out of me. Girls, ladies, women never forget that the freedoms we take so lightly today, were hard fought for by women, who literally went through hell to get us here. There are some extraordinary films about this season.   I also really like JOBS, although some of the technology went over my head, but Michael Fassbender gives a magnificent performance in a wonderful film with a brilliant screenplay by Aaron Sorkin.   See it!!

Henry VIII and Catherine Howard

Henry VIII and Catherine Howard

Yesterday’s screening was at the lovely BAFTA building, on Piccadilly, where all us “lovies” hang out.   I went with one of my oldest friends, Stella Richards, now a super manager/agent in the theatre world.   We met on a production of an Anita Loos play THE KINGS MARE about Henry VIII and a couple of his wives and starred Glynis Johns and Keith Michell, both wonderful singers.   I played Catherine Howard wife, number five, who hopped into bed with her personal musician…can you blame her, married to that gout ridden, cruel old man….bad idea..she had her head cut off for her pains.

Stella, manager friend is on the left and Patricia Brake, another old actress friend on the right.

Stella, manager friend is on the left and Patricia Brake,
another old actress friend on the right.

“Can you sing” asked the Director at my audition…”no” said I “well learn”, said the Director ….”you have a song.”   How bad can it be thought I, Glynis and Keith will do all the singing.   Wrong, t’was only me that sang, and so I stumbled through a song, every night, to Bob Dylan music, accompanied by myself on a guitar.   Not good… Keith cut me off half way through, when he couldn’t stand listening, on quite a few nights.   Friend Stella was Stage Manager on the show and a 40 year old friendship was born. The other dear friend seen unexpectedly was Patricia Brake, famous in the UK, who played my maid, Gwennie, when I played LORNA DOONE in the television serial.   We were both about 20 and rather immature, so spent a lot of time giggling and generally having a good time.   Our Director, Brandon Acton Bond, was a real gentleman, until he got up into the recording booth, to direct the video cameras, via the floor manager with us down on the stage. His language then deteriorated into the most amazing stream of unmentionable bad language, that made the poor floor manager blush.   The invective poured out of his headphones into our unbelieving ears.  Of course Patty and I thought this was hilarious and we compounded a difficult situation, by behaving badly and being unable to continue working by “corpsing”, laughing all the time.   Very unprofessional, but what fun we had.

The business was always difficult and serious, but was not quite as money riddled as it is today, so in those days in the UK, we actors never took ourselves too seriously. We weren’t that important, but we did always have a good time and generally got on together. It changed a bit for me in LA, when I moved there…it is always about the money in Hollywood and it sort of takes some of the pleasure out of it…

Next Saturday I will be at the London Film Convention seeing fans and more old friends…should be more fun.  Talk to you all again soon!

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