||This article contains wording that promotes the subject in a subjective manner without imparting real information. (October 2013)|
November 13, 1931
Glasgow, Scotland, UK
|Spouse(s)||Derek Fowlds (?-?)
Daniel Massey (1961-1967)
Adrienne Corri (born 13 November 1931 Glasgow, Scotland) is a British actress born Adrienne Riccoboni, the daughter of Olive Smethurst and an Italian father Luigi Riccoboni (sometimes spelt Reccobini). Her distinctive auburn hair came from her mother's Lancastrian Mancunian Smethurst family. In the 1930s her father Luigi (known as Louis) ran the Crown Hotel, Callander, Perthshire. She had one brother.
Despite having significant roles in many films, Adrienne Corri is likely to be remembered for one of her smaller parts, that of Mrs. Alexander, the wife of the writer Frank Alexander, in the 1971 Stanley Kubrick dystopian film A Clockwork Orange. Though not originally cast for this role, she was brought in after the first actress left. Clad in an eye-catching bright red pajama suit, she answers the door to the main character of the film, Alex de Large, and in a scene redolent with black humour and violence is forcibly stripped and gang raped, Corri being thrust centre stage in an exuberant quasi-theatrical spectacle, as Alex accompanies the stripping with a joyful rendition of "Singing in the Rain". Though the scene lasts barely three minutes and Corri's dialogue is confined to some initial preliminaries, the nature of the scene and the manner of its presentation make it perhaps the most memorable scene in the entire film. Corri was offered the role after two actresses had already withdrawn from the film, one of them, according to Malcolm McDowell (Alex in the film), because she found it "too humiliating -– because it involved having to be perched, naked, on Warren Clarke’s (playing Dim the Droog) shoulders for weeks on end while Stanley decided which shot he liked the best." Adrienne Corri had no such qualms about appearing naked, joking to McDowell, "Well Malcolm, you’re about to find out that I’m a real redhead." Corri appeared in many excellent films, notably as Valerie in Jean Renoir's The River (1951), as Lara's mother in David Lean's Dr. Zhivago (1965) and in the Otto Preminger thriller Bunny Lake is Missing. She also appeared in a number of horror and suspense films from the 1950s until the 1970s including Devil Girl from Mars, The Tell-Tale Heart, A Study in Terror and Vampire Circus. She also appeared as Therese Duval in Revenge of the Pink Panther. The range and versatility of her acting is shown by appearances in such diverse productions as the 1969 science fiction movie Moon Zero Two where she played opposite the ever dependable character actor Sam Kydd (Len the barman), and again in 1969, in Twelfth Night, directed by John Sichel, as the Countess Olivia, where she played opposite Alec Guinness (Malvolio).
Her numerous television credits include Angelica in Sword of Freedom (1958), Yolanda in The Invisible Man episode "Crisis in the Desert", a regular role in A Family at War and You're Only Young Twice, a 1971 television play by Jack Trevor Story, as Mena in the Doctor Who story "The Leisure Hive" and guest starred as the mariticidal Liz Newton in the UFO episode "The Square Triangle". She also was in two episodes of "Danger Man," the first being the well-known surreal "The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove," (1965) as assistant to Mr. Alexander, Elaine, as well as "Whatever Happened To George Foster," (1965) in which she played Pauline, a journalist acquaintance of "John Drake." She was equally at home in the classics of British theater, giving an outstanding performance as Lady Fidget in the BBC play of the month, Wycherley's Restoration comedy The Country Wife, a satire centered on the 17th-century culture of sexual relations, rakes, cuckoldry, and the hero's use of a rumor of his impotence to enable him to have sex with as many of the wives and daughters of upwardly mobile businessmen and entrepreneurs as he can. In 1979 she returned to Shakespeare when she appeared in the BBC Shakespeare production of Measure for Measure, as the earthy, cheroot-smoking keeper of a bawdy house, Mistress Overdone.
She had a major stage career, appearing regularly both in London and in the provincial theaters. In the heady days of the 1968, she appeared in one of the first English performances of 'Come and Go', [[Samuel Beckett]]'s one act 'dramaticule', in Beckett's coinage, put on at the Royal Festival Hall as part of "a gala entertainment concerning depravity and corruption" (the words coming from the nineteenth-century definition of obscenity), sponsored by The National Council for Civil Liberties and The Defense of Literature and the Arts Society, which raised funds to support publishers being prosecuted for obscenity. It was directed by Deryk Mendel, with Adrienne Corri appearing alongside [[Marie Kean]] and [[Billie Whitelaw]] in the roles of Flo, Vi, and Ru. The evening included both classical and rock music, and a mixed programme compèred by George Melly. In his entry for Clifford Anthony Smythe in the online Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, John Calder records that "The profit was much less than expected for a sold-out house, as the person who had volunteered to organize the souvenir programme spent too little time finding advertisers as against providing editorial content."
Known for her feisty character, various stories are recounted, such as that when the audience booed on the first night of John Osborne's The World of Paul Slickey, Corri responded with her own abuse: she raised two fingers to the audience and shouted "Go fuck yourselves". Note that Billington only repeats the story, without confirming or providing any evidence of its truth. During the making of Moon Zero Two, she poured a glass of iced water inside James Olson's rubber space suit, in which uncomfortable state he was obliged to wear it for the remained of the day's shooting.
She is the author of The Search for Gainsborough, a book written in diary form, detailing her efforts to establish the provenance of a painting of David Garrick that she believes to be by a young Thomas Gainsborough. The painting, Self Portrait as a Boy c.1739 1739c, can be seen online at the Historical Portraits Image Library  The book displays her wit and erudition, and her feisty character shines through the pages, as well as providing the reader with a fund of anecdotes regarding the actress herself. Her researches culminated in an article published in the Burlington magazine. Corri's researches and her article are discussed in 'Tom will be a genius - new landscapes by the young Thomas Gainsborough', the catalogue of an exhibition at Philip Mould Ltd, 4–28 July 2009, with text by Linsay Stainton and Bendor Grosvenor.
Adrienne Corri's love of art is apparent throughout The Search for Gainsborough and in it she records with some elegance her reaction on visiting the National Gallery in 1978, on the day of a senseless attack on Poussin's 'Moses and the Children of Israel Worshiping the Golden Calf', "Everyone was in tears, even strong guards! It is one of the gallery's great treasures, one of the world's greatest pictures, or rather, was... The picture wasn't there. Nothing remained of it except a fringe of canvas around the edges. The rest lay on the ground in shreds or hunks, already curling at the edges: it was the most expensive jigsaw in the world... It was the most dreadful sight; so stupid. In one moment a maniac had reduced an exquisite piece of philosophy, beauty and geometry to chaos."
She was acquainted with many of the leading figures in the British theatre, including Joe Orton, and he recounts in his diaries how he asked her advice on how best to end his relationship with his lover Kenneth Halliwell. She enjoyed a good relationship with Stanley Kubrick, who joked with her that in the surprise visit sequence in A Clockwork Orange -— where the two droogs, Alex and Dim, engage in a stylized display of libidinal excess, swinging her across the shoulders of Dim who marches gaily around the room, while Alex engages in a joyful rendition of "Singing in the Rain", skipping and dancing and swinging his cane until he approaches her, trousers around his ankles to commence the rape -— she was cast in "the Debbie Reynolds part". After finishing filming A Clockwork Orange, she kept in touch with Stanley Kubrick, who complained to her about the problem he had of losing socks whenever he did the washing, so for Christmas she gave him a pair of bright red socks, a wry comment on his domestic concerns and simultaneously a humorous reference to her now famous scene in A Clockwork Orange, where after Alex had finished snipping off her red pyjama suit, she was naked except for a pair of red socks.
Corri has married and divorced twice, to the actors Daniel Massey (1961–1967) and Derek Fowlds. Daniel Massey's background could hardly have been more different from Adrienne Corri's. He had attended Eton and Kings College Cambridge, and had served as an officer in the Scot's Guards. The marriage proved to be somewhat tempestuous, with Massey describing the relationship in the following terms, "We were agonizingly incompatible but we had an extraordinary physical attraction."
- The Romantic Age (1949)
- The River (1951)
- Quo Vadis (1951)
- The Little Kidnappers (1953)
- Devil Girl from Mars (1954)
- Lease of Life (1954)
- Make Me an Offer (1954)
- Meet Mr. Callaghan (1954)
- The Anatomist (1956)
- Three Men in a Boat (1956)
- The Feminine Touch (1956)
- The Shield of Faith (1956)
- Behind the Headlines (1956)
- Second Fiddle (1957)
- The Surgeon's Knife (1957)
- The Big Chance (1957)
- Corridors of Blood (1958)
- The Rough and the Smooth (1960)
- The Tell-Tale Heart (1960)
- The Hellfire Club (1960)
- Dynamite Jack (1961)
- Lancelot and Guinevere (1963)
- Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965)
- A Study in Terror (1965)
- Doctor Zhivago (1965)
- The Viking Queen (1967)
- Woman Times Seven (1967)
- Africa: Texas Style (1967)
- Journey into Darkness (1968)
- Moon Zero Two (1969)
- The File of the Golden Goose (1969)
- A Clockwork Orange (1971)
- Vampire Circus (1972)
- Cry Wolf (1972)
- Madhouse (1974)
- Rosebud (1975)
- Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978)
- The Human Factor (1979)
- Adrienne Corri roles and actor credis list; Aveleyman website
- "The chief Droog talks A Clockwork Orange, Caligula and Rob Zombie". Bizarre. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
- C.J. Ackerley and S.E. Gontarski (2004). The Grove Companion to Samuel Beckett: A Reader's Guide to His Works, Life, and Thought. Grove Press. p. 608. ISBN 0802140491.
- Calder, John. "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Smythe, Clifford Anthony". Oxford University Pres. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
- Billington, Michael. "Sounding Off". Retrieved 9 May 2012.
- Hallenbeck, Bruce. "Adrienne Corri Interview". Retrieved 9 May 2012.
- Mould, Philip. "Historical Portraits Image Library". Self Portrait as a Boy c.1739 1739c. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
- Corri, Adrienne (1986). The Search for Gainsborough. Vanguard Press. p. 281. ISBN 081490906X.
- Corri, Adrienne (April 1983). "Gainsborough's Early Career: New Documents and Two Portraits". The Burlington Magazine (125): 210–216.
- Lindsay Stainton and Bendor Grosvenor (2009). Tom will be a genius. Philip Mould Ltd. p. 50.
- Lahr, John (2002). Prick Up Your Ears: The Biography of Joe Orton. Bloomsbury Publishing PLC. p. 320. ISBN 0747560145.
- Hallenbeck, Bruce. "Adrienne Corri Interview". Retrieved 9 May 2012.
- Baxter, John (1998). Stanley Kubrick: A Biography. HarperCollins. ISBN 0006384455.
- Vallance, Tom (Saturday 28 March 1998). "Obituary: Daniel Massey". The Independent. Retrieved 13 March 2013.