Betty Box in 1959
|Born||Betty Evelyn Box
25 September 1915
Beckenham, Kent, England
|Died||15 January 1999
Betty Evelyn Box, OBE (25 September 1915 - 15 January 1999) was a prolific British film producer. Usually credited as Betty E. Box, she is considered one of the best of her generation, with a flair for making genuinely popular British films.
Born in Beckenham, Kent, England, she entered the motion picture industry in 1942, joining her brother Sydney Box and his wife Muriel at Verity Films, where she helped produce more than 200 wartime propaganda shorts. Following World War II, she made an easy transition to feature films, beginning with The Years Between in 1946. When her brother assumed control of Gainsborough Pictures that year, he named her Head of Production at the Poole Street, Hoxton studio, where she produced ten films during the next two years. While tight budgets and shooting schedules compromised the quality of some of them, others - such as When the Bough Breaks (1947) - proved to be among the most politically interesting films of the period. She was also known for the trio of popular Huggetts films, starting with Here Come the Huggetts in 1948 and followed by Vote for Huggett and The Huggetts Abroad in 1949.
When Gainsborough closed in 1949, Box moved to J. Arthur Rank's Pinewood Studios, where she collaborated with director Ralph Thomas on some 30-odd films, including the highly successful Doctor series, beginning with Doctor in the House in 1954 and ending with Doctor in Trouble in 1970. The comedies contained a wacky irreverence which clearly struck a chord with contemporary audiences and helped to make stars of the young Dirk Bogarde and Donald Sinden.
Box was awarded the OBE in 1958. She was married to Peter Rogers, producer of the Carry On film series, from 24 December 1948 until her death. They did not have any children, but their godson was actor and theatre producer Marc Sinden, the son of Sir Donald Sinden, who starred for Betty Box in, amongst other films, Doctor in the House, Doctor at Large and Mad About Men. She died in Chiltern, Buckinghamshire aged 83 from cancer in 1999.
A posthumous autobiography Lifting the Lid: The Autobiography of Film Producer Betty Box was published in 2000.
- The Olive Tree (1975)
- Percy's Progress (1974)
- Percy (1971)
- Some Girls Do (1969)
- Deadlier Than the Male (1966)
- The Wild and the Willing (1962)
- Conspiracy of Hearts (1960)
- The 39 Steps (1959)
- A Tale of Two Cities (1958)
- Doctor at Large (1957)
- True as a Turtle (1957)
- Mad About Men (1954)
- Doctor in the House (1954)
- A Day To Remember (1953)
- Venetian Bird (1952)
- So Long at the Fair (1950)
- It's Not Cricket (1949)
- Don't Ever Leave Me (1949)
- Miranda (1948)
- Dear Murderer (1947)
- "BFI Screenonline: Box, Betty (1915-1999) Biography". Screenonline.org.uk. 1915-09-25. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
- Morley, Sheridan (1999). Dirk Bogarde: Rank Outsider. Bloomsbury (London) (second edition). ISBN 978-0-7475-4698-6.
- "Marc Sinden : Biography". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
- [dead link]
- Box, Betty Evelyn (October 2000). Lifting the Lid: The Autobiography of Film Producer, Betty Box, OBE. Book Guild Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85776-489-5.
Lifting the Lid by Betty Box, published posthumously in 2000, ISBN 978-1-85776-489-5