9 May 1932
Old Windsor, Berkshire, England
|Spouse(s)||Hugh Cruttwell (1953-2002; his death)|
|Children||1 son, 1 daughter|
Geraldine McEwan (born Geraldine McKeown; 9 May 1932) is an English actress with a diverse history in theatre, film and television. From 2004 to 2009 she appeared as Miss Marple, the Agatha Christie sleuth, for the series Marple.
Background and Family
McEwan was born Geraldine McKeown on 9 May 1932 in Old Windsor, Berkshire, England to Donald and Norah (née Burns) McKeown. She attended Windsor County Girls' School, then a private school, on a scholarship and took elocution lessons.
In 1953 she married the former principal of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Hugh Cruttwell, whom she first met while working at the Theatre Royal, Windsor. They have a son Greg, who is an actor and screenwriter, and daughter Claudia. McEwan has not remarried since Cruttwell's death in 2002.
As a teenager McEwan became interested in theatre and her extensive theatrical career began at 14 as assistant stage manager at the Theatre Royal, Windsor. She made her first appearance on the Windsor stage in October 1946 as an attendant of Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night's Dream and played many parts with the Windsor Repertory Company from March 1949 to March 1951, including a role in the Ruth Gordon bio play Years Ago opposite guest player John Clark. She made her first West End appearance at the Vaudeville Theatre on 4 April 1951 as Christina Deed in Who Goes There!, which was markedly successful.
She appeared with Kenneth Williams in the original 1965 production of Loot by Joe Orton, which closed at the Wimbledon Theatre before reaching London. She spent several seasons with the Royal Shakespeare Company in the late 1950s and early 1960s, playing in many of the Shakespeare comedies; her roles included a rendition of Olivia in Twelfth Night in 1958.
She made her directing debut in 1988 with the Renaissance Theatre Company's touring season, Renaissance Shakespeare on the Road, co-produced with the Birmingham Rep, and ending with a three-month repertory programme at the Phoenix Theatre in London. McEwan's contribution was a light romantic staging of As You Like It, with Kenneth Branagh playing Touchstone as an Edwardian music hall comedian. In the same season Judi Dench and Derek Jacobi also made their debuts as directors.
Her numerous television credits included The Barchester Chronicles with Alan Rickman, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Mulberry, and Mapp and Lucia (1985/6). She was also in the Cassandra episode of Red Dwarf, playing a prescient computer. In 2002, she starred in Peter Mullan's The Magdalene Sisters, giving a performance as Sister Bridget. In 1991, she played the evil Mortianna in the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
In 2004, McEwan was selected by Granada Television as the new face of Miss Marple, the Agatha Christie sleuth, for the series Marple. McEwan announced her retirement from the role after filming the third series. In 2005, she provided the voice of Miss. Thripp in the film Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and A Matter of Loaf and Death.
- 1983: London Evening Standard Award for Best Actress, for The Rivals
- 1991: BAFTA for Best Actress, for Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
- 1995: Evening Standard Best Actress Award for The Way of the World
- 1998: Nominated: Tony Award Best Actress The Chairs
|There Was a Young Lady||1953||Irene|
|No Kidding||1960||Catherine Robinson||Beware of Children (U.S.)|
|The Dance of Death||1969||Alice|
|The Bawdy Adventures of Tom Jones||1976||Lady Bellaston|
|Escape from the Dark||1976||Miss Coutt||The Littlest Horse Thieves (U.S.)|
|The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (TV series)||1978||Jean Brodie|
|Foreign Body||1986||Lady Ammanford|
|Mapp and Lucia||1985-1986||Emmeline Lucas (Lucia)|
|Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves||1991||Mortianna|
|The Love Letter||1999||Constance Scattergoods|
|Food of Love||2000||Novotna|
|The Magdalene Sisters||2002||Sister Bridget|
|Vanity Fair||2004||Lady Southdown|
|The Lazarus Child||2004||Janet|
|Carrie's War||2004||Mrs. Gotobed|
Playing Miss Marple in Marple, ITV, 2004-2008
|Marple: The Body in the Library||2004|
|Marple: The Murder at the Vicarage||2004|
|Marple: 4.50 from Paddington||2004|
|Marple: A Murder Is Announced||2005|
|Marple: Sleeping Murder||2005|
|Marple: The Moving Finger||2006|
|Marple: By the Pricking of My Thumbs||2006|
|Marple: The Sittaford Mystery||2006|
|Marple: At Bertram's Hotel||2007|
|Marple: Ordeal by Innocence||2007|
|Marple: Towards Zero||2008|
- "'Fishnets, tarty wigs - I love all that'". Daily Telegraph. 8 December 2004.
- Who's Who in the Theatre, 17th edition, Gale (1982)
- Prick Up Your Ears by John Lahr, Knopf (1978)
- Stevens, Christopher (2010). Born Brilliant: The Life Of Kenneth Williams. John Murray. p. 386. ISBN 1-84854-195-3.
- The National: The Theatre and Its Work 1963-1997 by Simon Callow, Nick Hern Books (1997)
- London Theatre in the 20th Century by Robert Tanitch, Haus (2007)
- Conlan, Tara (2008-01-23). "McEwan retires from Marple role". Guardian Unlimited (Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 2008-01-23.
- Official website
- Geraldine McEwan at the Internet Movie Database
- Geraldine McEwan at the British Film Institute's Screenonline
- Geraldine McEwan at the Internet Broadway Database