||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2010)|
|Born||Jean Lyndsey Torren Marsh
1 July 1934
Stoke Newington, London, England, UK
|Spouse(s)||Jon Pertwee (1955–1960) (divorced)|
Marsh is perhaps best known for co-creating the television series The House of Eliott as well as co-creating and starring in Upstairs, Downstairs in which she received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her performance as Rose Buck in 1975. She later reprised her role of Rose for the BBC's revival of the series.
Marsh was born in Stoke Newington, London, the daughter of Emmeline Susannah Nightingale Poppy (née Bexley), a bar employee and dresser for the theatre, and Henry Charles John Marsh, an outdoor maintenance man and printer's assistant.
During the 1950s and 1960s, Marsh made many appearances on British and American television including an episode of The Twilight Zone called "The Lonely" (1959), in which she played Alicia, a very lifelike and attractive female robot; The Moon and Sixpence (1959) opposite Laurence Olivier and Denholm Elliot; The Wonderful World of Disney (1961); Gideon's Way (1965); I Spy (1967); The Saint (4 episodes between 1964 and 1968); and UFO.
She appeared several times in the BBC series Doctor Who. She first appeared alongside William Hartnell in the 1965 serial The Crusade as Lady Joanna, the sister of Richard I (The Lionheart). She returned later that year as companion Sara Kingdom in the 12-part serial The Daleks' Masterplan. Although the character was killed off at the end of that serial, Marsh reprised the role of Sara Kingdom in the audio plays Home Truths in 2008, The Drowned World in 2009, The Guardian of the Solar System in 2010, The Five Companions in 2011, and The Anachronauts in 2012. She also appeared in the 1989 television serial Battlefield as Morgana Le Fay, as well as the 2007 audio play The Wishing Beast. She made a cameo appearance in the 2013 docudrama about Doctor Who, An Adventure in Space and Time.
Marsh was featured as Bertha Mason Rochester in the George C. Scott-Susannah York version of Jane Eyre, directed by Delbert Mann. The film was released theatrically in the United Kingdom in 1970 and shown in the United States on NBC Television in 1971.
With Eileen Atkins she created the British period drama Upstairs, Downstairs, and played the role of the house parlourmaid Rose Buck for the duration of the series, from 1971 until 1975. The programme was popular internationally; Marsh received an Emmy Award for her role in 1975, and was nominated for the same award in 1974 and 1976. She also received two Golden Globe nominations for this role.
Marsh was the presenter, introducing animation shorts in the KQED production, distributed by PBS, The International Festival of Animation (1977). After several other guest roles in television, she played a regular supporting role in the television series 9 to 5 in 1982 and 1983.
In film she had a featured role in Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy (1972) and played Mrs. Grey in The Eagle Has Landed (1976), the villain in the fantasy films Return to Oz (1985) and Willow (1988). Marsh and Eileen Atkins created a second television series The House of Eliott, which was produced during 1991 and 1992. This time, Marsh did not act in the series, but she did write some of the episodes. In 1994, she starred in a villain role in the Nickelodeon/Thames Television re-make of The Tomorrow People, and appeared in the television productions of Fatherland and The Pale Horse.
From 2000 until 2002, Marsh appeared in The Ghost Hunter, and in 2007 she played in the West End stage revival of Boeing Boeing at the Comedy Theatre. She also made an appearance in the 2007 BBC adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. She appeared as Lizzie Galbraith alongside Joanna Lumley as Davina Jackson (the lead character) in Babycow Productions' Sensitive Skin which aired on BBC Two in 2005 and 2007. She appeared in an episode of BBC Four's Crooked House in December 2008.
A three-part revival of Upstairs Downstairs was commissioned by the BBC with the first episode broadcast on BBC One on 26 December 2010 as part of BBC TV's Christmas schedule. Marsh reprised her role as Rose Buck, who had returned to London to run an agency for domestic servants after a period spent nursing her mother in Suffolk. Eileen Atkins, who co-created the original series with Marsh, also starred in the revived series. It was set in the same London house as the original ITV series, 165 Eaton Place, resuming in 1936. Subsequently, a full series began transmission in February 2012 with Marsh's character appearing less frequently because of health reasons.
Marsh has also written several books: Fiennders Abbey, The House of Eliott, and Iris.
On 3 October 2011, the BBC announced that Marsh had suffered a minor stroke and would miss the beginning of the second series of Upstairs, Downstairs. She was ultimately only able to appear in two scenes over the series, and the show was subsequently cancelled.
- Jean Marsh, The House of Eliott, Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd (Nov 1993), 978-0283061554; St Martin's Press (February 1994), ISBN 978-0-312-10996-7
- Jean Marsh, Fiennders Keepers, Macmillan (1996), ISBN 978-0-333-63211-6; St Martin's Press (May 1997), ISBN 978-0-312-15528-5
- Jean Marsh, Iris, St Martin's Press (July 2000), ISBN 978-0-312-26182-5; Macmillan (February 2003), ISBN 978-0-333-71154-5
- Jean Marsh, Fiennders Abbey, Pan (5 Aug 2011), ISBN 978-1-4472-0007-9
- IMDB article on the program http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0179025/
- Chris Hastings (25 July 2010). "Upstairs, Downstairs is back". Mail Online.
- Wigg, David (2012) Heart attack and stroke won't keep me from the show I love! Upstairs Downstairs creator Jean Marsh vows to keep acting Daily Mail, 17th February 2012
- I'll keep acting forever, Gloucestershire Echo, 27 August 2011
- van Emst, Christine (8 February 2006). "Great in Old Country". Watford Observer (Newsquest Media Group). Retrieved 6 September 2011.
- GRO Register of Marriages: JUN 1955 5f 63 MIDDLESEX S. – Jon D. R. Pertwee = Jeann L. T. Marsh
- GRO Register of Marriages: SEP 1960 6a 1385 WYCOMBE – Jon D. R. Pertwee = Ingeborg R. Rhosa
- "Upstairs Downstairs' Jean Marsh interview: A touch of class below stairs" "The Telegraph", 16 Dec 2010
- "Jean Marsh to miss start of Upstairs Downstairs". BBC News. 3 October 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- "'Upstairs Downstairs' dropped by BBC — TV News". Digital Spy. 2012-04-21. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
- The London Gazette: . 16 June 2012.
- Jean Marsh at the Internet Movie Database
- Works by or about Jean Marsh in libraries (WorldCat catalog)