Rosalie Crutchley

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Rosalie Crutchley
Born (1920-01-04)4 January 1920
London, England, UK
Died 28 July 1997(1997-07-28) (aged 77)
London, England, UK
Resting place
Cremation
Occupation actress

Rosalie Crutchley (4 January 1920 – 28 July 1997) was an English actress. Trained at the Royal Academy of Music, Crutchley was known for her television performances, but had a long and successful career in theatre and films, making her stage début at least as early as 1932[1] and her screen début in 1947. She continued acting up until her death in 1997 and was familiarly always known as "Bun" Crutchley.

She had dark piercing eyes, and often played foreign characters, or rather sinister characters. She played many classical roles, including Juliet in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Hermione in The Winter's Tale and Goneril in King Lear.

Her screen debut was as a violinist who is murdered in Take My Life (1947). She played Madame Defarge in both A Tale of Two Cities, the 1958 film, and in the 1965 television serialisation of the same story.

She played Catherine Parr in the 1970 TV series, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, and played the same character in its sequel, Elizabeth R (1971).

Other roles included Mrs Sparsit in Hard Times (ITV, 1977), and Electra (1974). She is probably remembered best for her performances in the classic films Quo Vadis (1951) as Acte, Nero's confidante, and The Haunting (1963) as the sinister housekeeper Mrs. Dudley.

Crutchley also appeared in adaptations of two A.J. Cronin novels, The Spanish Gardener (1956) and Beyond This Place (1959), and played the flinty maiden aunt in the TV adaptation of Brendon Chase (1980–81). She had two guest roles in Casualty, in 1992 and 1995. She also had a short, but memorable, appearance in Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994).

She appeared in only one film musical, Man of La Mancha (1972), based on the hit stage production, as Don Quixote's housekeeper. In the role, her less-than-good singing voice was used for intentionally comic effect in the song "I'm Only Thinking of Him".

Her last appearance was in an episode of the TV detective series, Midsomer Murders, in the episode, The Killings at Badger's Drift, playing Lucy Bellringer. This was shown in 1997, shortly before her death.

She was married twice. First to actor Dan Cunningham in 1939 and secondly to actor Peter Ashmore in 1946. Both marriages ended in divorce. She had two children, the physicist Jonathan Ashmore and Catherine Ashmore, the noted theatrical photographer.[2]

Selected filmography[edit]

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