Ann Todd

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Ann Todd
Ann Todd The Paradine Case 1948.JPG
Todd in The Paradine Case, 1948.
Born(1909-01-24)24 January 1909
Died6 May 1993(1993-05-06) (aged 84)
Occupationactress, producer
Years active1931–1992
Spouse(s)Victor N. Malcolm
(m. 1933; div. 19??)
Nigel Tangye
(m. 1945; div. 1949)

David Lean
(m. 1949; div. 1957)

Dorothy Anne Todd (24 January 1909 – 6 May 1993) was an English actress and producer.

Early years[edit]

Todd was born in Hartford, Cheshire, England and educated at St. Winifrid's School, Eastbourne, Sussex. She studied speech training and drama under Elsie Fogerty at the Central School of Speech and Drama, then based at the Royal Albert Hall, London.[1]


Todd made her film debut in Keepers of Youth (1931). She had roles in These Charming People (1931), The Ghost Train (1931), The Water Gipsies (1932) and The Return of Bulldog Drummond (1934).

For Alex Korda, Todd was in Things to Come (1936), Action for Slander (1937), The Squeaker (1937), and South Riding (1938). She appeared in Ann and Harold (1938) the first British TV serial.

Todd was in Poison Pen (1939), Danny Boy (1941), and Ships with Wings (1941).


Todd was off screen for a number of years. She had a good support role in a big hit, Perfect Strangers (1945, as a nurse), then had a huge success when she played a suicidal concert pianist in The Seventh Veil (1945), opposite James Mason. She followed this with a musical, Gaiety George (1946) and a noir Daybreak (shot in 1946, released in 1948).

The Seventh Veil was a hit in the US as well as UK. In 1946, Todd was said to be the "holder of the most lucrative contract ever signed by an English cinema actress, with over a million dollars involved in its clauses".[2]

She received a Hollywood offer from Alfred Hitchcock to play Gregory Peck's wife in The Paradine Case (1947), which was a flop. So Evil My Love (1948), a US-British co production was a box office disappointment, as was The Passionate Friends (1949), directed by her then husband David Lean. Lean also directed Todd in Madeleine (1950) and The Sound Barrier (1952); the latter was successful commercially.

Todd appeared in some thrillers, The Green Scarf (1954) and Time Without Pity (1957). She had a good part in Hammer Films' Taste of Fear (1961).


Todd starred in two episodes of Playhouse 90: "Not the Glory" and "The Grey Nurse Said Nothing".[3]


In 1957, Todd starred in the Broadway production of Four Winds.[4]


She later produced a series of travel films. Her autobiography is entitled The Eighth Veil, an allusion to the film which made her a star in Britain. Todd was known as the "pocket Garbo" for her diminutive, blonde beauty.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Todd said of herself, "I'm really very shy, and I get over that playing an actress."[6]

Todd married three times. Her first husband, Victor N. Malcolm, was a grandson of Lillie Langtry; she had a son with him named David Malcolm.[7][8] Her second and third husbands (Nigel Tangye and David Lean) were first cousins. She had a daughter with Nigel Tangye called Ann Francesca Tangye. She was divorced from Tangye 12 March 1949.[9]

Todd married film director Lean on 21 May 1949[10] and starred in a number of his films, including The Passionate Friends (1949), Madeleine (1950) and The Sound Barrier (1952). Lean and Todd divorced 15 July 1957.[11]


Todd died on 6 May 1993 from a stroke, aged 84.

Selected filmography[edit]

Radio appearances[edit]

Year Programme Episode/source
1946 This Is Hollywood The Seventh Veil[12]


  1. ^ ‘Fogie – The Life (1865-1945) of Elsie Fogerty Pioneer of speech training for the theatre and everyday life’, Marion Cole (Peter Davis, London, 1967),
  2. ^ Fitz Gerald, Joe (14 April 1946). "W. Berry Not So Bad As Bandit In 'Bad Bascomb' At The Stuart". The Lincoln Star. p. 32. Retrieved 2 October 2015 – via open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ "'Snows of Kilimanjaro' Logged For Friday Release; Ann Todd Stars". The Daily Herald. 21 March 1960. p. 15.
  4. ^ "Ann Todd". Playbill Vault. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  5. ^ 1"Passages by Maria Speidel". People Magazine. 24 May 1993: Vol. 39 No. 20.
  6. ^ Glover, William (22 September 1957). "Pretty Face Isn't Enough: Ann Todd". The Bridgeport Post. p. 35. Retrieved 2 October 2015 – via open access publication – free to read
  7. ^ "No title". The Australasian. CXLII, (4, 597). Victoria, Australia. 13 February 1937. p. 13 (METROPOLITAN EDITION). Retrieved 8 April 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Actress Ann Todd Divorced By Mate". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. 13 March 1949. p. 50. Retrieved 2 October 2015 – via open access publication – free to read
  10. ^ "Ann Todd, David Lean Are Wed In London". Portland Press Herald. 23 May 1949. p. 10. Retrieved 2 October 2015 – via open access publication – free to read
  11. ^ "Actress Ann Todd Granted Divorce". The Corpus Christi Caller-Times. 15 July 1957. p. 29. Retrieved 2 October 2015 – via open access publication – free to read
  12. ^ "Ray Milland, Ann Todd, Co-Star on 'This Is Hollywood' Premiere Tonight". Harrisburg Telegraph. 5 October 1946. p. 17. Retrieved 2 October 2015 – via open access publication – free to read

External links[edit]