Beth Porter

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Beth Porter
Born Beth Jane Porter
(1942-05-23) May 23, 1942 (age 75)
New York City, New York, United States

Beth Jane Porter (born May 23, 1942) is an American stage, film and television actress and writer, who has worked in Britain for most of her career. She became a British citizen in 2014.

Early life[edit]

Beth Porter made her first professional appearance at age 12 in a Westchester County touring company. She studied acting on scholarship at the Stratford Connecticut Shakespeare Festival and with Helen Menken at the American Theatre Wing.


In 1966, Porter was chosen as a member of original Obie Award-winning New York LaMaMa Troupe under director Tom O'Horgan (Hair), where she starred in the play and later film of Futz!, and featured in Paul Foster's Tom Paine and Melodrama Play by Sam Shepard.[1] A critic declared of her co-starring role in Futz!: "Beth Porter makes the Whore of Babylon look like the Singing Nun."[citation needed][2]

Porter founded the London LaMaMa,[3] and became its administrative and artistic director, touring all over Europe. She featured in their plays, including Groupjuice, Little Mother by Ross Alexander,[4] The Hilton Keen Show,[5] Hump, a dramatization of the novel by David Benedictus.[6]

US television guest spots include Baretta and Kojak. UK television roles include co-starring in Rock Follies of '77 (1977) and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, in which she reprised her role as The Marketing Girl from the original radio series. Her television films include Blue Money with Tim Curry, and Pleasure (1994), part of the Alan Bleasdale Presents series. She guest starred with Bill Nighy in The Men's Room (1991).

Feature film roles include Reds (1981), Mrs. McKee in The Great Gatsby (1974), sister-in-law Anna to Woody Allen’s Boris in Love and Death (1975),[7] and Yentl (1983), in which she worked as Barbra Streisand's understudy and played Sophie, Amy Irving's maid in an uncredited role. She appeared in several saucy UK comedies in the 1970s including Eskimo Nell (1975), an early feature film by Martin Campbell.[8]

Voice acting[edit]

Porter featured on Roger Waters' album The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking as The Wife.[9] Her voice has been heard on re-voices and dubbings of many films. She was the White Witch in the animated version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. She and John Ratzenberger did all the post-synch voices in John Schlesinger's Honky Tonk Freeway (1981), and she re-voiced the death throes of Veronica Cartwright in Alien (1979).

Later career[edit]

Porter later trained as a television script editor and producer. For BBC Television, she produced The Husband, The Wife and The Stranger, starring Adam Faith and Derrick O'Connor, and for Channel 4 Television, Unusual Ground Floor Conversion, a short film directed by Mark Herman, Little Voice. She later joined BBC Television Drama as a development executive for new drama series.

A number of her radio plays and short stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

Porter first became a journalist at age 12 when she was hired as a weekly columnist for The Patent Trader, a Westchester County newspaper chain. Years later, she served as a relief theatre critic for The Times, and contributed media-related articles to The Listener, The Guardian,[10] and The Independent. In 1988 she became a film critic, joining The Critics' Circle and served for 10 years as London Editor for Film Journal International.

She subsequently became a senior Web Producer for leading web-house Online Magic, part of the Omnicom Group, and she was asked to contribute to various web-related magazines including .net for Future Publishing. This led to the publication of her book, The Net Effect, for which David Puttnam contributed the foreword.[11] 2016 was her 19th year as a nominating judge for the International Webby Awards[12] and she has served as a contributor to policy advisers on eDemocracy issues. She is an elected Lifetime voting member of BAFTA. [13]

In 2013 she published Resident Aliens, a collection of her short fiction for kindle.ISBN 978-0-9576272-0-8[14] This was followed in 2014 by a collection of her original scripts and screenplays under the umbrella title Drama Queen,[15] and in April 2016 of her autobiography entitled WALKING ON MY HANDS: how I learned to take responsibility for my life with the help of Woody Allen, Barbra Streisand, Greta Garbo, Harvey Milk, Idi Amin, Guy The Gorilla, and Frank Sinatra, among others. [16]



Year Film Role Notes
1967 The Naked Witch Beth
1969 Me and My Brother
Futz! Majorie Satz
1971 Long Drawn-Out Trip: Sketches from Los Angeles Various (voice)
1974 Feelings Mrs. Lustig
The Great Gatsby Mrs. McKee
1975 Eskimo Nell Billie Harris
Love and Death Anna
Dick Deadeye, or Duty Done Yum-Yum (voice)
1978 What's Up Superdoc! Melanie
On a Paving Stone Mounted American Woman
The Ballad of the Daltons Miss Worthlesspenny (voice)
1980 Superman II Football Fan (uncredited)
1981 Reds
1983 Yentl Sophie


Year Title Role Notes
1973 Thirty Minute Theatre Joanna Episode "The Baby's Name Being Kitchener"
Armchair Theatre Barbara Episode "Verite"
1974 Mousey Sandra aka Cat and Mouse
1975 Baretta Nightclub Hostess Episode "Nobody in a Nothing Place"
1977 Seven Faces of Woman Anne Liebowitz Episode "She: Anxious Anne"
Rock Follies of '77 Kitty Schreiber 6 episodes, 1977
1978 Crown Court Betty Lou [17] Episode "Scalped"
1979 The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe Jadis, The White Witch (voice)
The Deep Concern Carrie Stone (6 episodes)
1980 Tales of the Unexpected Joanna Bligh Episode "Taste"
1981 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Marketing Girl Episode #1.6
1982 Blue Money Barmaid
1988 Floodtide American Woman Season 2 Episodes 4 and 5
1988 Square Deal Hannah Episodes #1.1 and #1.7
1990 Ruth Rendell Mysteries Davina Ilbert Episode "Put on by Cunning"
1994 Pleasure Amber aka Alan Bleasdale Presents Pleasure


  1. ^ "Playlist 1967". Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  2. ^ Hollywood Reporter. 1969.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Lathan, Peter. "Ellen Stewart - La MaMa's Mama". British Theatre Guide. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  4. ^ Ross Alexander at the Internet Broadway Database
  5. ^
  6. ^ "David Benedictus - The Works". Archived from the original on 2009-10-13. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  7. ^ Fox, Julian (1996). Woody: Movies From Manhattan. BT Batsford Books. ISBN 0-87951-692-5. 
  8. ^ Sheridan, Simon (2007). Keeping the British End Up: Four Decades of Saucy Cinema (3 ed.). Reynolds & Hearn Books. ISBN 1-905287-54-2. 
  9. ^ "The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking. (1984)". Roger Waters Online. Archived from the original on 2010-02-03. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Porter, Beth (2001). The Net effect. Intellect Books. ISBN 1-84150-039-9. 
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-04-19. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  13. ^ BAFTA number LBT084
  14. ^ "RESIDENT ALIENS: stories of nyc in the 1960s eBook: BETH PORTER: Kindle Store". Retrieved 2014-06-30. 
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ I played this role and I still have the original script

External links[edit]