Lacey in The Lady Vanishes (1938)
6 May 1904|
|Died||23 September 1979
Catherine Lacey (6 May 1904 – 23 September 1979) was an English actress of stage and screen.
Lacey made her stage debut, playing opposite Mrs Patrick Campbell, in The Thirteenth Chair at the West Pier Brighton on 13 April 1925. Her first West End appearance followed in July 1926, in Cock o' the Roost at the Garrick Theatre.
Among her other West End credits were The Beetle (Strand Theatre 1928), The Venetian (Little Theatre 1931; her Broadway debut, at the Masque Theatre, followed in the same play the same year), The Green Bay Tree (St Martin's Theatre 1933), After the Dance (St James' Theatre 1939), The Late Edwina Black (Ambassadors Theatre 1949), Tiger at the Gates (Apollo Theatre 1955; she appeared at the Plymouth Theatre on Broadway in the same play later the same year), The Tiger and the Horse (Queen's Theatre 1960) and I Never Sang for My Father (Duke of York's Theatre 1970).
Having acted at Stratford and the Old Vic in 1935/36, she returned to both companies in later years – to the Old Vic in 1951 (Clytemnestra in Electra) and 1962 (Aase in Peer Gynt, Emilia in Othello), and to the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1967, playing Volumnia in Coriolanus and the Countess of Rousillon in All's Well that Ends Well.
She made her film debut in 1938 as the secretive nun who wears high heels in the Alfred Hitchcock film The Lady Vanishes, but was credited as Catherine Lacy. She was subsequently cast in major films like I Know Where I'm Going! (1945), The October Man (1947), Whisky Galore! (1949), The Servant (1963) and The Fighting Prince of Donegal (1966), in which she played Queen Elizabeth I. In 1966/67 she played in two notable horror films, as a malevolent fortune-teller in The Mummy's Shroud and as Boris Karloff's insane wife in Michael Reeves' The Sorcerers. For the latter she won a 'Silver Asteroid' award as Best Actress at the Trieste Science Fiction Film Festival in 1968.
Eight years earlier she received the Guild of TV Producers and Directors award as Actress of the Year. Her television debut, in 1938, was in a BBC production of The Duchess of Malfi; her last appearance, in 1973, was in the Play for Today installment Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont.
- The Lady Vanishes (1938)
- Poison Pen (1939)
- The House of the Arrow (1940)
- Cottage to Let (1941)
- I Know Where I'm Going! (1945)
- Pink String and Sealing Wax (1945)
- Carnival (1946)
- The October Man (1947)
- The White Unicorn (1947)
- When the Bough Breaks (1947)
- Whisky Galore! (1949)
- Rockets Galore! (1957)
- The Man in the Sky (1957)
- Crack in the Mirror (1960)
- The Shadow of the Cat (1961)
- The Servant (1963)
- The Fighting Prince of Donegal (1966)
- The Mummy's Shroud (1967)
- The Sorcerers (1967)
- The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970)
- John Parker (ed), Who's Who in the Theatre 15th edition, Pitman Publishing 1972
- TC Worsley, The Fugitive Art: Dramatic Commentaries 1947–1951, John Lehmann Ltd 1952
- Frances Stephens, Theatre World Annual 1964, Iliffe Books 1963
- Jonathan Rigby, 'British Horror Classics – The Sorcerers', Hammer Horror no 4, June 1995