Elizabeth Sellars

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Elizabeth Sellars
A portrait of a white actress with dark hair.
Elizabeth Sellars, from a 1953 publicity photo.
Elizabeth Macdonald Sellars

(1921-05-06)6 May 1921
Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Died30 December 2019(2019-12-30) (aged 98)
Paris, France
Alma materRoyal Academy of Dramatic Art
Years active1949–1990
Francis Austin Henley
(m. 1960; died 2009)

Elizabeth Macdonald Sellars (6 May 1921 – 30 December 2019) was a Scottish actress.

Early life and education[edit]

Sellars was born in Glasgow, Scotland, the daughter of Stephen Sellars and Jean Sutherland.[1] She appeared on the stage from the age of 15, and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.[2] She also studied law for five years in England.[3]


Sellars worked with ENSA during World War II, entertaining British troops. She made her first London stage appearance in 1946 in The Brothers Karamazov, directed by Peter Brook and sharing the stage with Alec Guinness.[1] She later appeared with the Royal Shakespeare Company as Elizabeth in Richard III, Helen in Troilus and Cressida, Gertrude in Hamlet, and Hermione in The Winter's Tale. She played opposite Valentine Dyall, Louise Hampton, and Anthony Ireland in The Other Side, at the Comedy Theatre, London, in 1946.

Sellars entered films with Floodtide (1949), part of an all-Scottish cast, including Gordon Jackson.[2] She appeared in a string of British films in the 1950s and 1960s, and also a few Hollywood films, usually in secondary roles, including The Barefoot Contessa (1954), Désirée (1954), Prince of Players (1955), The Day They Robbed the Bank of England (1960), 55 Days at Peking (1963), and The Chalk Garden (1964). She was the main female lead in a number of films, including The Long Memory (1953), The Last Man to Hang (1956), Never Let Go (1960), and The Webster Boy (1962). She also appeared frequently on television, most notably in A Voyage Round My Father (1982) with Laurence Olivier.[4][5]

Personal life[edit]

On 8 September 1960, Sellars married surgeon Francis Austin Henley in Stow-on-the-Wold, England. They remained together until his death on 31 January 2009.[6] Sellars died on 30 December 2019 at her home in France, aged 98 years.[5][7][8]

Partial filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bergan, Ronald (6 January 2020). "Elizabeth Sellars obituary". The Guardian. UK. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 24 July 2020. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  2. ^ a b Cornel, Jean (24 August 1957). "Talent Is Still With Us". Tucson Daily Citizen. Arizona. p. 27. Retrieved 12 October 2017 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  3. ^ Roe, Dorothy (9 November 1958). "Actress Elizabeth Sellars Studies Law Between Performances". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Texas. Associated Press. p. 64. Retrieved 12 October 2017 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  4. ^ "Remembering Elizabeth Sellars (1921-2019)". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 24 August 2020. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  5. ^ a b Bartlett, Rhett (2 January 2020). "Elizabeth Sellars, Actress in 'The Barefoot Contessa,' Dies at 98". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 12 February 2020. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Elizabeth Sellars Wed". The Kansas City Times. Kansas City, Missouri. Associated Press. 9 September 1960. p. 12. Retrieved 12 October 2017 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  7. ^ "Sellars - Deaths Announcements". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  8. ^ Lenker, Maureen Lee (2 January 2020). "Elizabeth Sellars, actress who played Bogart's wife in 'The Barefoot Contessa,' dies at 98". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 13 July 2020. Retrieved 23 July 2020.

External links[edit]