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Joan Greenwood in the 1950s
|Born||4 March 1921|
Chelsea, London, England
|Died||28 February 1987 (aged 65)|
(m. 1960; died 1978)
Joan Greenwood (4 March 1921 – 28 February 1987) was an English actress. Her husky voice, coupled with her slow, precise elocution, was her trademark. She is perhaps best remembered for her role as Sibella in Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949). Her other film appearances included The Man in the White Suit (1951), The Importance of Being Earnest (1952), Stage Struck (1958), Tom Jones (1963) and Little Dorrit (1987).
Greenwood studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Greenwood made several memorable screen appearances in Ealing comedies just after the war: Whisky Galore!; as the seductive Sibella in the black comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949); and in The Man in the White Suit (1951). She opened The Grass is Greener in the West End in 1952, and played Gwendolyn in a film version of The Importance of Being Earnest released in the same year.
She had leading roles in Stage Struck (1958) and then in Mysterious Island, an adaptation of a Jules Verne novel; and was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for Tom Jones (1963).
In 1960, Greenwood appeared as the title character in a production of Hedda Gabler at the Oxford Playhouse. Starring opposite her as Judge Brack was the actor André Morell. They fell in love and flew in secret to Jamaica, where they were married, remaining together until his death in 1978.
Greenwood appeared as Olga, alongside Spike Milligan in Frank Dunlop's production of the play Oblomov, based on the novel by Russian writer Ivan Goncharov. The play opened at London's Lyric Theatre on 6 October 1964. Greenwood was described as "a model of generosity and tolerance ... the only person in the cast who could not be 'corpsed' by Milligan; although he tried very hard. She looked beautiful, and played the part of Oblomov's unfortunate lady with total integrity. 'She never left the script', says Milligan with a guilty smile of something between irritation and admiration. 'I just couldn't make her crack up. All the rest of us did. She never lost her dignity for a moment.'"
She played Lady Carlton, a quirky romance novelist and the landlady to the main characters, in the British sitcom Girls on Top (1985–86). Her last film was Little Dorrit (1988), which was released posthumously.
Greenwood married André Morell in 1960. Their son is Jason Morell, a film director. On 28 February 1987, Greenwood died of a heart attack in London, less than a week before her 66th birthday.
- My Wife's Family (1941)
- He Found a Star (1941)
- The Gentle Sex (1943)
- Latin Quarter (1945)
- They Knew Mr. Knight (1946)
- A Girl in a Million (1946)
- The Man Within (1947)
- The October Man (1947)
- The White Unicorn (1947)
- Saraband for Dead Lovers (1948)
- The Bad Lord Byron (1949)
- Whisky Galore! (1949)
- Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
- Flesh & Blood (1951)
- The Man in the White Suit (1951)
- Young Wives' Tale (1951)
- Le Passe-muraille (English: Mr Peek-a-boo) (film, 1951)
- The Importance of Being Earnest (1952)
- Monsieur Ripois (1954)
- Father Brown (1954)
- Moonfleet (1955)
- Stage Struck (1958)
- Mysterious Island (1961)
- The Amorous Prawn (1962)
- Tom Jones (1963)
- The Moon-Spinners (1964)
- Barbarella (1968) (voice)
- Girl Stroke Boy (1971)
- The Uncanny (1977)
- The Water Babies (1978) (animated film)
- The Hound of the Baskervilles (1978)
- The Flame Is Love (1979)
- At Bertram's Hotel (1987)
- Little Dorrit (1987)
- "Mr Andre Morell – Stage, film and television actor". The Times. 30 November 1978. p. 19.
- "Obituary of Miss Joan Greenwood, The voice that intrigued generations". The Times. 3 March 1987.
- Scudamore, Pauline (1985). Spike Milligan: A Biography. London: Granada. ISBN 0-246-12275-7. pp. 215–216
- "Jason Morell". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 3 May 2007.