June Flewett

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June Beatrice, Lady Freud (née Flewett; born 22 June 1927 in West Kensington, London[1]), is a British actress and theatre director. She is also known by her stage-name Jill Raymond, and was usually known as Jill Freud after her marriage to Clement Freud.

As a war-time teenager, she was evacuated to C.S. Lewis's house in Oxford and she is said to have been the inspiration for Lucy Pevensie in the Chronicles of Narnia.[2]

Stay with Lewis[edit]

Flewett's family lived in Barnes, southwest London, where her father was the senior classics master at St Paul's school. A Catholic, she was educated at Sacred Heart High School.[1] She and her two sisters were evacuated from London to escape The Blitz. In the summer of 1943, at the age of 16, she moved in with the Lewises at their home The Kilns, as a house keeper. Her favourite writer was C.S. Lewis and initially she had no idea she was living with the same man. She developed what she later called a "tremendous crush" on Lewis. She was highly regarded in the household and Lewis referred to her in a letter as "without exception the most selfless person I have ever known."[3]

Career[edit]

Flewett was an aspiring actress. After two years, she left the Lewises to take up a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), her fees being paid by Lewis. Following her graduation, she embarked upon a successful career in the West End under the stage name Jill Raymond. She married Clement Freud in 1950 and performed in occasional radio plays. In the 1970s, when her husband became a Liberal MP for the Isle of Ely, she helped him canvass.

In 1980, she formed her own theatre company in Suffolk. In 2001 she received an Honorary Doctorate in Civil Law from the University of East Anglia "for services to the theatre." She has five children (one adopted) and 15 grandchildren. Lady Freud is Vice President of TACT, the Actors' Children's Trust.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Biography for Jill Freud at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ Nigel Farndale, 'I was sure that children would not want to be told that this old lady was Lucy', Telegraph Co. UK, 11 December 2005
  3. ^ Alan Jacobs, The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C.S. Lewis, Harper San Francisco, 2005. pp.226-228 ISBN 978-0-06-087269-4