Nyree Dawn Porter

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Nyree Dawn Porter
Born Ngaire Dawn Porter
22 January 1936
Napier, New Zealand
Died 10 April 2001 (aged 65)
London, England, UK
Occupation Actress
Spouse(s) Byron O'Leary (1959–1970; his death)
Robin Bernard Halstead (1975–1987; divorced); 1 child

Nyree Dawn Porter OBE (22 January 1936 – 10 April 2001), born Ngaire Dawn Porter ("Nyree" is the phonetic spelling of her birth forename), was a New Zealand-born stage, film and television actress.

Early life and career[edit]

Porter was born in Napier, New Zealand in 1936. Her first professional work was touring with the New Zealand Players Trust. She was acclaimed for such roles as Jessica in The Merchant of Venice and Juliet in Romanoff and Juliet. She also performed in revues and musicals. She moved to Britain in 1958 after winning a Miss Cinema talent competition for young actresses organised by Rank, with the prize of a round-the-world trip and a film test in London. Although the test was probably little more than a publicity stunt, she decided to stay and was soon acting in the theatre. Look Who's Here at the Fortune Theatre in Drury Lane was her first West End appearance. She followed this with the role of Connie in Neil Simon's first West End play, Come Blow Your Horn, and a string of other appearances. She had two roles in Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George, at the National Theatre in 1990 and played Olivia in Twelfth Night at the Shaw Theatre, and Rosalind in As You Like It at the Ludlow Festival. She later toured in Australia, in Jeffrey Archer's Beyond Reasonable Doubt, and later in The King and I.[1]

Films and television[edit]

Her film appearances include The Cracksman, Two Left Feet and two horror anthologies: The House That Dripped Blood and From Beyond the Grave. She appeared in several television productions and is probably best remembered for her role as Irene in The Forsyte Saga.

She starred in the 1968 comedy series Never a Cross Word and five years later in Gerry Anderson's live-action series The Protectors. Porter played the title role in the 26-part daytime serial For Maddie With Love, as a woman with only a few months left to live. Her screen husband was played by Ian Hendry. The programme ran for two series, in 1980 and 1981. She guest-starred in an early episode of The Avengers entitled "Death on The Slipway".[2]

Personal life[edit]

Her first husband, Byron O'Leary, died in 1970 of an accidental drug overdose. In 1975 she married actor Robin Halstead after the birth of their daughter, Natalya Francesca Halstead. The couple divorced in 1987.[3]

In 1970 she was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).


She died in Wandsworth, London, in 2001 from leukaemia, aged 65. She was cremated at Putney Vale Crematorium and her ashes buried in the cemetery there.

Select filmography[edit]

Film appearances[edit]

Television appearances[edit]


  1. ^ "Nyree Dawn Porter profile". The Bulletin (5780). Sydney. 1991. p. 20. 
  2. ^ White, Leonard (2003). Armchair Theatre: The Lost Years. Tiverton, Cheshire, England: Kelly Publications. p. 261. ISBN 978-1-903053-18-8. 
  3. ^ "Obituaries: Nyree Dawn Porter". The Daily Telegraph. London. 12 April 2001. Archived from the original on 28 February 2011. 

External links[edit]