|Born||3 December 1933|
Marylebone, London, England
|Spouse(s)||Michael Elliott (1959–1984) (his death)|
|Parent(s)||Frances Clare |
Rosalind Knight (born 3 December 1933) is an English actress. Her career has spanned over 60 years on stage, screen, and television. Her film appearances include Blue Murder at St Trinian's (1957), Carry On Nurse (1959), Carry On Teacher (1959), Tom Jones (1963), and About a Boy (2002). She played Beryl in the BBC sitcom Gimme Gimme Gimme (1999–2001).
Knight was born in Marylebone, London. She is the daughter of Esmond Knight and his first wife, Frances Clare, and the stepdaughter of actress Nora Swinburne. Being from a theatrical family, she was introduced to theatre at an early age. She was inspired by a visit to the bombed-out Old Vic Theatre in 1949 with her father to see performances of The Snow Queen and As You Like It. After studying there for two years under Glen Byam Shaw and George Devine, she was offered a position as Assistant Stage Manager at the Midland Theatre Company in Coventry. From Coventry, she moved to Ipswich Repertory Company where Joe Orton was a fellow ASM.
Two years later she joined a touring group, the West of England Theatre Company, for an eight-month stint. She was spotted by a producer, which led to her being cast as a schoolgirl in Blue Murder at St Trinian's in 1957. That same year, she starred with her father, playing father and daughter, in the BBC production of Nicholas Nickleby. An earlier film role, albeit uncredited, was as a lady-in-waiting in Laurence Olivier's film Richard III (1955), which also starred her father. She performed in two early Carry On films. In Carry On Nurse, she played Nurse Nightingale and in Carry On Teacher she played Felicity Wheeler, a prim school inspector whose amorous hopes toward Kenneth Connor's wimpy science master are continually thwarted.
She has made countless appearances on television, in shows such as Sherlock Holmes (1984), Mapp & Lucia (1985), Only Fools and Horses (1989), Agatha Christie's Poirot (1992), Jeeves and Wooster (1993), The Upper Hand (1995), Wycliffe (1996), Dalziel and Pascoe (1999), Heartbeat (2000), Casualty (2002), Midsomer Murders (2003 and 2011), Doctors (2005 and 2009), Agatha Christie's Marple (2006), Holby City (2008 and 2015), Sherlock (2012) and Friday Night Dinner (2012 and 2016). From 1999 to 2001 she co-starred in the sitcom Gimme Gimme Gimme, playing Beryl Merit, the retired prostitute landlady of the two main characters, Linda (Kathy Burke) and Tom (James Dreyfus).
Her other films include Prick Up Your Ears (1987) and About a Boy (2002). Throughout her career, Rosalind Knight has continued to work in the theatre, including with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal Court Theatre and the Old Vic. She also worked at the Manchester Royal Exchange and the Sheffield Crucible.
Knight married director and producer Michael Elliott in July 1959 and they were married until his death in 1984. They had two daughters – Marianne Elliott, a theatre director, and Susannah Elliott-Knight. Marianne is married to actor Nick Sidi and they have a daughter, Eve, born in August 2004.
- Gone to Earth (1950) – Young Girl at Racecourse (uncredited)
- Richard III (1955) – Lady-in-Waiting (uncredited)
- Fortune Is a Woman (1957) – (uncredited)
- Blue Murder at St Trinian's (1957) – Annabel
- The Horse's Mouth (1958) – Bit Role (uncredited)
- Carry On Nurse (1959) – Student Nurse Nightingale
- Carry On Teacher (1959) – Felicity Wheeler
- Doctor in Love (1960) – Doctor (uncredited)
- There Was a Crooked Man (1960) – Nurse
- The Kitchen (1961) – 17th Waitress
- Tom Jones (1963) – Mrs. Fitzpatrick
- Can Hieronymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness? (1969) – Critic Penelope
- Start the Revolution Without Me (1970) – Helene de Sisi
- Eskimo Nell (1975) – Lady Longhorn
- Mister Quilp (1975) – Mrs. George
- The Lady Vanishes (1979) – Evelyn Barnes
- The Wildcats of St Trinian's (1980) – Miss Walsh
- Prick Up Your Ears (1987) – RADA Judge
- Afraid of the Dark (1991) – Edith
- Gunslinger's Revenge (1998) – Mrs Willow
- Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1998, TV Movie) — Mrs D'Urberville
- About a Boy (2002) – Lindsey's Mother
- Demons Never Die (2011) – Freida
- The Lady in the Van (2015) – Old Nun
- The Crown (2016, TV Series) – Princess Alice of Battenberg
Selected theatre performances
- Mrs Prentice in What the Butler Saw by Joe Orton. Directed by Braham Murray at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. (1977)
- Miss Erikson in Present Laughter by Noël Coward. Directed by James Maxwell at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. (1977)
- Stepmother in Cinderella by Trevor Peacock. World Premiere directed by Anthony Bowles and Michele Hardy at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. (1979)
- Mrs Rankling in The Schoolmistress by Arthur Wing Pinero. Directed by James Maxwell at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. (1979)
- Madam in Blood, Black and Gold by Gerard McLarnon. World premiere directed by Braham Murray at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. (1980)
- Mrs Jike in Love on the Dole by Ronald Gow. Directed by Eric Thompson at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. (1980)
- Lady Windermere in Lord Arthur Saville's Crime by Oscar Wilde. Directed by Eric Thompson at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. (1982)
- Lady India in Ring Round the Moon by Jean Anouilh. Directed by Steven Pimlott at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. (1983)
- Mrs Thorn in Class K by Trevor Peacock at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. (1985)
- Anya Pavlikov in Nude With Violin by Noël Coward. Directed by Marianne Elliott at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. (1999)
- "Rosalind Knight".
- "Rosalind Knight". TVGuide.com.
- Guide, British Comedy. "Su Pollard in Gimme Gimme Gimme - Gimme Gimme Gimme - British Comedy Guide". British Comedy Guide.
- McFarlane, Brian (16 May 2016). "The Encyclopedia of British Film: Fourth edition". Oxford University Press – via Google Books.
- "About the life and work of English actor Esmond Knight". www.esmondknight.org.uk.
- "Rosalind Knight - Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos - AllMovie". AllMovie.
- "Nicholas Nickleby Episode 2 (1957)".
- "Rosalind Knight". www.aveleyman.com.
- BBC. "Gimme Gimme Gimme".
- "Rosalind Knight - Theatricalia". theatricalia.com.
- Kellaway, Kate (29 October 2006). "Theatre: Kate Kellaway asks why is Marianne Elliott so little-known?". the Guardian.