January 2, 2017


Dame Flora Robson (1902-1984) b. South Shields, Durham, England.

Flora Robson

British actress renowned as one of the great character players of the British theatre and cinema. At the age of 32, Robson played the old Empress Elizabeth in Alexander Korda‘s Catherine the Great (1934); she played Queen Elizabeth I in The Sea Hawk (1940); but most famously she played the same role in Fire Over England (1937), uttering the lines which have become part of Elizabethan mythology: ‘I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and valour of a King. Aye, and of a King of England too.’

After the war, demonstrating her range, she appeared in Holiday Camp (1947), the first of a series of films which featured the very ordinary Huggett family; as the Mother Superior in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger‘s Black Narcissus (1947); as a magistrate in Goodtime Girl (1948); as a prospective Labour MP in Basil Dearden‘s excellent Frieda (1947); and in Dearden’s costume melodrama, Saraband for Dead Lovers (1948).

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