January 2, 2017


Rachel Roberts (1927-1980) b. Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, Wales.

Rachel Roberts

Distinguished stage actress who studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, then began her professional career in 1951. From 1953 onwards she made intermittent film appearances; notably some fine roles during the 1960s, typically cast as troubled middle-aged housewife. She won a British Film Academy award for her work opposite Albert Finney in Karel Reisz‘s Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960). Later, she appeared in another new wave kitchen-sink drama, as the tragic widow at the centre of Richard Harris’ affections in This Sporting Life (1963), a performance that earned Roberts a Best Actress Oscar nomination. The rest of her film career remained sporadic, and in the mid 1970s Roberts moved to Los Angeles, going on to co-star in the TV sitcom The Tony Randall Show. One of her final roles was portraying a villain in the Goldie Hawn comedy vehicle Foul Play (1978). From 1955-61 she was married to actor Alan Dobie; then from 1962-71 she was married to actor Rex Harrison. She died at the age of 53 from barbiturate poisoning; attributed to suicide.

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