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Thread: Jean Anderson

  1. #1
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    Watching the 1979 movie ... The Lady Vanishes....
    I was impressed by the quality of the movie, the alpine scenery
    and noticed a ... "quite young" Jean Anderson on the train.

    Even so she must have been 72 at the time ! but she looked a lot younger
    and I thought she looked .... very Royal... somehow.... if there had been a remake of ...............Queen Eliz 1st
    in the 1980s .... the regal Jean would have been a shoe in !

    The cast was choc full of Brits as you will see below.
    What was disappointing to me was the fact that they dubbed Jeans
    voice with some other actress !
    Everyone else had their own voice... the suave Gerald Harper,
    the wise Herbert Lom etc... only poor Jean got the overdub treatment
    ( I bet she was furious ! )




    Elliott Gould ... Robert Condon
    Cybill Shepherd ... Amanda Kelly
    Angela Lansbury ... Miss Froy
    Herbert Lom ... Dr. Hartz
    Arthur Lowe ... Charters
    Ian Carmichael ... Caldicott
    Gerald Harper ... Todhunter
    Jenny Runacre ... Mrs. Todhunter
    Jean Anderson ... Baroness
    Madlena Nedeva ... Nun
    Madge Ryan ... Rose Flood Porter
    Rosalind Knight ... Evelyn Barnes
    Vladek Sheybal ... Trainmaster
    Wolf Kahler ... Helmut
    Barbara Markham ... Frau Kummer


    Jean in the Brothers.... 1970s

    Last edited by goldenmeadow; 31-03-11 at 11:25 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: UK Windyridge's Avatar
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    I met Jean Anderson in 1993 at an office in Oxford Street, where she'd come for an "interview" for a part. She was beautifully dressed and made up and had obviously trekked across London to get there. We chatted briefly and she was very warm and friendly. I imagined she was about 73 or so. When she'd gone, I discovered that she was actually 90 something! Great lady.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: UK Geoffers's Avatar
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    My earliest memory of Jean was as "Mother" in The Railway Children on TV in 1957. She was wonderful in this part, totally convincing, as usual. I now see she played the same role 6 years before this, also for BBC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffers View Post
    My earliest memory of Jean was as "Mother" in The Railway Children on TV in 1957. She was wonderful in this part, totally convincing, as usual. I now see she played the same role 6 years before this, also for BBC.
    By chance, it is 10 years to the day since Jean died and she died in a small Cumbrian village friends of mine now live in.

    I remember Jenny saying that Jean wrote to her about The Railway Children, I think it was when Jenny played Mother, saying how people still stopped her in the street many years later to say how much they'd enjoyed the television series

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: Romania chuffnobbler's Avatar
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    I've just finished my annual re-watch of the magnificent Tenko. Jean Anderson is perfect as Joss Holbrook, a prison camp inmate determined to put up a fight against the Japs.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    One notable fact about Jean Anderson's career was that she acted in Britain's first soap opera

    Jean Anderson - Obituaries, News - The Independent

    Jean Anderson
    Wednesday, 4 April 2001

    Mary Jean Heriot Anderson, actress: born Eastbourne, East Sussex 12 December 1907; married 1934 Peter Powell (one daughter; marriage dissolved 1949); died Edenhall, Cumbria 1 April 2001.


    Mary Jean Heriot Anderson, actress: born Eastbourne, East Sussex 12 December 1907; married 1934 Peter Powell (one daughter; marriage dissolved 1949); died Edenhall, Cumbria 1 April 2001.


    Following a string of sympathetic roles as nurses, teachers, social workers and policewomen in British feature films of the mid-20th century, Jean Anderson won her greatest fame on television as characters of authority and imperious dignity, playing the matriarchal Mary Hammond in the business saga The Brothers and the former suffragette Joss Holbrook in the Japanese prisoner-of-war drama Tenko.

    "Jocelyn's a scruffy character who wears a tattered grey dress," said Anderson on taking the role. "I was bored with being elegant. Ever since The Brothers, I've been cast as a grand lady in the theatre. This time, I'm an aristocrat with a Cambridge degree but not a bit nice to hear. I'm a bit of a Women's Lib character and I think I can be forgiven a few bloodys."

    Anderson herself, kindly and softly spoken, was born in Eastbourne, East Sussex, in 1907, of a Scottish family that had made its money in the textile business. Brought up in Guildford, Surrey, she originally wanted to be a concert violinist and played in the Guildford Orchestra under Claud Powell, whose theatrical director son Peter she later married.

    However, she switched careers but remained a performer by training as an actress at Rada. She made her professional d�but alongside another former Rada student, Robert Morley, on a 50-week tour of Many Waters (1929) and acted at the Festival Theatre, Cambridge, under the director Tyrone Guthrie, in a company that featured Flora Robson and Robert Donat. Anderson subsequently became a leading lady at Cambridge, where Peter Powell directed, and the couple married in 1934.

    When later that year Powell formed the Seagull Players in Leeds, Anderson joined the company to play Lady Macbeth. Then, after starring on the London stage in Eugene O'Neill's Ah! Wilderness (Ambassadors Theatre), she became resident leading lady in Michael McLiammoir/Hilton Edwards productions at the Gate Theatre, Dublin. During the Second World War, when Leonard Sachs joined the Forces, he left her to run the Players' Theatre, London's Victorian music-hall venue.

    Later, Anderson appeared on the London stage in Terence Rattigan's Variation on a Theme (starring Margaret Leighton, Globe Theatre, 1958) and The Sleeping Prince (as the Grand Duchess, alongside Susan Hampshire and George Baker, St Martin's Theatre), Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler and Frank Wedekind's Spring Awakening.

    During the Second World War, the actress also appeared in Ministry of Information documentaries and acted Barbara O'Reilly in Britain's first soap opera, broadcast on BBC radio. As Front Line Family, on the North American Service in 1942, it featured the Robinsons coping in wartime Britain and was clearly used as propaganda to encourage the Americans' participation in the war. With a title change to The Robinsons, it switched to the Light Programme and remained popular with British listeners until being axed in 1947.

    After the war, Anderson joined Jack Hawkins, Fay Compton and Alec Clunes on a British Council/Arts Theatre tour of Europe (1947), performing Hamlet, Othello, Candida and the Don Juan in Hell scene from Man and Superman.

    She made her film d�but in the Victorian crime melodrama The Mark of Cain (1947) and was regularly seen in the cinema as a character actress over the next 20 years, usually in benevolent roles. She played an evacuee mother in Seven Days to Noon (1950), a doctor in Out of True (1951) and a night sister in Life In Her Hands (1951), as well as spinster aunts and saintly grandmothers.

    In the musical Half a Sixpence (starring Tommy Steele, 1967), Anderson played Lady Botting, who handed out the regatta prizes. As she took more and more character roles on television, her film appearances became less frequent, although she was notable as the chilling matron of an adoption home in Country Dance (alongside Peter O'Toole and Susannah York, 1969).

    The actress made her first impact on television as the mother in two different BBC adaptations of E. Nesbit's classic children's story The Railway Children (1951, 1957). She subsequently appeared in many television plays, including productions for Play of the Week (1957, 1958), Sunday Night Theatre (1959), Saturday Playhouse (1959) and Armchair Theatre (1961).

    Her roles in adaptations of other classics included Ellen in Wuthering Heights (made by the renowned team of the writer Nigel Kneale and producer Rudolph Cartier, 1962), Mrs Ridd in the serial Lorna Doone (1963) and Miss Gilchrist in Robert Louis Stevenson's St Ives (1967).

    In The Brothers (1972-76), Anderson played Mary Hammond, the widow of a Midlands haulage firm entrepreneur who left part of the business to his mistress, Jennifer Kingsley (played by Jennifer Wilson), and the rest to his three sons. This scenario provided the springboard for boardroom-to-bedroom melodrama as the hard-faced matriarch proved to be a dominant personality able to control her feuding sons.

    Later, joining the Second World War drama Tenko for its second and third series (1982, 1984) as the ragged, sweating Joss Holbrook, Anderson stood up for her fellow captors in Japanese internment camps and on an enforced jungle march to an old mission school in the Far East. Lavinia Warner's drama was a remarkably realistic recreation of the suffering experienced by a group of expatriate British and Dutch women imprisoned after the fall of Singapore in 1942, with the title taken from the Japanese word for "roll-call".

    On television, Anderson also played Madam Gullmington in Catherine Cookson's The Black Velvet Gown (1991), Ruth, Lady Fermoy in Diana: her true story (1993) and Granny de Winter in Rebecca (1997), and guest-starred in dozens of series, including Miss Marple (1987), G.B.H. (1991), House of Eliott (1991), Heartbeat (1992), Inspector Morse (1993), Doctor Finlay (1995, 1996), Casualty (1996) and Hetty Wainthropp Investigates (1998).

    At the turn of the century, Anderson was one of Britain's oldest working actresses and entered her ninth decade in show business. Her final television role was in Endgame (2000), back at the Gate, Dublin, as part of that theatre's project to put on screen new productions of all Samuel Beckett's plays.

    By Anthony Hayward

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: Romania chuffnobbler's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting that. Much appreciated.

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    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    A publicity photo of the sadly-late Jean for The Brothers, circa 1970s:

  9. #9
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    She would have made a formidable Headmistress....

  10. #10
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    Not quite as fierce as Joan Sanderson, though.

    Nick

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