The undoubted Queen of British character actors, was Margaret Rutherford (1892 -1972).
With her impeccable comic timing and a face like a startled bloodhound, she was a natural; the sort of player that only comes along once in a generation.
Margaret was a late-comer to professional acting and chose to teach elocution. She was in her thirties before she made her professional debut,
as a lady jewel thief in Dusty Ermine. But her role in Blithe Spirit made her a true star. Her definitive Madame Arcati was unforgettable, a weird combination of heartiness and spirituality.
Other films included The Happiest Days of your life, with Alastair Sim, and the sixties brought the role she is probably most famous for: that of Agatha Christie’s Jane Marple (in Murder She Said, … at the Gallop, . . . Ahoy, … Most Foul). By any sensible criteria she was hopelessly mis-cast – but who cares? She’s wonderful even if the material isn’t. This series also gave her husband Stringer Davis his most prominent role in films (as her side-kick Mr Stringer). They’d married in 1945 and he had small parts in most of her films since then.
The sixties also brought her a best supporting actress Oscar for The VIPs. In a film packed with stars she out-classed them all. She followed that with her best dramatic performance as Mistress Quickly in The Chimes at Midnight and got a Damehood in the same year.
Ill-health meant she didn’t film much after that. She died in 1972 and her husband passed away the following year. 501 views as at 16th Aug 2011.
Prismacolor pencils on Bristol Board extra smooth surface, 300gsm,16 inches x 12 inches.
You can find my second portrait of Dame Margaret Rutherford HERE
Entered into the Pink & Purple hats challenge HERE