Joan Plowright

Joan Ann Plowright (born October 28, 1929 in Brigg, North Lincolnshire, England) is a British actress, widow of Laurence Olivier. In addition to being Lady Olivier (later Baroness Olivier) she was made a Dame (DBE) in her own right in the New Year's Honours for 2004.

Career

Long known as a superb theatre actress, Plowright trained at the Old Vic Theatre School in London and made her stage debut in 1951 and her London debut in 1954. In 1956 she joined the English Theatre Company and won the role of Margery Pincher in The Country Wife. She appeared in The Chairs (by Eugène Ionesco), Major Barbara, Saint Joan and in 1958 she co-starred with future husband Laurence Olivier in the production of The Entertainer.

Plowright continued to appear on stage and in films such as The Entertainer and The Three Sisters. In 1961 she was awarded a Tony for her role in A Taste of Honey on Broadway. After a brief hiatus to devote time to her family she has returned to the screen and can be seen in films such as Dennis the Menace, Enchanted April and Tea With Mussolini.

As of July 2003 she was performing in the stage production Absolutely! (perhaps) in London.

Personal

Joan Plowright was first married to Roger Gage. She divorced him and in 1961 married Laurence Olivier. Together the couple had three children, Richard, Tamsin and Julie-Kate. The couple were married until 1989 (his death).

Selected Filmography

  • Goose! (2004) as Beatrice Fairfield
  • Back to the Secret Garden (2001) as Martha Sowerby
  • Tea With Mussolini (1999) as Mary Wallace
  • The Scarlet Letter (1995) as Harriet Hibbons
  • Dennis the Menace (1993) as Mrs. Martha Wilson
  • Enchanted April (1992) as Mrs. Fisher
  • Avalon (1990) as Eva Krichinsky
  • Three Sisters (1970) as Masha
  • The Entertainer (1960) as Jean Rice
  • Moby Dick (1956) (uncredited, as Starbuck's Wife) (her first film role)

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The couple were married until 1989 (his death). Her death was attributed to alcohol. Together the couple had three children, Richard, Tamsin and Julie-Kate. She appeared in two more films after that, but was not able to control her addiction, and on August 26, 1961, Gail was found dead in her apartment in Los Angeles, California at the age of 36. She divorced him and in 1961 married Laurence Olivier. She divorced Madison in 1954, and returned to work in a minor role in the western Seven Men From Now (1956), and had a bigger role in The Tattered Dress (1957). Joan Plowright was first married to Roger Gage. Over the next 10 years she tried to regain control of her life.

As of July 2003 she was performing in the stage production Absolutely! (perhaps) in London. She continued working after 1947, and married Guy Madison in 1949, but by 1950 it was well known that she had become a victim of alcoholism, and Paramount did not renew her contract. After a brief hiatus to devote time to her family she has returned to the screen and can be seen in films such as Dennis the Menace, Enchanted April and Tea With Mussolini. Gail later appeared in the more popular films, Calcutta (1947) with Alan Ladd, and Angel and the Badman (1947) with John Wayne. In 1961 she was awarded a Tony for her role in A Taste of Honey on Broadway. Gail appeared in several more films in the early and mid 1940s, the most notable being Our Hearts Were Young and Gay (1944), in which she co-starred with Diana Lynn. Plowright continued to appear on stage and in films such as The Entertainer and The Three Sisters. At the age of 19 she appeared in her first film, Henry Aldrich Gets Glamour (1943).

She appeared in The Chairs (by Eugène Ionesco), Major Barbara, Saint Joan and in 1958 she co-starred with future husband Laurence Olivier in the production of The Entertainer. Although she was shy and had no acting experience, Paramount had great expectations for her and employed an acting coach to work with her. In 1956 she joined the English Theatre Company and won the role of Margery Pincher in The Country Wife. Gail's extraordinary beauty brought her to the attention of Paramount Studios in 1942. Long known as a superb theatre actress, Plowright trained at the Old Vic Theatre School in London and made her stage debut in 1951 and her London debut in 1954. Gail Russell (September 21, 1924 - August 27, 1961) was an American actress. In addition to being Lady Olivier (later Baroness Olivier) she was made a Dame (DBE) in her own right in the New Year's Honours for 2004.

Joan Ann Plowright (born October 28, 1929 in Brigg, North Lincolnshire, England) is a British actress, widow of Laurence Olivier. Moby Dick (1956) (uncredited, as Starbuck's Wife) (her first film role). The Entertainer (1960) as Jean Rice. Three Sisters (1970) as Masha.

Avalon (1990) as Eva Krichinsky. Fisher. Enchanted April (1992) as Mrs. Martha Wilson.

Dennis the Menace (1993) as Mrs. The Scarlet Letter (1995) as Harriet Hibbons. Tea With Mussolini (1999) as Mary Wallace. Back to the Secret Garden (2001) as Martha Sowerby.

Goose! (2004) as Beatrice Fairfield.

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