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). The Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater in Medford, Oregon is named in her honor. Together the couple had three children, Richard, Tamsin and Julie-Kate. Ginger Rogers died in 1995 and was interred in the Oakwood Memorial Park Cemetery in Chatsworth, California. She divorced him and in 1961 married Laurence Olivier. In 1961, she married her fifth husband, director and producer William Marshall, but separated from him within weeks of their marriage, eventually divorcing him in 1969. Joan Plowright was first married to Roger Gage. In 1953, she married her fourth husband, lawyer Jacques Bergerac (16 years her junior, he became an actor and then a cosmetics company executive); they divorced in 1957 and he soon remarried actress Dorothy Malone.

As of July 2003 she was performing in the stage production Absolutely! (perhaps) in London. In 1943, she married her third husband, Jack Briggs, a Marine; they divorced in 1949. 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. In 1934, she married her second husband, actor Lew Ayres (1908–1996); they separated quickly and were divorced in 1941. In 1961 she was awarded a Tony for her role in A Taste of Honey on Broadway. She first married her dancing partner Jack Pepper (real name Edward Jackson Culpepper) on March 29, 1929; they divorced in 1931, having separated soon after the wedding. Plowright continued to appear on stage and in films such as The Entertainer and The Three Sisters. This close mother-daughter relationship has been proffered to explain at least in part Rogers's history of marital disappointment.

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. She was a conservative Republican politically, and lived for much of her life with her mother, Lela Owens McMath Rogers (1891–1977), a Christian Scientist who was a newspaper reporter, scriptwriter, movie producer, one of the first women to enlist in the Marine Corps, and a founder of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals. In 1956 she joined the English Theatre Company and won the role of Margery Pincher in The Country Wife. In 1940 Ginger Rogers won the Academy Award for Best Actress, for her starring role in Kitty Foyle. 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 1939, she played opposite David Niven in Bachelor Mother. 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. Her first roles were in a trio of short films made in 1929 — Night in the Dormitory, A Day of a Man of Affairs, and Campus Sweethearts.

Joan Ann Plowright (born October 28, 1929 in Brigg, North Lincolnshire, England) is a British actress, widow of Laurence Olivier. She is most remembered as Fred Astaire's romantic interest and dancing partner in a series of ten all-singing all-dancing Hollywood musicals, but her acting career spanned over thirty years. Moby Dick (1956) (uncredited, as Starbuck's Wife) (her first film role). Virginia Katherine McMath (July 16, 1911 – April 25, 1995), better known as Ginger Rogers, was an American actress and dancer. The Entertainer (1960) as Jean Rice. Variants include "Astaire gave her class, and Rogers gave him sex" and "He gave her class, and she gave him sex.". Three Sisters (1970) as Masha. "Fred gave Ginger class, and Ginger gave Fred sex." Katharine Hepburn, actress.

Avalon (1990) as Eva Krichinsky. "Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, and she did it backwards and in high heels." Faith Whittlesey, former US ambassador to Switzerland. Responsibility for this quote also has been traced to a 1982 Frank and Ernest cartoon. 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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