Joan Greenwood

Active - 1941 - 1988  |   Born - Mar 4, 1921   |   Died - Feb 28, 1987   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Adventure

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Silky, sultry-voiced comic actress Joan Greenwood was the daughter of renowned British artist Sydney Earnshaw Greenwood. Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, she made her stage debut at age 18; three years later she was cast by actor/director Leslie Howard in the lead of the wartime morale-booster The Gentle Sex (1942). Some of her best film roles were concentrated in the years 1948-1958, among them the bewitching, blackmailing mistress of anti-hero Dennis Price in Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), the mercenary lady friend of inventor Alec Guinness in The Man in the White Suit (1952), and the Honorable Gwendolen Fairfax in the 1952 filmization of Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest. In 1954, she starred in her first Broadway production, The Confidential Clerk. Greenwood began the '60s with a surprisingly colorless damsel-in-distress role in Mysterious Island (1961) but made up for a bad start with her exquisite portrayal of Lady Bellaston in Tom Jones (1963), which earned her an Oscar nomination. In films right up to the year of her death, Joan Greenwood was the wife (and later widow) of British actor Andre Morrell.

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