Patricia Laffan

Active - 1945 - 1964  |   Born - Mar 19, 1919   |   Genres - Crime, Mystery, Action, Adventure, Drama

Share on

Biography by Bruce Eder

Patricia Laffan is an English actress of stage, film, and television. Her big-screen career, which lasted from 1945 through 1965, generally took the form of small (sometimes uncredited) parts in bigger movies (The Rake's Progress, I See a Dark Stranger) and bigger roles in low-budget movies (Old Mother Riley at Home). Her two most widely seen parts came early on, as Poppaea, the decadent wife of Peter Ustinov's Nero -- with designs on Robert Taylor's Marcus Venicius -- in Quo Vadis? (1951); and as the fierce, leather-clad alien invader Nyah in the low-budget science fiction feature Devil Girl from Mars (1954), where her imperious manner, coupled with her costume, turned her into a memorably campy figure among bad-movie enthusiasts and leather fetishists for generations to come. Oddly enough, some critics who have seen Devil Girl from Mars have had relatively kind things to say about Laffan's work in the role of Nyah. As written, the part is utterly incomprehensible, much as the movie is ineptly directed; but she, like the other cast of professionals (including Joseph Tomelty and Adrienne Corri), does give it her best shot. Her height and gaunt, intense features made her difficult to cast in much other than bit or character roles on-screen, and Laffan's movie work gave way to television as the decade wore on. By the 1960s, she was mostly visible on the small screen.

Movie Highlights

See Full Filmography