Samantha Eggar

Active - 1962 - 1999  |   Born - Mar 5, 1939 in Hampstead, London, England  |   Genres - Drama, Mystery, Horror, Thriller, Crime

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Samantha Eggar's father was a British Army brigadier and her mother was of Dutch/Portuguese extraction. Convent educated, Eggar became a stage actress in her teens. While performing in a Shakespeare play, Eggar was discovered by film producer Betty Box, who cast the tall, auburn-haired 23-year-old actress as a sluttish college coed in The Wild and the Willing (1961). Eggar's first international success was The Collector (1965), replacing Natalie Wood (who'd turned down the film) as the harried kidnap victim of obsessive Terence Stamp. Eggar garnered an Oscar nomination for her demanding performance, and also won the Cannes Film Festival award. Then followed a succession of unremarkable roles in films like Walk, Don't Run (1966) and Doctor Doolittle (1967) (which at least gave Eggar a chance to sing). She was better served in The Molly Maguires (1970) and Seven Per Cent Solution (1976), playing the wife of Sherlock Holmes crony Dr. Watson (Robert Duvall) in the latter. Eggar's prolific American TV work has included the role of Anna Leonowens in the expensive, short-lived weekly Anna and the King (1972). Samantha Eggar has managed to maintain her dignity and integrity despite far too many horror flicks like The Brood (1979).

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