Jessica Tandy

Actor
Versatile, commanding stage performer, often opposite husband Hume Cronyn, who acted in occasional features beginning in the early 1930s but was busiest in films while in her seventies and eighties. Tandy began acting ... Read more »
Born: 06/07/1909 in London, England, GB

Filmography

Actor (45)

Hollywood Stars: A Century of Cinema 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Camilla 1994 (Movie)

Camilla Cara (Actor)

Nobody's Fool 1994 (Movie)

Miss Beryl (Actor)

The 48th Annual Tony Awards 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Performer

The 64th Annual Academy Awards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Presenter

Used People 1992 (Movie)

Frieda (Actor)

Fried Green Tomatoes 1991 (Movie)

Ninny Threadgoode (Actor)

The 63rd Annual Academy Awards 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Presenter

The 44th Annual Tony Awards 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Performer

The 62nd Annual Academy Awards 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Presenter

Driving Miss Daisy 1989 (Movie)

Daisy Werthan (Actor)

Cocoon: the Return 1988 (Movie)

Alma Finley (Actor)

Everybody's Doing It 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

The House on Carroll Street 1988 (Movie)

Miss Venable (Actor)

Batteries Not Included 1987 (Movie)

Faye Riley (Actor)

The 41st Annual Tony Awards 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Performer

The 40th Annual Tony Awards 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Performer

Cocoon 1985 (Movie)

Alma Finley (Actor)

The Bostonians 1984 (Movie)

Miss Birdseye (Actor)

The Thrill of Genius 1984 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

Best Friends 1982 (Movie)

Eleanor McCullen (Actor)

Still of the Night 1982 (Movie)

Grace Rice (Actor)

The World According to Garp 1982 (Movie)

Mrs Fields (Actor)

Honky Tonk Freeway 1981 (Movie)

Carol Schaefler (Actor)

Butley 1974 (Movie)

Edna Shaft (Actor)

The Birds 1963 (Movie)

Mrs Brenner (Actor)

Adventures of a Young Man 1962 (Movie)

Mrs Adams (Actor)

Christmas Tree 1958 - 1959 (TV Show)

Actor

The Light in the Forest 1958 (Movie)

Myra Butler (Actor)

An African Love Story (TV Show)

Actor

Dragonwyck (Movie)

Peggy O'Malley (Actor)

Forever Amber (Movie)

Nan Britton (Actor)

Foxfire (TV Show)

Actor

In the Company of Whales (TV Show)

Narrator

September Affair (Movie)

Catherine Lawrence (Actor)

The Desert Fox (Movie)

Frau Rommel (Actor)

The Gin Game (TV Show)

Actor

The Green Years (Movie)

Kate leckie (Actor)

The Seventh Cross (Movie)

Liesel Roeder (Actor)

The Story Lady (TV Show)

Actor

To Dance With the White Dog (TV Show)

Actor

Valley of Decision (Movie)

Louise Kane (Actor)

Biography

Versatile, commanding stage performer, often opposite husband Hume Cronyn, who acted in occasional features beginning in the early 1930s but was busiest in films while in her seventies and eighties. Tandy began acting onstage in her native England in her teens and by the mid-1930s was enjoying considerable success in the classics, playing Ophelia to John Gielgud's Hamlet in 1934 and playing Viola in Tyrone Guthrie's famous 1937 staging of "Twelfth Night." Separating from first husband, actor Jack Hawkins, in 1940, Tandy moved to America but initially had a thin time of it. Luckily, she met up-and-coming actor Cronyn, whom she married in 1942 and with whom she made several supporting appearances in American films of the 40s. Her Hollywood debut was with Cronyn, in Fred Zinnemann's first-rate thriller "The Seventh Cross" (1944), but within several years she was playing small and undistinguished supporting roles, such as a maid in "Forever Amber" (1947).

Relationships

Grandchild
had five survived her also had three great-grandchildren at time of death

Hume Cronyn Actor

Husband
Met 1940 Married Sept. 27, 1942 until her death Sept. 11, 1994

Tandy Cronyn

Daughter
father Hume Cronyn born 1945

Christopher Cronyn

Son
father Hume Cronyn born 1943

Jack Hawkins Actor

Husband
Married 1932 Divorced 1940

Harry Tandy

Father
died of cancer c.1921

Jessie Tandy

Mother

Susan Tettemer

Daughter
father Jack Hawkins born c. 1934

EDUCATION

Dame Alice Owens Girls School

University of Western Ontario

Ontario

Ben Greet Academy

1924 - 1927

Milestones

1994

Completed work on two features, "Camilla" (her last film with Cronyn) and "Nobody's Fool", released posthumously

1992

Last film released during her lifetime, "Used People"

1991

Underwent major surgery for her cancer

1990

Began battle against ovarian cancer

1989

Won Best Actress Oscar for her crusty Southern matron in "Driving Miss Daisy"

1986

Last stage work, "The Petition", opposite Hume Cronyn

1985

Collapsed onstage during a performance of "Foxfire" in Los Angeles due to a cardiovascular problem

1984

Returned to TV for the first time in over two decades to reprise her Tony-winning stage performance (opposite Hume Cronyn) in a PBS presentation of "The Gin Game"

1983

Starred in a NY stage revival of Tennessee Williams's "The Glass Menagerie"

1981

First feature film role opposite Hume Cronyn in 35 years, "Honky Tonk Freeway"; was also first film she made since "Butley"

1974

First feature film in 11 years, "Butley", starring Alan Bates

1973

Had an operation to remove double cataracts

1963

Last feature film for 11 years, "The Birds", directed by Alfred Hitchcock

1958

First feature film in seven years, "The Light in the Forest"

1954

Starred as Liz Marriott on own US TV series (opposite Hume Cronyn), "The Marriage", a short-lived comedy-drama which aired on NBC

1951

First acted opposite Hume Cronyn onstage, "The Fourposter"

1951

Last feature film for seven years, "The Desert Fox"; played Frau Rommel opposite James Mason as German WWII field marshall Rommel

1948

US TV debut in "Portrait of a Madonna"

1947

Originated role of Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams's "A Streetcar Named Desire"

1946

Starred in Tennessee Williams's "Portrait of a Madonna" at the Los Angeles Actors' Workshop (staged by Hume Cronyn) as almost an audition for "Streetcar" while Elia Kazan was in Hollywood directing "Gentlemen's Agreement"

1943

Made US film debut in support of Spencer Tracy in "The Seventh Cross"; also marked first feature film in which she acted with husband Hume Cronyn

1940

Returned to the Old Vic to play Cordelia in a production of "King Lear" with John Gielgud in the title role

1940

Decided to move to America with WWII impending and her marriage to actor Jack Hawkins ending; left England with daughter Susan but was only allowed to take ten pounds out of the country; found it difficult to find work acting for a time; considered giving

1940

Met Hume Cronyn when she returned to NY stage in "Jupiter Laughs" with Alexander Knox

1938

Played a leading role in one of her last British films, "Murder in the Family"

1937

Played Viola in a production of "Twelfth Night" staged by Tyrone Guthrie at the Old Vic

1934

Played Ophelia opposite John Gielgud in the title role of a British production of "Hamlet"

1932

British film debut in "The Indiscretions of Eve"

1932

Played breakthrough role of Manuela in a production of Christa Winsloe's play, "Children in Uniform"

1930

Broadway debut in "The Matriarch," Longacre Theatre

1929

London stage debut in "The Rumor"

1927

Made British stage debut in a small Soho theater, as Sara Manderson in "The Manderson Girls"

Joined the Birmingham Repertory Company

Bonus Trivia

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Received honorary law degree from Fordham University in 1985

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Named to Theatre Hall of Fame (1979)

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