Wendy Hiller

Actor
Academy Award-winning Dame Wendy Hiller began her career with the Manchester Repertory Theatre at the age of 18 and, after leaving to tour the provinces for awhile, returned there to act in "Love on the Dole", adapted ... Read more »
Born: 08/15/1912 in Cheshire, England, GB

Filmography

Actor (32)

The Countess Alice 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

A Taste For Death 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The Death of the Heart 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne 1987 (Movie)

Aunt D'Arcy (Actor)

The Importance of Being Earnest 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

The Death of the Heart 1985 (Movie)

Matchett (Actor)

Attracta 1983 (Movie)

The Teacher (Actor)

Miss Morison's Ghosts 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

Witness For the Prosecution 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

Making Love 1982 (Movie)

Winnie Bates (Actor)

Country 1980 (Movie)

Daisy (Actor)

The Curse of King Tut's Tomb 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

The Elephant Man 1980 (Movie)

Mothershead (Actor)

Richard II 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

The Cat and the Canary 1978 (Movie)

Allison Crosby (Actor)

Murder on the Orient Express 1974 (Movie)

Princess Dragomiroff (Actor)

David Copperfield 1969 - 1970 (TV Show)

Actor

A Man For All Seasons 1966 (Movie)

Alice More (Actor)

Toys in the Attic 1963 (Movie)

Anna Berniers (Actor)

Sons and Lovers 1960 (Movie)

Mrs Gertrude Morel (Actor)

How to Murder a Rich Uncle 1958 (Movie)

Edith (Actor)

Separate Tables 1958 (Movie)

Miss Cooper (Actor)

Something of Value 1957 (Movie)

Elizabeth Newton (Actor)

Outcast of the Islands 1950 (Movie)

Mrs Almayer (Actor)

Pygmalion 1938 (Movie)

Eliza Doolittle (Actor)

All Passion Spent (TV Show)

Actor

Ending Up (TV Show)

Actor

Major Barbara (Movie)

Maj. Barbara Undershaft (Actor)

The Best of Friends (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Academy Award-winning Dame Wendy Hiller began her career with the Manchester Repertory Theatre at the age of 18 and, after leaving to tour the provinces for awhile, returned there to act in "Love on the Dole", adapted from the Walter Greenwood novel by her future husband Ronald Gow. A seven-month tour of Lancashire and Yorkshire preceded its successful 1935 London run, which brought her to the attention of playwright George Bernard Shaw who, noting something special in the actress, became her mentor and friend. Following her 1936 Broadway debut in "Love on the Dole" and with only six rehearsals for each show, Hiller portrayed both "Saint Joan" and Eliza Doolittle in "Pygmalion" at that year's Malvern Theatre Festival honoring Shaw's 80th birthday. Though a proposed movie version with her as "Saint Joan" never materialized, she did play (at Shaw's insistence) both Eliza in "Pygmalion" (1938) and the title role of "Major Barbara" (1941), delivering two unforgettable film performances forever linked to her name.

Relationships

Frank Watkin Hiller

Father

Marie Elizabeth Hiller

Mother

Ronald Gow

Husband
married from 1937 until his death on April 26, 1993 in London at age 95 author of the play "Love on the Dole" (adapted from Walter Greenwood's novel), which brought Hiller fame and the attention of George Bernard Shaw

EDUCATION

Winceby House School

Milestones

1993

Played "The Countess Alice" for "Masterpiece Theatre" and also acted in "Ending Up" (PBS), a comedy about a group of elderly men and women who live together in a country house

1992

Co-starred with John Gielgud and Patrick McGoohan in "The Best of Friends"; a "Masterpiece Theatre" (PBS) presentation depicting the true story of the long-lasting friendship among Dame Laurentia MacLachlan, Sir Sydney Cockerell (Gielgud) and Shaw (McGooh

1990

Portrayed Lady Ursula Berowne in "A Taste of Death", a six-part presentation of "Mystery!" (PBS)

1988

Starred in the London stage production of "Driving Miss Daisy"

1987

Appeared in "Anne of Avonlea: The Continuing Story of Anne of Green Gables" (Disney Channel)

1987

Last feature to date, "The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne"

1986

Played Princess Victoria in six-part "Masterpiece Theatre" (PBS) series, "Lord Mountbatten: The Last Victory"

1985

Portrayed Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" for "Great Performances" (PBS)

1982

Played Janet Mackenzie in CBS "Hallmark Hall of Fame" presentation of Agatha Christie's "Witness for the Prosecution"

1980

Acted in David Lynch's "The Elephant Man"

1979

Portrayed the Duchess of York in "Richard II" for PBS' "The Shakespeare Plays"

1976

Played Luther Adler's wife in Stuart Rosenberg's "Voyage of the Damned"

1975

Portrayed Gunhild Borkman in "John Gabriel Borkman" at London's Old Vic

1975

Created a dame by Queen Elizabeth II

1974

Returned to features as part of the star-studded cast of Sidney Lumet's "Murder on the Orient Express"

1972

Made an early transition to age and dignity, playing Queen Mary in London production of Royce Ryton's "Crown Matrimonial"

1969

Acted the part of Mrs Micawber in "David Copperfield", an NBC movie adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel

1966

Earned Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her role as Alice More in "A Man for All Seasons"; last film for eight years

1963

Portrayed Anna Berniers, one of Dean Martin's overprotective sisters (along with Geraldine Page) in "Toys in the Attic", film adaptation of Lillian Helman's play

1960

Played Trevor Howard's wife and Dean Stockwell's mother in "Sons and Lovers", adapted from the D H Lawrence novel

1958

Portrayed Isabel Cherry in "Flowering Cherry" on London stage, repeating the role for Broadway the following year

1958

Won Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her delicate portrayal of a dejected, lonely woman in "Separate Tables"

1957

Acted role of Josie Hogan in Broadway premiere of Eugene O'Neill's "A Moon for the Misbegotten"

1951

Starred opposite Dames Edith Evans and Sybil Thorndike in N C Hunter's "Waters of the Moon"

1950

Reprised "The Heiress" in London

1947

Starred on Broadway in "The Heiress", adapted from a Henry James novel

1946

Acted the parts of Portia in "The Merchant of Venice", Pegeen Mike in "Playboy of the Western World" and the title role of "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre

1944

Starred in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressberger's charming film, "I Know Where I'm Going"

1943

Portrayed Sister Joanna in "The Cradle Song"

1940

Played title role in film adaptation of Shaw's "Major Barbara"

1938

Reprised Eliza Doolittle opposite Leslie Howard for film version of "Pygmalion", earning a Best Actress Oscar nomination

1937

Film acting debut in "Lancashire Lad"

1936

Broadway debut, "Love on the Dole"

1936

Portrayed "Saint Joan" and Eliza Doolittle in "Pygmalion" at the Malvern Theatre Festival, honoring George Bernard Shaw's 80th birthday

1935

London stage debut as Sally Hardcastle in "Love on the Dole"

1930

First appeared on stage at age 18, playing the Maid in Manchester Repertory Theatre production of "The Ware Case"

Performed a season of Shakespeare under the direction of Tyrone Guthrie at London's Old Vic, playing Portia in "Julius Caesar", Mistress Page in "The Merry Wives of Windsor", Hermione in "The Winter's Tale", Emilia in "Othello" and Helen in "Troilus and C

Bonus Trivia

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She once sent Shaw some socks and gloves while she was on stage in the United States. He acknowledged the gift with a postcard, writing: "The postman knocks/with gloves and socks/from Wendy Hiller/what a thriller."

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