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Billie Honor Whitelaw, CBE (6 June 1932 - 21 December 2014) was an English actress. She worked in close collaboration with Irish playwright Samuel Beckett
Samuel Beckett
for 25 years and was regarded as one of the foremost interpreters of his works.[2] She was also known for her portrayal of Mrs. Baylock, the demonic nanny in the 1976 horror film The Omen. Whitelaw was appointed a CBE in the 1991 Birthday Honours.

Contents

1 Early life 2 Film career 3 Theatre and Beckett 4 Television career 5 Personal life and death 6 Selected filmography 7 References 8 External links

Early life[edit] Whitelaw was born in Coventry, Warwickshire,[1] the daughter of Frances Mary (née Williams) and Gerry Whitelaw.[3] She had one sister, Constance, who was 10 years older. Whitelaw grew up in a working class part of Bradford
Bradford
and later attended Grange Girls' Grammar School in Bradford. At age 11, she began performing as a child actress on radio programmes, including the part of Bunkle, an extrovert prep-schoolboy on Children's Hour from Manchester, and later worked as an assistant stage manager and acted with the repertory company at the Prince's Theatre in Bradford
Bradford
during high school. Her father died of lung cancer when Billie was 9 years old. Money was tight, and her mother struggled to support the family. "It's something I haven't come to terms with ... I'm rather ashamed of having the good life I have", she later recalled.[4] Film career[edit] Whitelaw trained at RADA
RADA
and made her stage debut at age 18 in London 1950. She made her film debut in The Sleeping Tiger
The Sleeping Tiger
(1954), followed by roles in Carve Her Name with Pride
Carve Her Name with Pride
(1958) and Hell Is a City (1960). Whitelaw soon became a regular in British films of the 1950s and early 1960s. In her early film work, she specialised in blousy blondes and secretaries, but her dramatic range began to emerge by the late 1960s. She starred with Albert Finney
Albert Finney
in Charlie Bubbles
Charlie Bubbles
(1967), a performance which won her a BAFTA
BAFTA
award as Best Actress in a Supporting Role. She would win her second BAFTA
BAFTA
as the sensuous mother of college student Hayley Mills
Hayley Mills
in the psychological study Twisted Nerve (1969). She continued in film roles including Leo the Last (1970), Start the Revolution Without Me
Start the Revolution Without Me
(1970), Gumshoe (1971) and the Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
thriller Frenzy
Frenzy
(1972). Whitelaw gained international acclaim for her chilling role as Mrs. Baylock, the evil guardian of the demon child Damien in The Omen (1976). Her performance was considered one of the more memorable of the film, winning her the Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actress.[5] Other films included performing the voice of Aughra in The Dark Crystal, as the hopelessly naive Mrs. Hall in Maurice (1987), one of two sisters, with Joan Plowright, struggling to survive in war-time Liverpool
Liverpool
in The Dressmaker (1988), the fiercely domineering and protective mother of psychopathic twin murderers in The Krays (1990), a performance that earned her a BAFTA
BAFTA
nomination, as the nurse Grace Poole in Jane Eyre (1996), and the blind laundress in Quills
Quills
(2000). She returned to film, in a comedy turn, as Joyce Cooper in Hot Fuzz (2007). In 1970, she was a member of the jury at the 20th Berlin International Film Festival.[6] Theatre and Beckett[edit] In 1963, Billie Whitelaw
Billie Whitelaw
met Irish playwright Samuel Beckett. She and Beckett enjoyed an intense professional relationship until his death in 1989. He wrote many of his more experimental plays especially for her, referring to Whitelaw as "a perfect actress". Whitelaw became Beckett's muse, as he created, reworked and revised each play while she physically, at times to the point of total exhaustion, acted each movement. Whitelaw remained the foremost interpreter of the man and his work. She gave lectures on the Beckettian technique, and explained, "He used me as a piece of plaster he was moulding until he got just the right shape".[7] They collaborated on Beckett plays such as Play, Eh Joe, Happy Days, Not I, Footfalls
Footfalls
and Rockaby for both stage and screen.[2] From 1964 to 1966, Whitelaw was a member of Britain's National Theatre Company. In 1965, she took the part of Desdemona
Desdemona
opposite Laurence Olivier's Othello
Othello
from Maggie Smith.[8] Television career[edit] Whitelaw also appeared frequently on television and won acclaim for her work. A very early TV appearance was in the first series of the long-running BBC1 police series Dixon of Dock Green (1955), as Mary Dixon, daughter of George (Jack Warner). She also appeared as a woman who tries to join Robin Hood's outlaw band in a 1957 episode of The Adventures of Robin Hood, "The Bride of Robin Hood", and won a BAFTA award as Best Actress for her performance in The Sextet (1972). She starred on the 1958-59 sitcom Time Out for Peggy. She also appeared in an episode of Wicked Women (1970), the BBC
BBC
adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Wessex Tales
Wessex Tales
(1973), A Tale of Two Cities
A Tale of Two Cities
(1980), Private Schulz (1982), A Murder of Quality (1991), Duel of Hearts
Duel of Hearts
(1991), Firm Friends (1992-1994) with Madhur Jaffrey, Jane Eyre (1996), Born to Run (1997), Merlin (1998) and A Dinner of Herbs (2000).[9] Personal life and death[edit] Whitelaw was married first to the actor Peter Vaughan
Peter Vaughan
from 1952 to 1966 then to the writer and drama critic Robert Muller, with whom she had a son, until his death in 1998. Her autobiography Billie Whitelaw... Who He? was published by St. Martin's Press in 1996. In her later years, she lived at a nursing home in Hampstead, London,[10] where she died on 21 December 2014, aged 82.[11] Selected filmography[edit]

The Fake (1953) as Waitress The Sleeping Tiger
The Sleeping Tiger
(1954) as Receptionist at Pearce & Mann Companions in Crime (1955) Room in the House (1955) Mr. Arkadin
Mr. Arkadin
(1955) (voice) Miracle in Soho
Miracle in Soho
(1957) as Maggie Small Hotel
Small Hotel
(1957) as Caroline Mallet Carve Her Name with Pride
Carve Her Name with Pride
(1958) as Winnie Gideon's Day (1958) as Christine (uncredited) Time Out for Peggy (TV, 1958-1959) as Peggy Spencer Breakout (1959) as Rose Munro Bobbikins (1959) as Lydia Simmons The Flesh and the Fiends
The Flesh and the Fiends
(1960) as Mary Patterson Hell Is a City
Hell Is a City
(1960) as Chloe Hawkins Make Mine Mink
Make Mine Mink
(1960) as Lily Payroll (1961) as Jackie Parker No Love for Johnnie
No Love for Johnnie
(1961) as Mary Mr. Topaze
Mr. Topaze
(1961) as Ernestine The Devil's Agent
The Devil's Agent
(1962) as Piroska Maslov The Comedy Man
The Comedy Man
(1964) as Judy Charlie Bubbles
Charlie Bubbles
(1967) as Lottie Bubbles The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1968, TV) as Gwyn Thomas Twisted Nerve
Twisted Nerve
(1968) as Joan Harper The Adding Machine (1969) as Daisy Devore Start the Revolution Without Me
Start the Revolution Without Me
(1970) as Queen Marie Antoinette Leo the Last
Leo the Last
(1970) as Margaret Gumshoe (1971) as Ellen Eagle in a Cage
Eagle in a Cage
(1972) as Madame Bertrand Frenzy
Frenzy
(1972) as Hetty Porter Follow the Yellow Brick Road (TV; 1972) as Judy Black Night Watch (1973) as Sarah Cooke Napoleon and Love (TV: 1974) as Josephine The Omen
The Omen
(1976) as Mrs. Baylock Space: 1999 (TV:1976) as Zamara The Water Babies (1978) as Mrs. Doasyouwouldbedoneby / Old Crone / Mrs. Tripp / Woman in Black / Water Babies 'Gate Keeper' Leopard in the Snow (1978) as Isabel James A Tale of Two Cities
A Tale of Two Cities
(1980) as Madame Therese Defarge Private Schulz (1980) as Bertha Freyer An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (1982) as Elizabeth Leaming The Dark Crystal
The Dark Crystal
(1982) as Aughra (voice) Jamaica Inn (1983 TV serial) as Aunt Patience Terror in the Aisles
Terror in the Aisles
(1984) as Madge The Chain (1984) as Mrs. Andreos Camille (1984, TV) as Prudence Duvorney Tangiers (1985) as Louise Shadey
Shadey
(1985) as Doctor Cloud Murder Elite (1985) as Margaret Baker Maurice (1987) as Mrs. Hall The Secret Garden (1987) as Mrs. Medlock Joyriders (1988) as Tammy O'Moore The Dressmaker (1988) as Margo The Krays (1990) as Violet Kray Freddie as F.R.O.7
Freddie as F.R.O.7
(1992) as Messina (voice) Deadly Advice (1994) as Kate Webster Jane Eyre (1996) as Grace Poole Merlin (1998) as Ambrosia The Lost Son (1999) as Mrs. Spitz The Last of the Blonde Bombshells (2000) as Evelyn Quills
Quills
(2000) as Madame LeClerc Hot Fuzz
Hot Fuzz
(2007) as Joyce Cooper (Last appearance)

References[edit]

^ a b Prior to 1 April 1974 Coventry
Coventry
was in Warwickshire ^ a b Billie Whitelaw
Billie Whitelaw
at New York State Writers Institute, State University of New York ^ Billie Whitelaw
Billie Whitelaw
Biography ^ Obituary, bbc.com; accessed 22 December 2014. ^ "Saving Abel's Top 10 Female Villains". DreadCentral.  ^ "Berlinale 1970: Juries". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2010-03-08.  ^ New York TImes article An Outsider in His Own Life ^ Lyn Haill (ed.) Olivier at Work, 1989, p. 28. ^ Billie Whitelaw
Billie Whitelaw
on IMDb ^ "Rest in Peace: Billie Whitelaw". BBC
BBC
News. 21 December 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2014.  ^ "Actress Billie Whitelaw
Billie Whitelaw
dies aged 82". BBC
BBC
News. 21 December 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 

External links[edit]

Daily Telegraph obituary Billie Whitelaw
Billie Whitelaw
on IMDb Video of Billie Whitelaw
Billie Whitelaw
performing Beckett's Not I Billie Whitelaw
Billie Whitelaw
at the British Film Institute's Screenonline Billie Whitelaw; Aveleyman

v t e

BAFTA
BAFTA
TV Award for Best Actress

Googie Withers
Googie Withers
(1955) Virginia McKenna
Virginia McKenna
(1956) Rosalie Crutchley
Rosalie Crutchley
(1957) Gwen Watford
Gwen Watford
(1959) Catherine Lacey (1960) Billie Whitelaw
Billie Whitelaw
(1961) Ruth Dunning (1962) Brenda Bruce
Brenda Bruce
(1963) Vivien Merchant (1964) Katharine Blake (1965) Gwen Watford
Gwen Watford
(1966) Vanessa Redgrave
Vanessa Redgrave
(1967) Judi Dench
Judi Dench
(1968) Wendy Craig (1969) Margaret Tyzack
Margaret Tyzack
(1970) Annette Crosbie (1971) Patricia Hayes
Patricia Hayes
(1972) Billie Whitelaw
Billie Whitelaw
(1973) Celia Johnson
Celia Johnson
(1974) Lee Remick
Lee Remick
(1975) Annette Crosbie (1976) Siân Phillips
Siân Phillips
(1977) Penelope Keith (1978) Francesca Annis
Francesca Annis
(1979) Cheryl Campbell (1980) Peggy Ashcroft
Peggy Ashcroft
(1981) Judi Dench
Judi Dench
(1982) Beryl Reid
Beryl Reid
(1983) Coral Browne (1984) Peggy Ashcroft
Peggy Ashcroft
(1985) Claire Bloom
Claire Bloom
(1986) Anna Massey
Anna Massey
(1987) Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson
(1988) Thora Hird
Thora Hird
(1989) Diana Rigg
Diana Rigg
(1990) Geraldine McEwan (1991) Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren
(1992) Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren
(1993) Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren
(1994) Juliet Aubrey (1995) Jennifer Ehle
Jennifer Ehle
(1996) Gina McKee (1997) Daniela Nardini (1998) Thora Hird
Thora Hird
(1999) Thora Hird
Thora Hird
(2000) Judi Dench
Judi Dench
(2001) Julie Walters
Julie Walters
(2002) Julie Walters
Julie Walters
(2003) Julie Walters
Julie Walters
(2004) Anamaria Marinca (2005) Anna Maxwell Martin (2006) Victoria Wood
Victoria Wood
(2007) Eileen Atkins (2008) Anna Maxwell Martin (2009) Julie Walters
Julie Walters
(2010) Vicky McClure
Vicky McClure
(2011) Emily Watson
Emily Watson
(2012) Sheridan Smith
Sheridan Smith
(2013) Olivia Colman
Olivia Colman
(2014) Georgina Campbell (2015) Suranne Jones (2016) Sarah Lancashire
Sarah Lancashire
(2017)

v t e

BAFTA
BAFTA
Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Billie Whitelaw
Billie Whitelaw
(1968) Celia Johnson
Celia Johnson
(1969) Susannah York
Susannah York
(1970) Margaret Leighton
Margaret Leighton
(1971) Cloris Leachman
Cloris Leachman
(1972) Valentina Cortese
Valentina Cortese
(1973) Ingrid Bergman
Ingrid Bergman
(1974) Diane Ladd
Diane Ladd
(1975) Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster
(1976) Jenny Agutter (1977) Geraldine Page
Geraldine Page
(1978) Rachel Roberts (1979) Rohini Hattangadi
Rohini Hattangadi
/ Maureen Stapleton
Maureen Stapleton
(1982) Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis
(1983) Liz Smith (1984) Rosanna Arquette
Rosanna Arquette
(1985) Judi Dench
Judi Dench
(1986) Susan Wooldridge (1987) Judi Dench
Judi Dench
(1988) Michelle Pfeiffer
Michelle Pfeiffer
(1989) Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg
(1990) Kate Nelligan (1991) Miranda Richardson
Miranda Richardson
(1992) Miriam Margolyes
Miriam Margolyes
(1993) Kristin Scott Thomas
Kristin Scott Thomas
(1994) Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet
(1995) Juliette Binoche
Juliette Binoche
(1996) Sigourney Weaver
Sigourney Weaver
(1997) Judi Dench
Judi Dench
(1998) Maggie Smith
Maggie Smith
(1999) Julie Walters
Julie Walters
(2000) Jennifer Connelly
Jennifer Connelly
(2001) Catherine Zeta-Jones
Catherine Zeta-Jones
(2002) Renée Zellweger
Renée Zellweger
(2003) Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett
(2004) Thandie Newton
Thandie Newton
(2005) Jennifer Hudson
Jennifer Hudson
(2006) Tilda Swinton
Tilda Swinton
(2007) Penélope Cruz
Penélope Cruz
(2008) Mo'Nique
Mo'Nique
(2009) Helena Bonham Carter
Helena Bonham Carter
(2010) Octavia Spencer
Octavia Spencer
(2011) Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway
(2012) Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence
(2013) Patricia Arquette
Patricia Arquette
(2014) Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet
(2015) Viola Davis
Viola Davis
(2016) Allison Janney
Allison Janney
(2017)

v t e

National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress

Marjorie Rhodes
Marjorie Rhodes
(1967) Billie Whitelaw
Billie Whitelaw
(1968) Siân Phillips
Siân Phillips
/ Delphine Seyrig
Delphine Seyrig
(1969) Lois Smith
Lois Smith
(1970) Ellen Burstyn
Ellen Burstyn
(1971) Jeannie Berlin (1972) Valentina Cortese
Valentina Cortese
(1973) Bibi Andersson
Bibi Andersson
(1974) Lily Tomlin
Lily Tomlin
(1975) Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster
(1976) Ann Wedgeworth (1977) Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
(1978) Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
(1979) Mary Steenburgen
Mary Steenburgen
(1980) Maureen Stapleton
Maureen Stapleton
(1981) Jessica Lange
Jessica Lange
(1982) Sandra Bernhard
Sandra Bernhard
(1983) Melanie Griffith
Melanie Griffith
(1984) Anjelica Huston
Anjelica Huston
(1985) Dianne Wiest
Dianne Wiest
(1986) Kathy Baker
Kathy Baker
(1987) Mercedes Ruehl
Mercedes Ruehl
(1988) Anjelica Huston
Anjelica Huston
(1989) Annette Bening
Annette Bening
(1990) Jane Horrocks (1991) Judy Davis
Judy Davis
(1992) Madeleine Stowe
Madeleine Stowe
(1993) Dianne Wiest
Dianne Wiest
(1994) Joan Allen
Joan Allen
(1995) Barbara Hershey
Barbara Hershey
(1996) Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore
(1997) Judi Dench
Judi Dench
(1998) Chloë Sevigny
Chloë Sevigny
(1999) Elaine May
Elaine May
(2000) Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren
(2001) Patricia Clarkson
Patricia Clarkson
(2002) Patricia Clarkson
Patricia Clarkson
(2003) Virginia Madsen
Virginia Madsen
(2004) Amy Adams
Amy Adams
(2005) Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
(2006) Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett
(2007) Hanna Schygulla
Hanna Schygulla
(2008) Mo'Nique
Mo'Nique
(2009) Olivia Williams
Olivia Williams
(2010) Jessica Chastain
Jessica Chastain
(2011) Amy Adams
Amy Adams
(2012) Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence
(2013) Patricia Arquette
Patricia Arquette
(2014) Kristen Stewart
Kristen Stewart
(2015) Michelle Williams (2016) Laurie Metcalf
Laurie Metcalf
(2017)

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 29744840 LCCN: n84167424 ISNI: 0000 0001 2126 1849 GND: 119361655 SUDOC: 131523627 BNF: cb142389123 (data) BNE: XX1536703 SN


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