AustLit logo
image of person or book cover 2525811792544016357.jpg
This image has been sourced from online.
Issue Details: First known date: 2019... 2019 Judith Anderson : Australian Star, First Lady of the American Stage
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Everyone knows Mrs Danvers as a byword for menace in Hitchcock's Rebecca and as a poster girl for lesbians in the movies. But only dedicated fans know her brilliant creator.

'This book tells Judith Anderson's life story for the first time. It recovers her career as one of the great stars of stage and television and an important character actress in film. Born in Adelaide, Australia, in 1897, brought up by a determined single mother, she parlayed her rich, velvety voice and ability to give reality to strong emotional roles into stardom on Broadway in the 1920s. Not a conventional beauty, she was alluring, with her beautiful body, perfect dress sense, and striking, volatile personality. After playing glamorous roles, she was recognised as a Leading Lady of the American Stage under the direction of Guthrie McClintic in Hamlet and co-starring with Laurence Olivier and Maurice Evans in Macbeth. Her reputation as a great actress was confirmed by her landmark performance in 1947 in the ancient Greek Medea, adapted for her by her friend, poet Robinson Jeffers. In a long career, she appeared in Medea again in 1982 at the age of 85, playing the Nurse to fellow-Australian Zoe Caldwell's Medea.

'Ambitious and driven, Anderson toured extensively, made numerous highly praised appearances on television, and, after her unforgettable role as Mrs Danvers, was a sought-after character actress in film, playing her last role as Vulcan High Priestess in Star Trek III at the age of 87. She won many awards and was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 1960 and Companion of the Order of Australia just before her death in 1992. She had a stormy private life and two short marriages, which, she remarked, were 'much too long.'' (Publication summary)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Brunswick, Brunswick - Coburg area, Melbourne - North, Melbourne, Victoria,: Kerr Publishing , 2019 .
      image of person or book cover 2525811792544016357.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 520p.
      Note/s:
      • Published: 1st November 2019
      ISBN: 9781875703180

Works about this Work

A Star Is Justly Reborn Peter Craven , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 4 January 2020; (p. 14)

— Review of Judith Anderson : Australian Star, First Lady of the American Stage Desley Deacon , 2019 single work biography

'For a long time there Dame Judith Anderson was the most famous Australian actress in the world. She wasn’t a huge film star like Errol Flynn (with whom she shared a quite discernible Australian accent) but in my childhood she was prominently featured in the supporting cast of Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments, she was Big Mama to Burl Ives’s Big Daddy in the Elizabeth Taylor/Paul Newman Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and to cap everything off she gave what actor Peter Eyre described as one of the most vivid performances in the history of the world: the sinister housekeeper, Mrs Danvers, in Hitchcock’s 1940 tribute to post-Bronte-style Gothic romance, Rebecca. She was a ­famous Lady Macbeth and an implacable Lavinia in Eugene O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra, and she gave the most ­celebrated 20th-century performance in a Greek tragedy when she stormed the New York stage (and a lot of others around the world) as ­Euripides’ Medea. Not even Laurence Olivier’s ­Oedipus Rex ranks so high.' (Introduction)

A Star Is Justly Reborn Peter Craven , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 4 January 2020; (p. 14)

— Review of Judith Anderson : Australian Star, First Lady of the American Stage Desley Deacon , 2019 single work biography

'For a long time there Dame Judith Anderson was the most famous Australian actress in the world. She wasn’t a huge film star like Errol Flynn (with whom she shared a quite discernible Australian accent) but in my childhood she was prominently featured in the supporting cast of Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments, she was Big Mama to Burl Ives’s Big Daddy in the Elizabeth Taylor/Paul Newman Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and to cap everything off she gave what actor Peter Eyre described as one of the most vivid performances in the history of the world: the sinister housekeeper, Mrs Danvers, in Hitchcock’s 1940 tribute to post-Bronte-style Gothic romance, Rebecca. She was a ­famous Lady Macbeth and an implacable Lavinia in Eugene O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra, and she gave the most ­celebrated 20th-century performance in a Greek tragedy when she stormed the New York stage (and a lot of others around the world) as ­Euripides’ Medea. Not even Laurence Olivier’s ­Oedipus Rex ranks so high.' (Introduction)

Last amended 10 Jan 2020 11:42:54
Subjects:
Newspapers:
    Powered by Trove
    X