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TopBilled

Who is your favourite British actress?

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I am watching A ROOM WITH A VIEW this afternoon on the FLIX channel (it is also available on demand).

 

This film is chock-full of great British stars (many that found success in Hollywood). As I watch this beautiful Merchant-Ivory picture, I cannot help but think how glorious an actress Maggie Smith is.

 

There is this great scene where she and Judi Dench (another wonderful British actress) walk down an Italian street, and Dench in a scene-stealing moment stops and tells Smith to smell the air-- the pure Italian air. As Dench takes a whiff then walks off, Smith does this wonderful little bit of upstaging where she coyly covers her mouth (as if she is about to gag from the stench) with a handkerchief. Smith has no dialogue here, it is all Dench talking, but Smith owns that scene.  Like she owns every scene in this film and in countless other motion pictures.

 

Who is your favorite British actress (or actor)...?

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Leslie Howard and Deborah Kerr.   Ok, Kerr is Scottish,   but as of today,  Scotland is still part of Great Britain.     But next year I may have to edit this post.  

 

 

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imgres-113.jpg

I am watching A ROOM WITH A VIEW this afternoon on the FLIX channel (it is also available on demand).

 

This film is chock-full of great British stars (many that found success in Hollywood). As I watch this beautiful Merchant-Ivory picture, I cannot help but think how glorious an actress Maggie Smith is.

 

There is this great scene where she and Judi Dench (another wonderful British actress) walk down an Italian street, and Dench in a scene-stealing moment stops and tells Smith to smell the air-- the pure Italian air. As Dench takes a whiff then walks off, Smith does this wonderful little bit of upstaging where she coyly covers her mouth (as if she is about to gag from the stench) with a handkerchief. Smith has no dialogue here, it is all Dench talking, but Smith owns that scene.  Like she owns every scene in this film and in countless other motion pictures.

 

Who is your favorite British actress (or actor)...?

 

Vivian Leigh, she's a great actress who ruffled so many feathers (getting picked for "Gone with The Wind")

 

Julie Andrews and Maggie Smith. Like to mention Hatty Jones, even though she had only one film to her name, she did it well.

 

Far as male actors, too many to choose from.  Sean Connery, Liam Neeson, Christopher Lee, Roger Moore.

Edited by hamradio

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Leslie Howard and Deborah Kerr.   Ok, Kerr is Scottish,   but as of today,  Scotland is still part of Great Britain.     But next year I may have to edit this post.  

 

Ahem...excuse me here James, but I THINK the topic was "British ACTRESSES". And, while I know the name "Leslie", just like "Pat", is kinda "androgynous", I just wanna say here......

 

LOL

 

(...sorry, couldn't resist) ;)

 

...edit to follow...

 

Just saw that TB added "(or actors)" in his OP, so never mind.

Edited by Dargo

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Ahem...excuse me here James, but I THINK the topic was "British ACTRESSES". And, while I know the name "Leslie", just like "Pat", is kinda "androgynous", I just wanna say here......

 

LOL

 

(...sorry, couldn't resist) ;)

 

Hey,  TopBilled did say 'actrees (or actor)...' so I included both.    But yea after I posted this I wondered if the name Leslie would cause confusion.  

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Hey,  TopBilled did say 'actrees (or actor)...' so I included both.    But yea after I posted this I wondered if the name Leslie would cause confusion.  

 

I thought (or actor) was an after thought to include British male actors.  :unsure:

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I thought (or actor) was an after thought to include British male actors.  :unsure:

Right-- I didn't see the need in making a separate thread for the British male actors.  Though my admiration for Maggie Smith is what inspired the thread.

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Who is your favorite British actress (or actor)...?

This is way too tough for me, since I've worked with several and have seen so many on stage and screen. If I substitute the word "greatest" for "favorite, then I would say Simon Russell Beale, whom I've seen on stage, worked with, and whose performance as King Lear this season was amazing!  If we're talking classic cinema, I would probably say Ronald Colman is my favorite. If we're talking about lesser known Brits, I would say Hattie Jacques and Athene Seyler. But I course I love Dames Maggie and Judi as well. And then of course there are the great character actors of film -- C. Aubrey, O.P., E.E., Lumsden, Walter, and so many others. Sorry -- this is too hard! Oh -- of the contemporary lot, Ralph Fiennes is one of my favorites.

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ACTRESSES

 

-I have to second the vote for Emma Thompson.  Love her.  She was fantastic as PL Travers in Saving Mr. Banks.  In one of my guilty pleasure films Love Actually, when Alan Rickman breaks her heart at Christmastime, I was actually cursing Rickman for hurting Emma Thompson and I love Alan Rickman!

 

-Julie Andrews.  I think she's great as Mary Poppins; but I just love how she conducts herself in interviews and I watched a very funny segment of a skit she did with Carol Burnett on a OPB salute to Carol Burnett.  Tomorrow, during the James Garner salute, I'm recording two of her films The Americanization of Emily and Victor/Victoria that I've never seen and am looking forward to them.

 

-Helena Bonham Carter, granted she always seems to be in husband (or maybe boyfriend?) Tim Burton's films, but she is fantastic in all of them.  Even in the most mediocre film, Carter always consistently turns in a good performance.

 

-Helen Mirren.  Love her.  Great actress and seems to have a great sense of humor as well.

 

-Angela Lansbury.  Great actress with great range.  I loved her in The Picture of Dorian Gray and in Murder She Wrote (does anyone else find it suspicious that the crimes only seem to occur when she's around? hmmm).  I think of all her roles, her part as the voice of Mrs. Potts and her rendition of "Tale as Old as Time" in Beauty and the Beast is my favorite.

 

-Hayley Mills.  A childhood favorite of mine.  I think my favorite role of hers was as the twins in The Parent Trap but I also loved Pollyanna

 

ACTORS

 

-Alan Rickman.  Love his voice and he always is great whether as a teacher, villain, romantic comedy husband, etc.

 

-Cary Grant.  Love him.

 

-Tim Curry.  Another actor with a great voice.  He was amazing in Rocky Horror Picture Show (Is it weird that I was somewhat jealous of his body, even though I'm female?  I also thought he was pretty hot even though he was dressed as a transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania!) I also loved him in Clue and as the voice of the Cat King in Hayao Miyazaki's The Cat Returns.

 

-Ewan McGregor.  He's fantastic and surprisingly a good singer, which I learned in Moulin Rouge!

 

-Liam Neeson.  Another actor with a great voice and he always turns in a good performance.

 

 

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Greer Garson

Julie Andrews

Maggie Smith

Judi Dench

Angela Lansbury

And many many more.

 

What about Joan Fontaine and Olivia DeHaviland?     Their parents were British.   

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Isn't Angela Lansbury American?

 

Lansbury is what got me thinking about Olivia and Joan.    Lansbury was born in England but moved to NYC in 1940 and became an American.

 

Olivia and Joan were born in Japan but like Lansbury their parents were British.    To me 'British actress' is NOT defined by one's passport.    

 

I'm editing my post because I decide that for an actress to be a British actress' they have to had made some films in Britian before they came to the USA (Hollywood).      So Lansbury,  DeHavilland and Fontaine don't qualify.

Edited by jamesjazzguitar

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Lansbury is what got me thinking about Olivia and Joan.    Lansbury was born in England but moved to NYC in 1940 and became an American.

 

Olivia and Joan were born in Japan but like Lansbury their parents were British.    To me 'british actress' is NOT defined by one's passport.    

 

I think Elizabeth Taylor was also born in Great Britain, but I don't know if her parents were British or American.

I know that she was made a Dame of the British Empire at one point and I think had dual citizenship.

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So many to name, I'll just list:

 

Vivien Leigh

Glenda Jackson

Maggie Smith

Deborah Kerr

Judi Dench

Kate Winslet

Susannah York

Julie Christie

and countless others.

 

Men: 

Laurence Olivier

John Gielgud

Ralph Richardson

Tom Courtney

Alan Bates

Donald Crisp

and countless others. 

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Isn't Angela Lansbury American?

Angela Lansbury's grandfather was leader of the Labour Party.

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