Dame Wendy Margaret Hiller DBE (August 15 1912 â€“ May 14 2003) was a distinguished English film and stage actress. The Academy Award-winning actress enjoyed a varied acting career that spanned nearly sixty years. Despite many notable film performances, she chose to remain primarily a stage actress.
Born in Bramhall, Stockport, in Cheshire, the daughter of Frank Watkin Hiller and Marie Stone, she began her professional career as an actress in repertory at Manchester in the early 1930s. She first found success as Sally Hardcastle in the stage version of Love on the Dole in 1934. This play also saw her West End debut in 1935, and she married the play's author Ronald Gow in 1937. In the early 1940s they moved to Beaconsfield, where they had two children and lived together in the house called "Spindles" until Gow's death in 1993.
Despite a busy professional career, throughout her life she continually took an active interest in aspiring young actors by supporting local amateur drama societies....
Created by dipity on Feb 7, 2008
Last updated: 03/12/10 at 03:51 AM
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Wendy Hiller died in Beaconsfield, United Kingdom
The Elephant Man is a 1980 biopic loosely based on the story of the 19th century British deformed celebrity, Joseph Merrick (called John Merrick in the film). The film was directed by David Lynch and stars John Hurt, Anthony Hopkins, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller, Michael Elphick, Hannah Gordon and Freddie Jones.
The screenplay was adapted by Christopher De Vore, Eric Bergren and David Lynch from the books The Elephant Man and Other Reminiscences (1923) by Sir Frederick Treves and The Elephant Man: A Study in Human Dignity by Ashley Montagu. It was shot in black-and-white.
The Elephant Man became a huge surprise success, and received eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture in 1981.
The story begins with Dr Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins) discovering John Merrick (John Hurt) in a Victorian freak show where he is managed by the brutish Bytes (Freddie Jones). Merrick is so hideously deformed that he must wear a hood when in public. Also, Bytes claims his...,
A Man for All Seasons is a 1966 film based on Robert Bolt's play of the same name about Sir Thomas More. Paul Scofield, who had played More in the West End stage premiere, also took the role in the film. The film also stars Robert Shaw as Henry VIII, Orson Welles as Wolsey, John Hurt as Richard Rich, Nigel Davenport as the Duke of Norfolk and Wendy Hiller as More's second wife, Alice. It was directed by Fred Zinnemann who had previously directed such films as High Noon and From Here to Eternity.
The plot is based on the true story of Sir Thomas More, the 16th-century Chancellor of England, who refused to sign a letter asking the Pope to annul the King's marriage and resigned rather than take an Oath of Supremacy declaring the King the Supreme Head of the English Church. The King is Henry VIII of England and his wife is Catherine of Aragon, the first of an eventual six wives. Both the play and the film portray More as a man of principle, motivated by his devout Roman Catholic faith...
Toys in the Attic is a 1963 film starring Dean Martin, Geraldine Page, Wendy Hiller and Gene Tierney. The film was directed by George Roy Hill and is based on a Tony Award-winning play by Lillian Hellman. The original music score was composed by George Duning. The film's tagline is: "Toys in the attic plays with fire!"
Julian Berniers returns from Illinois with his young bride Lily Prime to the family in New Orleans. Sisters Carrie and Anna welcome the couple, who arrive with expensive gifts from the spinsters. The sisters hope Julian will help much needed expenses, and he tells them his profitable factory went out of business but that he managed to save money. It turns out that Julian pulled off a real estate scam and took off with the money. Carrie wishes to welcome her brother back with more than just open arms. Carrie's jealousy of Lily pushes her to discover the shaby land deal for herself as she tries to wreck the marriage. Lily returns to her mother Albertine, and is horrified...,
I Know Where I'm Going! is a 1945 romance film by the British-based film-makers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.
Joan Webster (Wendy Hiller) is a young Englishwoman from a safe middle-class background, but with an ambitious, independent spirit. She travels to the Scottish isles to marry Sir Robert Bellinger, a much older, wealthy industrialist, on the Isle of Kiloran.
When a gale prevents her taking a boat to Kiloran, she is forced to wait it out on the Isle of Mull, among a community of people with values quite foreign to her. There she meets Torquil MacNeil (Roger Livesey), a handsome naval officer trying to go home for some shore leave. MacNeil, the laird of Kiloran, has leased his island to Bellinger. As the bad weather continues, he takes advantage of the delay to woo Joan, who becomes increasingly unsure about her ambitions.
The film also features Pamela Brown as Catriona Potts, an independently-spirited country woman, Finlay Currie as a dour fisherman and boatman, and...,
Major Barbara is a 1941 British film starring Wendy Hiller and Rex Harrison. In this social satire, Wendy Hiller plays Barbara Undershaft, the idealistic daughter of a weapons manufacturer, who joins the Salvation Army.
The film was produced and directed by Gabriel Pascal and edited by David Lean. It was adapted for the screen by Marjorie Deans and Anatole de Grunwald, based on the 1905 play Major Barbara by George Bernard Shaw.
Starring Wendy Hiller as Barbara Undershaft, Rex Harrison as Adolphus Cusins, Robert Morley as Andrew Undershaft, Robert Newton as Bill Walker, and Sybil Thorndike as The General, with Marie Lohr as Lady Britomart, and Deborah Kerr as Jenny Hill.
"Major Barbara" was filmed in London during the bombing by the Nazis. During air raids the crew and cast had to dodge into bomb shelters. The film's producer, Pascal, never stopped the production and the film was completed on schedule. It was both a critical and financial success. ...
Pygmalion (1938) is a British film based on George Bernard Shaw's play of the same name, and adapted by him for the screen. Ian Dalrymple, Anatole de Grunwald and Kay Walsh also made uncredited contributions to the screenplay. The film was a financial and critical success
Shaw's adaptation differs from his original play in that a ballroom scene was added and the ending changed - a surprising decision, given his previous insistence that the play's original ending remain intact (see Pygmalion).
Wendy Hiller was chosen by Shaw to play to Eliza Doolittle after she had appeared in stage productions of Pygmalion and Saint Joan. The controversial line "Not bloody likely!" made her the first person to utter that swear word in a British film.
The screenplay was later adapted into the 1956 theatrical musical My Fair Lady, which in turn led to the 1964 film of the same name.
The writers, including the uncredited Ian Dalrymple, won the 1939 Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay. The...,
Wendy Hiller was born