Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Faith Brook, RIP

Like Anna Massey (who died last year) and the Mills, Fox and Redgrave siblings, Faith Brook [1922-2012] was also the child of a famous actor who followed her father into the profession, her father being Clive Brook, whom I know best from Von Sterberg's SHANGHAI EXPRESS, 1932, and his 1943 film ON APPROVAL.

Faith, an actress of elegance, poise and beauty had a long career in theatre, film and television - one of those great dependables in movies like CHASE A CROOKED SHADOW in '57, TO SIR WITH LOVE, HEROES OF TELEMARK, the 1942 JUNGLE BOOK and in Hitchcock's SUSPICION in 1941 - she was also in the 1959 remake of THE 39 STEPS as the secret agent who sets the plot in motion. She did lot of television work including a well-regarded Gertrude to Ian McKellen's HAMLET in 1970, and Countess Rostova in the BBC 1973 production of WAR AND PEACE; and, a favourite of mine, her acerbic Lady Knox in THE IRISH R.M., that great comic series from 1983. Her 90 years covers a long career as a working actress in theatre [lately in UNCLE VANYA in 2008], film and television on both sides of the Atlantic. She was also an earlier incarnation of that female British Prime Minister in the 1979 NORTH SEA HIJACK. Her brother Lyndon Brook was also a regular in '50s films.

As critic Nicholas De Jongh said: "She belonged to a lost generation of actresses who kept beauty, imperious grandeur and emotional strength in their armoury of natural-born talents....intellectually curious and fired by a refusal to give up doing what she loved most, Faith cut an arresting, adorable figure in her swansong years" despite failing eyesight.

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