Flora Robson

February 13, 2009 by: admin

Flora RobsonBiography
Flora Robson (1902-1984) was a bronze-medal winner at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Afterward, in 1921 to 1923 she performed in London and Oxford. Because of the prevailing economic difficulties, it was difficult for her to find further acting work and for the next few years she worked as a factory welfare officer. In 1929, on the recommendation of a friend, she went to the Cambridge Festival Theatre where she remained two years. She was then invited to the Old Vic where, in 1931, her parts included the Herodias in Salome and a drunken prostitute in Bridie’s The Anatomist. Audiences and fellow professionals were impressed by her versatility. Soon she was being given much more important parts. In 1933, she played Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest, and Lady Macbeth.

She was also making films, the first being A Gentleman in Paris (1931). A few films later, she played Queen Elizabeth I in Alexander Korda’s Fire over England (1937). Her success in the film led to her being invited to Hollywood where she played Queen Elizabeth in Errol Flynn’s period swashbuckler The Sea Hawk (1940). She was also much acclaimed for her roles in other films including Paul Muni’s domineering wife in We Are Not Alone (1939), the housekeeper in Wuthering Heights (1939) and Mary Rider, the starring role, in Poison Pen (1940).

In 1941, she returned to the war-time London blackout to continue her stage career. When the War was over, she returned to Hollywood to play Ingrid Bergman’s fiercely protective servant in Saratoga Trunk (1945), for which she received an Oscar nomination.

For the next 25 years, she combined film and stage work, always in supporting roles. Her most memorable theatrical performances were Lady Macbeth on Broadway (1949) and Paulina in John Gielgud

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