|Born||in Morecambe, Lancashire, England, UK|
|Died||in Brinsworth House, Twickenham, Middlesex, England, UK (following a stroke)|
|Height||5' 5" (1.65 m)|
Mini Bio (1)
In a career than spanned eight decades, Thora Hird was widely-regarded as one of Britain's finest character actresses. She made over 100 films as well as starring in a host of TV comedies and, as a straight actress, excelled in the works of playwright Alan Bennett. Even in her 90s, she was working almost daily.
Born in Morecambe, Lancashire, the daughter of the manager of the local Royalty Theatre, she was carried on to the stage in a melodrama at the age of eight weeks. When old enough, she joined the Royalty's theatre company, although she kept a day job as a cashier in a grocery store. "I spent 10 years working in that grocery store", she recalled, "and I've played nearly all the customers I used to serve - maids, landladies, cleaners, forthright parents. When I'm acting, I'll do some little thing I've remembered, so simple". At the theatre, she appeared in over 500 plays and, in 1941, the comedian George Formby, on a visit to the theatre, recommended her to Michael Balcon at Ealing Film Studios. Put under contract, she first appeared in Black Sheep of Whitehall (1942) with Will Hay and a string of comedy films and dramas followed. In the same vein as the saucy seaside postcards of her Morecambe birth, Hird was usually cast as the all-seeing boarding house landlady, a gossiping neighbour or a sharp tongued mother-in-law.
In the 1950s, Hird was under contract to the Rank Organisation and was established as a major character actress. She worked with some of Britain's finest directors, including Herbert Wilcox, Lewis Gilbert and John Schlesinger but, by her own account, was not easily awed. "I've appeared in hundreds of films and television things and, in some cases, I literally mean 'appeared' around the door, that was all. Like anybody earning a living, I took most of the work that came along". She gave outstanding performances in Simon and Laura (1955) and The Entertainer (1960), opposite Laurence Olivier, but one of her best- remembered roles was that of the monstrous TV-addicted mother in A Kind of Loving (1962).
As her career progressed, she frequently returned to the stage, often in comedies, with comedians such as Arthur Askey and Harry Secombe, and, in 1964, she was memorably team with the comedian Freddie Frinton in the TV series, Meet the Wife (1963). She starred in a succession of hit TV comedies throughout the 70s and 80s but proof of her talent as a straight actress came in 1987, when she starred in Alan Bennett's Talking Heads monologue, A Creamcracker under the Settee for which she won a BAFTA award. She wrote several volumes of autobiography, including "Scene and Hird" and "Not in the Diary" and, in 1995, was the subject of a South Bank Show (ITV) monograph. One of the show's contributors, the actor Alan Bates, said of her, "Thora always had a grasp of her character immediately. She didn't have to work herself into a state to get it right. She is a naturally funny woman whose comedy is on the edge of tragedy. It's instinctive and very understanding of life itself".
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Patrick Newley
|James Scott||(3 May 1937 - 1994) ( his death) ( 1 child)|