Moira Redmond


Born: 14 July, 1928, in Bognor Regis.

Died: 16 March, 2006, in London, aged 77.

WITH her bright green eyes and auburn hair, Moira Redmond cut a wonderfully glamorous figure on stage and screen. She appeared in numerous television dramas, many delightful cameo roles in films, and on stage played in everything from Shakespeare to Queen Victoria. Indeed, she twice came to the Edinburgh Festival and her roles confirmed that theatrical range. She was in The Winter's Tale in 1966 and a Feydeau farce six years later.

Moira Redmond was born into a theatrical family and had an early career as a Windmill dancer under the management of Laura Henderson - made famous in the 2005 film (Mrs Henderson Presents) starring Judi Dench. Redmond made an early marriage and lived in Australia but returned to the UK when the marriage collapsed. She began her professional career in 1957 when she understudied Vivien Leigh in the famous production of Titus Andronicus that starred Leigh and her husband Laurence Olivier at Stratford. It was directed by Peter Brook and toured to Edinburgh and Glasgow and abroad. It then did a season in London and Redmond was spotted by casting directors and was soon receiving offers for roles in London's West End.

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She made several appearances at Nottingham Repertory before, in 1966, being cast opposite the film star Laurence Harvey in The Winter's Tale, which was produced for the 1966 Festival by Frank Dunlop's Pop Theatre (also in the cast were Jim Dale and Jane Asher). It was hailed as one of the triumphs of the Festival and one critic particularly praised Redmond's "fine stagecraft" as Hermione. Such was its success that the production was taken to Venice and then filmed. She also appeared that year with Pop Theatre in Euripides's The Trojan Women with Flora Robson and Cleo Lane. Both plays had a resounding success and suited the thrust stage of the Assembly Hall ideally.

In 1972, she joined the Actors' Company - formed as an actors' co-operative - for its inaugural production at the Lyceum Theatre in Feydeau's Ruling The Roost. Redmond had one of the leading roles while Ian McKellen (a page boy) and Felicity Kendall (a serving maid) played minor roles.

Redmond had built an excellent reputation from the mid Fifties as a TV and screen actress and was often cast in popular dramas. She made three appearances in The Avengers and No Hiding Place in the early Sixties and was also seen in such stalwarts as Dixon of Dock Green and Danger Man. In 1976, she was in the acclaimed BBC adaptation of I, Claudius with Derek Jacobi and John Hurt.

Her first film role of note came in the classic comedy Doctor in Love (1960), alongside James Robertson-Justice and Leslie Phillips. There then followed Jigsaw in 1962, a police thriller with Jack Warner, and then that same year a comedy/mystery called Kill or Cure starring Terry Thomas and Eric Sykes.

Her career took in all forms of theatre work. Redmond was seen in a triple bill of Shaw plays at The Royal Court in 1967 and then created a subtle Queen Victoria in Early Morning at the same theatre. Historical television dramas suited her refined style ideally and after The First Churchills, Redmond gave a wonderfully affectionate performance in Edward VII for ITV. Timothy West's king was superb but Redmond as his former mistress, Alice Keppel, was both beguiling and sympathetic.

In 1993, the director Richard Eyre cast her along with Maggie Smith in an American TV version of Tennessee Williams's play Suddenly, Last Summer. Smaller roles came her way until quite recently (The Gentle Touch, The Wingless Bird and The Alleyn Mysteries, all for British television) but increasing ill health made Redmond curtail her work.

Both her marriages were dissolved. The first to Anthony Hughes and the second to the director (of I, Claudius) Herbert Wise. She had no children.