Born and raised in South Africa
Decided to pursue an acting career; moved to London in 1959
Stage debut, "Billy Liar" in Ipswich, England
Worked for five months in repertory in Ipswich, Sheffield, Manchester (where she first played Shakespeare) and Worthington
Joined Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in December
London stage debut with the RSC, "The Comedy of Errors"
Toured the USA with the RSC
Won praise for her Portia in "The Merchant of Venice" and Ophelia in "Hamlet"
Left the RSC to concentrate on her TV career
Made British TV debut in the BBC series "Lord Raingo" opposite Kenneth More
Appeared with the Oxford Playhouse
Starred in a British TV adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's "Saint Joan"
Traveled to the USA to appear at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles; later toured USA in "Much Ado About Nothing"
Starred in BBC productions of "Three Sisters" (1969), "Macbeth" and "Hedda Gabler" (both 1970); productions aired in the USA on PBS in 1975
Screen debut "A Day in the Death of Joe Egg" (US release, 1972)
Co-starred in "Nicholas and Alexandra", playing the Czarina; earned Oscar nomination as Best Actress
Played the Egyptian queen in "Anthony and Cleopatra" (ABC)
Co-starred in "Voyage of the Damned"
Hade featured role in Herbert Ross' "Nijinsky"
Played Frieda Lawrence in the biopic "Priest of Love", opposite Ian McKellen
Starred in Peter Greenaway's "The Draughtsman's Contract"
Returned to stage acting after taking time off after the birth of her son; co-starred with Ian McKellen in Sean Mathias' play "Cowardice"
Had featured role in Federico Fellini's "And the Ship Sails On"
Played Eleanorof Aquitaine in the CBS TV-movie "The ZAny Adventures of Robin Hood"
Cast as Lady Edwina Mountbatten in the six-part biography "Lord Mountbatten: The Last Viceroy" (PBS)
Stage directorial debut, "Othello" for the Market Theatre in South Africa (also broadcast on TV)
Co-starred in the acclaimed British TV series "The Singing Detective", starring Michael Gambon and written by Dennis Potter
Won plaudits for her turn in "A Dry White Season"
Played the Mother Superior in the comedy "Nuns on the Run"
Last feature role to date in "Leon, the Pig Farmer"
Appeared in the British TV adapation of Joseph Conrad's "The Secret Agent" (BBC and PBS)
Made guest appearance in an episode of "Inspector Morse" (PBS)