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Ann Todd

Ann Todd

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Also Known As: Died: May 6, 1993
Born: January 24, 1909 Cause of Death: stroke
Birth Place: Hartford, England, GB Profession: actor, director, writer, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Blonde actress best known for her star-making role as the troubled pianist who must cope with a suave tormenter (James Mason) in Compton Bennett's landmark romantic psychodrama, "The Seventh Veil" (1945). Todd's film career had begun almost 15 years earlier but, apart from roles as Ralph Richardson's mad wife in Victor Saville's "South Riding" (1938) and as Robert Donat's wartime flirtation in "Vacation from Marriage" (1945), consisted mostly of minor genre fare. She enjoyed considerable success on the British stage in the early 40s and returned to films after a four-year absence to claim her place as one of England's biggest postwar stars.The prominent bone structure of Todd's face and her cool, patrician manner gave her a certain Garboesque quality. Often cast as quiet, stiff-upper-lip types who become enmeshed in torrid melodramatic situations, Todd did well as murderesses, actual or suspected, in "So Evil My Love" (1948) and "Madeleine" (1950). She did what she could as the sultry wife in "Daybreak" (1946) but the French-influenced film noir suffered from censorship problems; another straying wife role, in the intense "The Passionate Friends" (1949), came off rather better. The latter and...

Blonde actress best known for her star-making role as the troubled pianist who must cope with a suave tormenter (James Mason) in Compton Bennett's landmark romantic psychodrama, "The Seventh Veil" (1945). Todd's film career had begun almost 15 years earlier but, apart from roles as Ralph Richardson's mad wife in Victor Saville's "South Riding" (1938) and as Robert Donat's wartime flirtation in "Vacation from Marriage" (1945), consisted mostly of minor genre fare. She enjoyed considerable success on the British stage in the early 40s and returned to films after a four-year absence to claim her place as one of England's biggest postwar stars.

The prominent bone structure of Todd's face and her cool, patrician manner gave her a certain Garboesque quality. Often cast as quiet, stiff-upper-lip types who become enmeshed in torrid melodramatic situations, Todd did well as murderesses, actual or suspected, in "So Evil My Love" (1948) and "Madeleine" (1950). She did what she could as the sultry wife in "Daybreak" (1946) but the French-influenced film noir suffered from censorship problems; another straying wife role, in the intense "The Passionate Friends" (1949), came off rather better. The latter and "Madeleine" were directed by Todd's third husband, David Lean, who also guided her in the aerially spectacular but dramatically earthbound "Breaking the Sound Barrier" (1952). She also played the romantic lead opposite Gregory Peck in Alfred Hitchcock's less than compelling "The Paradine Case" (1948).

Already approaching middle age when she became a star, Todd was finding it hard to land romantic leads by the mid-50s. She excelled in a leading role as a desperate mother in Joseph Losey's suspenseful "Time Without Pity" (1957), but was by then devoting most of her time to the stage. She also began writing, producing and directing travel documentaries, mostly shorts, for both TV and theatrical release. Todd later played occasional frosty character roles on film (notably "Taste of Fear" 1961) and TV ("Maelstrom" 1986, "Heat of the Day" 1990).

Not to be confused with the American child actress Ann Todd, who was often billed as "Ann E Todd" in the 40s to avoid confusion.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 McGuffin, The (1988) Mrs Forbes-Dutchie
2.
 American Lifestyles (1987) ("Show Business At War" - "Show Business: The War Years")
3.
 Thrill of Genius, The (1986) Herself
4.
 Ingrid (1985) Herself
5.
 The Human Factor (1980) Castle'S Mother
6.
 Time Without Pity (1957) Honor Stanford
7.
 Green Scarf, The (1954) Solange
8.
9.
 Madeleine (1950)
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1927:
Made acting debut at 18 when Arts Theatre Club called her in at short notice to appear in one of their productions (date approximate)
:
West End debut in "Baa Baa Black Sheep"
1931:
Film debut, "Keepers of Youth"
1938:
Played one of most prominent pre-starring film roles in Victor Saville's lavish drama, "South Riding"
1945:
Returned to films after a four-year absence to play a key supporting role in "Vacation from Marriage"
1945:
Achieved star status in "The Seventh Veil"
1957:
Made Broadway debut in "Four Winds"
:
Writer, producer and director of travel documentaries (for theatrical release and TV broadcast), primarily shorts, since the late 1950s
1961:
Played first supporting feature film role in 15 years in "Taste of Fear"
:
Played supporting roles in such features as "The Fiend" (1971) and Otto Preminger's "The Human Factor" (1979, based on the Graham Greene novel)
1985:
Made appearances in the feature documentaries, "Ingrid" (about Ingrid Bergman) and "The Thrill of Genius" (about Alfred Hitchcock
1985:
Played last feature film role in "The McGuffin"
1992:
Played one of last roles in an episode of "Maigret", a six-episode series which was part of the PBS-TV program, "Mystery!"
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Education

Central School of Speech and Drama: London , England -

Notes

Not to be confused with the American actress of the same name, often billed as Ann E Todd

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Victor Malcolm. First husband; married 1933; divorced.
husband:
Nigel Tangye. Second husband; married 1939; divorced.
husband:
David Lean. Director, former editor. Third husband; married 1949, divorced 1957; directed Todd in "The Passionate Friends" (1949), "Madeleine" (1950) and "Breaking the Sound Barrier" (1952).

Bibliography close complete biography

"The Eighth Veil"

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