Family & Companions
Like Judi Dench, Geraldine McEwan is a British actress best known for her stage roles who has also made the occasional foray into film and television. Born and raised in Windsor, she began her acting career as a teenager and gradually made her way through various repertory companies to land in the mid-1950s at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon. After joining the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1961, McEwan distinguished herself in such roles as Beatrice in "Much Ado About Nothing" and Ophelia in "Hamlet." Over the course of the next three decades, the actress amassed a formidable array of credits, originating roles in such contemporary classics as Joe Orton's "Loot" (1965) and tackling many of the classics like "The School for Scandal" (her Broadway debut in 1963), "The Rivals" (in 1983) and more recently, the absurdist "The Chairs" (a return to Broadway in 1998).
McEwan has made only a handful of feature appearances including starring opposite Laurence Olivier in Strindberg's "The Dance of Death" (1968). She was suitably aristocratic in the uneven comedy "Foreign Body" (1986) and provided an amusing turn as the maid teaching English to the French queen (Emma Thompson) in Kenneth Branagh's stirring remake of "Henry V" (1989). More recently, she won plaudits as the town eccentric in "The Love Letter" (1999). Her small screen roles have allowed McEwan better showcases for her talents. She dominated the Scottish miniseries version of "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" (shown on PBS in 1979), all but erasing memories of Maggie Smith's Oscar-winning bravura performance. McEwan did battle with Prunella Scales as social rivals in the amusing London Weekly Television miniseries "Mapp & Lucia" (1985-86). Among her other notable small screen appearances was her strong turn as the deeply religious mother of a lesbian in the BBC miniseries "Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit" (1990).
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Stage acting debut as an attendant to Hippolyta in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in Windsor, England
London debut in "Who Goes There!"
Had the title role in "Patience" in Brighton
Early British TV credit, "George and Margaret" for ITV
Played Frankie Adams in the London production of "A Member of the Wedding"
Toured the Soviet Union with the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre
Film acting debut in "No Kidding/Beware of Children"
Was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company; essayed such roles as Olivia in "Twelfth Night", Beatrice in "Much Ado About Nothing" and Ophelia in "Hamlet"
Broadway debut as Lady Teazle in "The School for Scandal"
American TV acting debut in "The Thomas Hart Benton Story", an episode of the NBC series "Profiles in Courage"
Appeared in the original production of Joe Orton's black comedy "Loot"
Co-starred with Laurence Olivier in the film version of Strindberg's "The Dance of Death"
Had role of Lady Bellaston in "The Bawdy Adventures of Tom Jones"
Played the title role in the Scottish TV miniseries "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" (aired in the USA on PBS)
Co-starred in the British miniseries "The Barchester Chronicles" (aired on "Masterpiece Theatre" in the USA in 1984)
Appeared as Alice in Kenneth Branagh's version of "Henry V"
Played the heroine's starchy evangelist mother in the three-part BBC miniseries "Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit" (an edited version aired on A&E in the USA)
Last film role to date, Mortianna in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves"" in the TNT miniseries
Cast as Miriam, the sister of Ben Kingsley's "Moses
Returned to Broadway opposite Richard Briers in Eugene Ionesco's "The Chairs"
Made cameo appearance in "Titus"
Had featured role as the town busybody in "The Love Letter"
Co-starred in Kenneth Branagh's musicalization of "Love's Labour's Lost"
Co-starred in the Irish-set drama "Magdalene Sisters"
Voice-acted as Miss Thripp in "The Curse of the Were-Rabbit"