Celia Johnson


Actor
Celia Johnson

About

Also Known As
Dame Celia Johnson
Birth Place
Surrey, England, GB
Born
December 18, 1908
Died
April 25, 1982
Cause of Death
Heart Attack

Biography

A distinguished stage actress, Celia Johnson graced films only occasionally, and the results made one wish she had acted in the cinema far more often. She made her film debut in Noel Coward's memorable wartime drama, "In Which We Serve" (1942) and did well in one of the leading roles in David Lean's "This Happy Breed" (1944). Johnson is most cherished, though, for her uniquely beautiful ...

Biography

A distinguished stage actress, Celia Johnson graced films only occasionally, and the results made one wish she had acted in the cinema far more often. She made her film debut in Noel Coward's memorable wartime drama, "In Which We Serve" (1942) and did well in one of the leading roles in David Lean's "This Happy Breed" (1944). Johnson is most cherished, though, for her uniquely beautiful performance opposite an equally fine Trevor Howard in Lean's delicate, highly romantic classic, "Brief Encounter" (1945), the poignant story of an accidental love affair between two people both comfortably married to others. Over the years Johnson continued to perform admirably in films such as "The Captain's Paradise" (1953), a comedy co-starring Alec Guinness and Yvonne DeCarlo, and Carol Reed's gentle whimsy, "A Kid for Two Farthings" (1955). Her last feature film role came as Maggie Smith's memorable nemesis in "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" (1969), but Johnson appeared on TV until shortly before her death.

Life Events

1928

Began career on the English stage

1942

Feature debut, "In Which We Serve"

1969

Final feature, in an award winning performance, "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie"

1978

TV-movie debut, "Les Miserables"

1982

Final TV role, "The Potting Shed"

Videos

Movie Clip

Holly And The Ivy, The (1952) - The Conquest Of Peru On Christmas eve, Jenny (not-yet Dame Celia Johnson, until 1958) is just explaining to David (John Gregson) that she can’t marry him and move to South America because she dares not leave her widower vicar father (Ralph Richardson, only six years Johnson’s senior) whom we meet now, and who hasn’t even realized they’re involved, in The Holly And The Ivy, 1952.
Holly And The Ivy, The (1952) - You've Always Got A Headache Relations arriving for Christmas at the Norfolk vicarage where Jenny (Celia Johnson) keeps house for her widow father Rev. Gregory (Ralph Richardson), greeting brother in law Richard (Hugh Williams), seeing off her semi-secret beau David (John Gregson), managing aunts (Maureen Delany, Margaret Halstan) and soldier brother (Denholm Elliott), Margaret Leighton traveling alone, in The Holly And The Ivy, 1952.
Brief Encounter (1945) - Idle Gossip Opening scenes, Godby (Stanley Holloway) working bar girl Myrtle (Joyce Carey), Dolly (Everley Gregg) intruding on Laura (Celia Johnson) and Alec (Trevor Howard) who, director David Lean will reveal, are in a desperate private moment, from Brief Encounter, 1945.
In Which We Serve (1942) - Is There Going To Be A War? Stirring moments on the home front, Kinross (Noel Coward, the writer, producer and co-director with David Lean) with wife (Celia Johnson) and kids (Daniel Massey, Ann Stephens), about to deploy, from the box office propaganda effort In Which We Serve, 1942.
Brief Encounter (1945) - Noel Coward's Brief Encounter Opening credit sequence for David Lean's acclaimed film from the Noel Coward original screenplay, Brief Encounter, 1945, starring Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson.
Brief Encounter (1945) - Lucky Escape Still narrating in her flashback in her imagined confession, Laura (Celia Johnson) feels contrition if no shame over her visit with new friend Alec, arriving to discover an emergency at home, husband Fred (Cyril Raymond) helping her through, in David Lean's Brief Encounter, 1945.
Brief Encounter (1945) - I Killed Two Patients Laura (Celia Johnson), well into her internal imagined confession to her husband, recalling her first proper sit-down with doctor Alec (Trevor Howard), at her usual luncheon on her Thursday shopping trip, in David Lean's Brief Encounter, 1945.
Brief Encounter (1945) - Romance, I Think Having persuaded husband Fred (Cyril Raymond) that she's not upset over her fainting spell, some poignant chat leads Laura (Celia Johnson) into her narrated flashback in earnest, in Brief Encounter, 1945, directed by David Lean from a Noel Coward play.
Kid For Two Farthings, A (1956) - What's Wrong With Muscles? Ted Scaife's camera in London's Jewish Quarter, young Joe (Jonathan Ashmore) meets mum Joanna (Celia Johnson), her boss Avram (David Kossoff) and buddy Sam (Joe Robinson), opening A Kid For Two Farthings 1956, from Wolf Mankowitz's original screenplay.
Brief Encounter (1945) - Prepare For Tears Together at the movies again, Laura (Celia Johnson) continuing her internal monologue for her husband, with Alec (Trevor Howard), sharing a spontaneous and intimate moment, in David Lean's Brief Encounter, 1945.
This Happy Breed - Four Long Years Of War Laurence Olivier narrates from Noel Coward's script, Ethel (Celia Johnson) and Frank (Robert Newton) moving the family into the new house, opening David Lean's hit between-the-wars drama This Happy Breed, 1944.
This Happy Breed - All Sorts Of Horrors Aftermath of the general strike of 1926, Ethel (Celia Johnson) receives Frank (Robert Newton) and Bob (Stanley Holloway), then injured Reg (John Blythe) and pal Sam (Guy Verney) told off by sister Queenie (Kay Walsh), in David Lean's This Happy Breed, 1944.

Trailer

Promo

Bibliography