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Jean Marsh

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A thread it gives me no pleasure to start for one of my favourite actresses.

 

Brilliant DL worthy actress in poor health earns her own thread, in my book. Jean Marsh is the one actress in the big six (Dench, Smith, Atkins, Marsh, Philips, Syms who were all born within 18 months of each other and dominated British TV and stage through the 60s and 70s) not to have a Damehood, allegedly at her own choice in the past. You might recognise her from Frenzy, or Upstairs Downstairs (which she also co-created), or Return to Oz, or 3 different Doctor Who appearances, or The Eagle Has Landed or countless other films and TV shows in the last 60 years.

 

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Alas, Jean Marsh is no longer in good health. She suffered a severe stroke in 2011 (which would have killed most people, despite her downplaying it in that interview linked) but managed to recover and return to acting. A second period of ill health in 2014 forced her retirement from acting. Last year I heard she was unable to appear in a documentary due to her failing health (and had suffered a big heart attack too), which I mentioned on the forum.

 

On 27/09/2020 at 15:13, msc said:

 

Have been told that the great Jean Marsh is now in much frailer heath after that stroke and also suffering a heart attack in recent years. She is also unable to reply to fan mail.

 

(The latter bit is also telling as Jean Marsh was on record several times as loving fan mail - especially the saucy ones - and replying to as much of it as possible over the decades. This stopped around five years ago.)

 

Unfortunately looking into it, she appears to have declined further since then. According to the head of the International Wizard of Oz fan club (see Return to Oz above) she is now in such frail health that even simple email questions dictated by an agent (which is a route folk regularly get interviews with very old actors!) isn't possible. This backs up what I've heard from several other good sources about Marsh being in dire health now, so as she's famous enough and sick enough for the DL front page, here is her thread.

 

It's an Eagle Has Landed cast 2 for 1 with Donald's yesterday, although tbh it was that thread that inspired me to check up who she was doing.

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5 minutes ago, msc said:

It's an Eagle Has Landed cast 2 for 1 with Donald's yesterday

 

Probably not a big enough cast list to get to a full DDP theme team but Sutherland, Marsh, Caine, Jack Higgins is a nice start of very famous people who are circling the drain.

 

Great actress - good in everything she did.

 

11 minutes ago, msc said:

inspired me to check up who she was doing.

 

Probably no one now if she's that ill :P but I didn't know until I just googled that she was married to Jon Pertwee and divorced before either of them were in Doctor Who.

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Both of Jon Pertwee's former wives are still alive as are those of John Thaw. Other famous actors who died a long time ago but still have a living spouse are John Gregory who died back in 1975 & played Gideon of the Yard. His widow Thea Gregory (nee Reddish) is 95 this year. Ray Barrett inThe Troubleshooters died in 2009 & may still have all 3 of his former wives alive. Eric Morecombe died 37 years ago & his widow Joan is on TV this week reminiscing with her children.

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One extremely versatile and articulate actress, playing roles in many different genres.

 

 

6 hours ago, msc said:

A thread it gives me no pleasure to start for one of my favourite actresses.

 

@msc... You've got good taste in girls. I'll give you that. :D

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When I saw this thread I thought (in best Brenda from Bristol fashion) "Not another one!" but seen as it's the esteemed @msc who has begun it, I'll bow to his good judgement.

 

Although having picked her in Round 1 of the Scavenger Hunt back in 2016, her continued life in spite of her declining health is a continuous sore point, so maybe that's the issue. :lol:

 

Don't know her for much, but remember seeing her in the Upstairs, Downstairs reboot around 2010 and clearly had a long and storied career. A proper professional.

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She was go to Evil Queen in the Eighties with both Return to Oz and Willow (my current Silver Screen pick) and has had three roles in Doctor Who. I last saw her as Mrs Ferrers in the BBC adaptation of Sense & Sensibility 

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37 minutes ago, RoverAndOut said:

When I saw this thread I thought (in best Brenda from Bristol fashion) "Not another one!" but seen as it's the esteemed @msc who has begun it, I'll bow to his good judgement.

 

Although having picked her in Round 1 of the Scavenger Hunt back in 2016, her continued life in spite of her declining health is a continuous sore point, so maybe that's the issue. :lol:

 

Don't know her for much, but remember seeing her in the Upstairs, Downstairs reboot around 2010 and clearly had a long and storied career. A proper professional.

 

As a general rule I only create threads if the person is famous enough and ill (see John Hume, Fenella Fielding). Although you can find exceptions for Tom Baker (but again, had health issues apparently), Ringo Starr (done to wind up Deathray) and Werner Herzog (fuelled by whisky, though he IS awesome).

 

The original Upstairs Downstairs is basically Downton Abbey but good - her and her friend Eileen Atkins came up with it while working together on stage iirc. One episode which stuck with me involved one of the younger maids suffering a nervous breakdown and Rose (Marsh's character) being the one trying to help her before the inevitable tragic conclusion. Marsh is sensational in that one, she could play tragic drama as easily as being a Nazi spy, an android (Twilight Zone), or Morgana from Merlin (twice). She did serious theatre, costume drama, US TV, and kids TV alike whenever there was a free spot in her busy diary, and never looked down on any of them as being beneath her. 

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