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Monday, 6 August, 2001, 12:53 GMT 13:53 UK
Dame Dorothy: Stage and screen star
Dame Dorothy Tutin
Dame Dorothy Tutin's career as a stage and screen actress spanned five decades, during which she built a formidable reputation as one of the foremost performers of her age.

During the 1950s she was considered to be Britain's leading young actress, playing Cecily in the 1952 film adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Ernest.

She starred alongside Dame Edith Evans, Michael Redgrave and Michael Denison.

Though essentially a stage actress, in recent years she was to be seen on television as the corrupt Goneril in King Lear, with Laurence Olivier in the lead role and in Alan Bleasdale's acclaimed series, Jake's Progress.

Dorothy Tutin
Dorothy Tutin: Famously self-critical
Dorothy Tutin was born in London in 1930. After a rather solitary childhood during which she was evacuated to Harrogate in Yorkshire, she left school at 15 to study music before turning to acting.

After training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, she began her professional career in 1950.

After working with the Old Vic in Bristol and London she joined the Shakespeare Memorial Company (later to become the Royal Shakespeare Company) at Stratford.

Still only in her 20s, Dorothy Tutin played all the major classical roles including Ophelia in Hamlet, Viola in Twelfth Night and the female lead in Romeo and Juliet.

Following her appearance in The Importance of Being Earnest, her first big part in the West End, in 1953, was in Graham Greene's The Living Room.


The more you find out about acting, the more difficult it becomes

Dorothy Tutin
The fearsome theatre critic Kenneth Tynan, never one to mince his words, described her performance as "ablaze like a diamond in a mine".

The following year she repeated the triumph, playing Sally Bowles in I Am a Camera.

And 1958 saw her opposite Dirk Bogarde in the film version of Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities.

She also starred as Peter Pan in the 1971 and 1972 traditional Christmas productions at the Coliseum.

But it was her appearance as the doomed Anne Boleyn, mixing confusion, terror and dignity, in BBC TV's production of The Six Wives of Henry VIII which brought her to great public attention.

Dorothy Tutin with her husband, the actor Derek Waring
With her husband, the actor Derek Waring
Dorothy Tutin's first love was always the stage.

A regular at the annual Chichester Festival, she recently appeared with her husband, the actor Derek Waring, her daughter Amanda and son-in-law Robert Daws in 20th Century Review, a bitter-sweet take on the last 100 years.

Famously self-critical, she one said: "The more you find out about acting the more difficult it becomes and the less satisfied you are. With each part you start again.

"It's no good saying, 'I've had so many years' experience I ought to be good at it now'."

Dorothy Tutin was made a dame in the New Year Honours List for 2000.

See also:

06 Aug 01 | Arts
Actress Dorothy Tutin dies
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