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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 April 2006, 05:06 GMT 06:06 UK
Anna Massey: telling tales
Anna in "He Knew He Was Right"
Anna Massey's face and voice are among the most distinctive on TV - but it's hard to believe that her career spans half a century

During that time, the actress has worked with legends such as Alfred Hitchcock and befriended stars like Dame Judi Dench.

She's probably best known for the 1986 screen adaptation of Anita Brookner's novel Hotel du Lac.

Some of her favourite performances have been in the theatre including The Miracle Worker, Heartbreak House, The Importance of Being Earnest, and Mary Stuart.

Anna in Hotel du Lac - a role for which she won a Bafta

On Breakfast she told Sian and Dermot about her theatrical upbringing - her mother would often have the likes of Noel Coward and Terence Rattigan to dinner.

As a child, Anna would escape to the nursery upstairs and the comfort of her nanny. Anna describes her upbringing in detail, in her autobiography.

My mother was fun, but she wasn't maternal...in her own way, she did love us
Anna Massey, actress

For many, Massey's most memorable performance was in the 1986 adaptation of Anita Brookner's Hotel Du Lac, which was to earn her first Bafta. She played the lonely spinster Edith Hope.

Her recent work has included roles in the 2002 film adaptation of the best-selling novel Possession and the BBC adaptation of Anthony Trollope's He Knew He Was Right.

  • Anna Massey's autobiography, Telling Some Tales, is published 20 April 2006, by Hutchinson, ISBN: 0091796458

    Anna Massey on Breakfast

    BBC Breakfast



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