Rosalie Crutchley

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Rosalie Crutchley
Rosalie Crutchley.jpg
Born(1920-01-04)4 January 1920
London, England
Died28 July 1997(1997-07-28) (aged 77)
London, England
Years active1947–1997
Spouse(s)Peter Ashmore (1946–?) (divorced) (2 children)
Dan Cunningham (1939–?) (divorced)
Children Jonathan Ashmore
Catherine Ashmore

Rosalie Crutchley (4 January 1920 – 28 July 1997) was a British actress. Trained at the Royal Academy of Music, Crutchley was known for her television performances, but had a long and successful career in theatre and films, making her stage début at least as early as 1932, [1] and her screen début in 1947. She continued to act for the rest of her life.


She had dark piercing eyes and often played foreign characters or rather sinister characters. She played many classical roles, including Juliet in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet , Hermione in The Winter's Tale , and Goneril in King Lear .

Crutchley died at The Harley Street Hospital in London in 1997.


Her screen debut was as a violinist who is murdered in Take My Life (1947). She played Madame Defarge twice in adaptations of A Tale of Two Cities , in both the 1958 film, and in the 1965 television serialisation of the same story.

She played Catherine Parr in the 1970 TV series, The Six Wives of Henry VIII , and played the same character in its sequel, Elizabeth R (1971). She had previously portrayed Henry's first wife Catherine of Aragon in the 1953 film The Sword and the Rose.

Other roles included Mrs Sparsit in Hard Times (ITV, 1977), and Electra (1974). She also starred in the 1979 BBC TV production of Testament of Youth, playing the role of the Principal of Somerville College, Oxford. She was in the films Quo Vadis (1951), as Acte, the former mistress of the Emperor Nero (Peter Ustinov), and The Haunting (1963), as the sinister housekeeper Mrs. Dudley.

Crutchley also appeared in film adaptations of two A.J. Cronin novels, The Spanish Gardener (1956) and Beyond This Place (1959), and played the flinty maiden aunt in the TV adaptation of Brendon Chase (1980–81). She had two guest roles in Casualty , in 1992 and 1995. She also had a short, but memorable, appearance in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994).

She appeared in only one film musical, Man of La Mancha (1972), based on the successful stage production, as Don Quixote's housekeeper. In the role, her less-than-good singing voice was used for intentionally comic effect in the song "I'm Only Thinking of Him".

Her last appearance was in the pilot episode of the TV detective series, Midsomer Murders , playing Lucy Bellringer. This was shown in 1997, shortly before she died.

Personal life

She was married twice, first to actor Dan Cunningham in 1939 and secondly to actor Peter Ashmore in 1946. Both marriages ended in divorce. She had two children, the physicist Jonathan Ashmore and Catherine Ashmore, the theatrical photographer. [2]



1947 Take My Life Elizabeth Rusman
1950 Prelude to Fame Carlotta Ferugia
1951 The Lady with a Lamp Mrs. Sidney Herbert
1951 Quo Vadis Claudia Acte
1953 Malta Story Carmella Gonzar
1953 The Sword and the Rose Queen Katherine
1954 Flame and the Flesh Francesca
1955 Make Me an Offer Bella
1956 The Gamma People Frau Bikstein
1956 The Spanish Gardener Magdalena
1957 Miracle in Soho Mafalda Gozzi
1957 Seven Thunders Therese Blanchard
1958 A Tale of Two Cities Madame Defarge
1959 Beyond This Place Ella Mathry
1959 The Nun's Story Sister Eleanor
1960 Sons and Lovers Mrs. Leivers
1961 No Love for Johnnie Alice Byrne
1962 Freud: The Secret Passion Amalia Freud
1963 The Haunting Mrs. Dudley
1963The Model Murder CaseMaude Klein
1964 Behold a Pale Horse Teresa Viñolas
1970 Wuthering Heights Mrs. Earnshaw
1971 Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? Miss Henley
1971 Creatures the World Forgot The Old Crone
1971 Blood from the Mummy's Tomb Helen Dickerson
1972 Au Pair Girls Lady Tryke
1973 The House in Nightmare Park Jessica Henderson
1973 And Now the Screaming Starts! Mrs. Luke
1974 Mahler Marie Mahler
1976 The Message Somaya
1983 The Keep Josefa
1988 A World Apart Mrs. Harris
1990 The Fool Mrs. Harris
1994 Four Weddings and a Funeral Mrs. Beaumont
1994 A Pin for the Butterfly Anna


1947The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet Juliet CapuletTV film
1947The Infernal MachineThe SphinxTV film
1948The Tragedy of King Lear Goneril TV film
1949 Crime Passionel OlgaTV film
1949Ladies in WaitingJanet GarnerTV film
1955The MessengerMaryTV film
1955MadeleineMadeleineTV film
1955 London Playhouse Tina BordereauEpisode: "A Garden in the Sea"
1956 Colonel March of Scotland Yard AnnetteEpisode: "Death in Inner Space"
1956RomneyMargaret VaughnTV film
1956The GamblerPolina AlexandrovnaTV film
1956Nom-de-PlumeElisaEpisode: "The Ten Strangers"
1956Assignment Foreign LegionLucetteEpisode: "The Outcast"
1956, 1964 Armchair Theatre Mary Charrington, MiriamEpisodes: "Black Limelight", "Cradle Song"
1957Eye WitnessRuthTV film
1958Television World TheatreAndromacheEpisode: "Women of Troy"
1959The HillMary MagdaleneTV film
1959 The Flying Doctors Jean DawsonEpisode: "The Shock"
1959 ITV Play of the Week ElsaEpisode: "The Last Hours"
1960The Soldier and the WomanRachelTV film
1961 BBC Sunday-Night Play Donna Lucia D'AlvadorezEpisode: "Charley's Aunt"
1961The Complaisant LoverMary RhodesTV film
1961The PursuersVi WebberEpisode: "The George Webber Story"
1962The Winter's TaleHermioneTV film
1962 The Franchise Affair Marion Sharpe6
1962 Maigret Aimee MalikEpisode: "The Dirty House"
1963 Suspense Anna BlakeEpisode: "Thunder on Sycamore Street"
1963 The Human Jungle Naomi Leigh BrookeEpisode: "A Woman with Scars"
1963 Sergeant Cork Victoria MelroseEpisode: "The Case of the Sleeping Coachman"
1964The Full ManLady MacBethEpisode: "Tragedy"
1964 Festival Mrs. SartiEpisode: "The Life of Galileo"
1964 The Count of Monte Cristo Hermine DanglarsRegular role
1965Hit and RunGeorgina PrestleyEpisodes: "Accident", "Enquiry", "Arrest", "Trial"
1965A Tale of Two CitiesMadame DefargeTV series
1965 Armchair Mystery Theatre AnnaEpisode: "The Madam"
1965 The Mask of Janus Madame NavachineEpisode: "Rendezvous"
1965–66 The Wednesday Play Mrs. Liddel, Pauline Tenterden, Caridad MercaderEpisodes: "Alice", "The Connoisseur", "The Executioner"
1967The Paradise MakersInga SwynnertonEpisodes: "1.1", "1.2", "1.4", "1.6"
1967SanctuarySister EuphrasiaEpisode: "The Face of Hunger"
1967 The Prisoner QueenEpisode: "Checkmate"
1967–68 Theatre 625 Maria, Madame CalasEpisodes: "The Single Passion", "The Fanatics"
1968 City '68 Enid SomersetEpisode: "The Visitors"
1968 Cold Comfort Farm Judith StarkadderTV miniseries
1969The PossessedVarvara StavroginTV miniseries
1969 ITV Sunday Night Theatre Hannah PritchardEpisode: "The Wicked Stage"
1969 Parkin's Patch Miss CraigEpisode: "The Deserter"
1970 Manhunt HortenseEpisode: "What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?"
1970 The Six Wives of Henry VIII Catherine Parr Episode: "Catherine Parr"
1970Crime of PassionHelene JeyguEpisode: "Helene"
1970–71 Jackanory StorytellerTV series
1971 Elizabeth R Catherine ParrEpisode: "The Lion's Cub"
1973Country MattersMrs. SadgroveEpisode: "The Higgler"
1973 Hadleigh KateEpisode: "The Goddaughter"
1973The ReturnMrs. ParkTV series
1974 Carrie's War Hepzibah GreenMain role
1974 Fall of Eagles MiehenEpisode: "Tell the King the Sky Is Falling"
1974, 1976 Play of the Month Clytaemnestra, Mrs. BagotEpisodes: "Electra", "Trilby"
1975 Churchill's People HildisEpisode: "The Conquerors"
1975Affairs of the HeartMrs. CostelloEpisode: "Daisy"
1975North & SouthMrs. ThorntonTV miniseries
1976 Bill Brand Mrs. MartinEpisode: "Tranquility of the Realm"
1977 Drama JocastaEpisode: "Oedipus Tyrannus by Sophocles"
1977The Peppermint PigAunt SarahTV series
1977 Hard Times Mrs. SparsitTV miniseries
1978, 1984 Play for Today Mrs. Howard, LauraEpisodes: "Destiny", "Moving on the Edge"
1979Horse in the HouseGwen DavisEpisodes: "Right of Way: Parts 1 & 2"
1979 Testament of Youth Miss PenroseTV miniseries
1980, 1982 BBC2 Playhouse Miss Snell, BethEpisodes: "Gentle Folk", "Passing Through"
1980–81 Brendon Chase Aunt EllenTV series
1981 Cribb Mrs. InnocentEpisode: "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle"
1982 The Hunchback of Notre Dame SimoneTV film
1982 Smiley's People FelicityEpisodes: "1.5", "1.6"
1982The Agatha Christie HourMrs. ThompsonEpisode: "The Red Signal"
1983 Chessgame Mary JenkinsEpisodes: "Enter Hassan", "The Alamut Ambush"
1983–1985 By the Sword Divided MargaretMain role
1983–84 Crown Court Eloise HunterEpisodes: "Mother's Boy: Part 1", "The Son of His Father: Part 1"
1984The Tesatament of JohnMaryTV film
1985 Sherlock Holmes Mrs. LexingtonEpisode: "The Norwood Builder"
1986The Theban Plays by SophoclesEurydiceEpisode: "Theban Plays: Antigone"
1986Agatha Christie's Miss Marple: The Murder at the VicarageMrs. Price-RidleyTV film
1986The Alamut AmbushMary JenkinsTV film
1987 Worlds Beyond Mrs. PringleEpisode: "The Black Tomb"
1987Great PerformersTeresaEpisode: "Monsignor Quixote"
1987 Dramarama Miss BradyEpisode: "Badger on the Barge"
1988Beryl Markham: A Shadow on the SunMrs. MarkhamTV film
1988 The Franchise Affair Mrs. SharpeTV series
1989 Mystery!: Campion LisaEpisodes: "Death of a Ghost: Parts 1 & 2"
1989 Screen One GladysEpisode: "She's Been Away"
1990 God on the Rocks Rosalie FraylingTV film
1991 Dark Season Mrs. PolzinskiEpisodes: "1.1", "1.2", "1.3"
1992Anglo Saxon AttitudesStephanie HoudetTV miniseries
1992, 1995 Casualty Dodie Mitchell, Frances NewtonEpisodes: "Cascade", "Sacrifice"
1993 Screen Two Mrs. BirtEpisode: "Femme Fatale"
1993 Agatha Christie's Poirot Madame DeroulardEpisode: "The Chocolate Box"
1993 Lovejoy Evie SmytonEpisode: "Taking the Pledge"
1993 Heartbeat Florence StockwellEpisode: "Endangered Species"
1994Under the HammerOlga KrupenskyaEpisode: "The Virgin of Vitebsk"
1994A Skirt Through History Florence Nightingale Episode: "An Experiment"
1994 Mystery! Cadfael Juliana AurifaberEpisode: "The Sanctuary Sparrow"
1995 A Village Affair Lettice DeverelTV film
1995 Wycliffe Agnes CurrowEpisode: "Wild Oats"
1997 Midsomer Murders Lucy BellringerEpisode: "The Killings at Badger's Drift"

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  1. The Times, 29 November 1932
  2. "Photo Coverage: NT50 - the National Theatre's Birthday Celebrations, with Dench, Mirren, and More!".