Jessica Tandy

Jessica Tandy

Highest Rated: 100% The Seventh Cross (1944)

Lowest Rated: 33% Cocoon: The Return (1988)

Birthday: Jun 07, 1909

Birthplace: London, England, UK

Versatile, commanding stage performer, often opposite husband Hume Cronyn, who acted in occasional features beginning in the early 1930s but was busiest in films while in her seventies and eighties. Tandy began acting onstage in her native England in her teens and by the mid-1930s was enjoying considerable success in the classics, playing Ophelia to John Gielgud's Hamlet in 1934 and playing Viola in Tyrone Guthrie's famous 1937 staging of "Twelfth Night." Separating from first husband, actor Jack Hawkins, in 1940, Tandy moved to America but initially had a thin time of it. Luckily, she met up-and-coming actor Cronyn, whom she married in 1942 and with whom she made several supporting appearances in American films of the 1940s. Her Hollywood debut was with Cronyn, in Fred Zinnemann's first-rate thriller "The Seventh Cross" (1944), but within several years she was playing small supporting roles, such as a maid in "Forever Amber" (1947). Luckily, Tennessee Williams saw Tandy onstage in "Portrait of Madonna," a play directed by Cronyn, and decided she was perfect to play one of his most complex creations, Blanche DuBois, in his landmark work, "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1947). As she would in so much future work, Tandy combined a seemingly fragile, genteel sensitivity with considerable strength, verve and emotionalism. In the 1950s she and Cronyn would prove to be the successors to Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne as the pre-eminent married acting couple of the American theater as in their fine work in the first of several two-character plays, "The Fourposter" (1951). The couple also did much important work in more experimental fare by Samuel Beckett and other writers, and frequently played in regional theater as well. Tandy and Cronyn occasionally committed their dynamic stage work to the TV screen, and both would return to the silver screen as well; one of Tandy's most impressive characterizations at this mid-career stage was her cold and dominating mother in Alfred Hitchcock's masterful "The Birds" (1963). Later stage triumphs for Tandy included "The Gin Game" (1978), another comedy-drama duet for her and Cronyn, which won her a Tony to keep company with her one for "Streetcar." (She would win yet again for "Foxfire" 1983, a play which would also net her an Emmy for a TV reprisal in 1988.) The 1980s saw Tandy reigniting her film career, co-starring in "Cocoon" (1985), "Batteries Not Included" (1987) and "Cocoon: The Return" (1988), and winning her first Oscar as the crusty Southern matron opposite Morgan Freeman in "Driving Miss Daisy" (1989). Sympathetic and gentle, yet proud and resolute, Tandy became something of a fixture in Hollywood films aimed at a largely female audience: she was central to the success of both "Fried Green Tomatoes" (1991), adapted from Fannie Flagg's novel, and "Used People" (1992). Indeed, nearly half her feature film credits are from the last 12 years of her life, as were some of her most interesting TV assignments, which included "The Story Lady" (1991) and "To Dance with the White Dog" (1993). Until the end, her sensitivity and commitment to her craft and to her scripts and fellow players made her more than a dedicated artisan and delightful colleague--they provided a richly textured portrait of indomitable spirit.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Credit
40% 39% Camilla Camilla Cara (Character) $167.6K 1994
91% 82% Nobody's Fool Miss Beryl (Character) $38.3M 1994
No Score Yet 79% To Dance With the White Dog Cora Peek (Character) - 1993
44% 37% Used People Freida (Character) $17.1M 1992
74% 91% Fried Green Tomatoes Ninny Threadgoode (Character) $81.2M 1991
No Score Yet 88% The Story Lady Grace McQueen (Character) - 1991
82% 81% Driving Miss Daisy Daisy Werthan (Character) $105.6M 1989
67% 28% The House on Carroll Street Miss Venable (Character) $161.7K 1988
33% 35% Cocoon: The Return Alma Finley (Character) $18.5M 1988
No Score Yet No Score Yet Foxfire Annie Nations (Character) - 1987
60% 64% *batteries not Included Faye Riley (Character) $32.9M 1987
79% 60% Cocoon Alma Finley (Character) $75.9M 1985
63% 50% Still of the Night Grace Rice (Character) - 1982
62% 28% Best Friends Eleanor McCullen (Character) - 1982
74% 79% The World According to Garp Mrs. Fields (Character) - 1982
No Score Yet 65% Butley Edna Shaft (Character) - 1974
95% 83% The Birds Lydia Brenner (Character) - 1963
No Score Yet 55% Adventures of a Young Man Mrs. Adams (Character) - 1962
71% 61% The Desert Fox Frau Lucie Marie Rommel (Character) - 1951
No Score Yet 50% September Affair Catherine Lawrence (Character) - 1950
No Score Yet No Score Yet A Woman's Vengeance Janet Spence (Character) - 1947
No Score Yet 69% Dragonwyck Peggy O'Malley (Character) - 1946
No Score Yet 46% The Green Years Kate Leckie (Character) - 1946
No Score Yet 82% The Valley of Decision Louise Kane (Character) - 1945
100% 70% The Seventh Cross Liesel Roeder (Character) - 1944

TV

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Joan Rivers Show Guest 1990
No Score Yet No Score Yet What's My Line? Guest 1972
No Score Yet No Score Yet Judd for the Defense Unknown (Guest Star) 1968
No Score Yet No Score Yet Alfred Hitchcock Presents Unknown (Character) 1956-1958
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Alcoa Hour Olivia Crummit (Character) 1956
No Score Yet No Score Yet The United States Steel Hour Alice Wiggims (Character) 1956
No Score Yet No Score Yet Producers' Showcase Unknown (Character) 1955
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Marriage Liz Marriott (Character) 1954
No Score Yet No Score Yet Studio One Unknown (Character) 1951

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