Joan Plowright

Joan Plowright

Highest Rated: 94% Widows' Peak (1994)

Lowest Rated: 0% A Pyromaniac's Love Story (1995)

Birthday: Oct 28, 1929

Birthplace: Brigg, North Lincolnshire, England

One of England's most esteemed actresses, Joan Plowright was trained at the Old Vic. She made her regional stage debut in 1951 and her London stage bow in 1954. Two years later, she joined the English Stage Company, where she essayed her most popular role up to that time, Margery Pincher in Wycherly's The Country Wife. That same year, she appeared in her first film, Moby Dick. In the original 1958 stage production of John Osborne's The Entertainer, Plowright co-starred with Sir Laurence Olivier, whom she would marry in 1961, a union that lasted until Olivier's death in 1989. She appeared on screen with her husband in the film versions of The Entertainer (1960) and The Three Sisters (1970), the latter of which was also directed by Olivier. During the same period, Plowright and Olivier were mainstays of London's National Theatre. In 1961, Plowright won a Tony award for her Broadway appearance in A Taste of Honey. Her stage work was briefly curtailed in the mid-to-late '60s, allowing her time to raise her family. From 1982 on, Plowright began appearing in films with increasing regularity, demonstrating at least two traits she'd evidently picked up from Olivier: a propensity for elaborate foreign accents (the hero's Jewish mother in Avalon (1990) and the heroine's Yugoslavian mom in I Love You to Death (1990)) and a willingness to take assignments possibly only for the money (Mrs. Wilson in Dennis the Menace (1993)). While an Oscar win is long overdue (although she was awarded a CBE from the Queen in 1970), Plowright was nominated for her work in 1992's Enchanted April. Perhaps one of her most endearing portrayals in recent years was as the high school teacher in The Last Action Hero who runs a clip from Laurence Olivier's Hamlet (1948) for her class, introducing Olivier as "the fellow who did all those Polaroid commercials." In 1999, Plowright additionally endeared herself to moviegoers with her role as one of a group of high society women living in fascist Italy in Franco Zeffirelli's Tea with Mussolini.She continued to work steadily at the beginning of the 21st century appearing in a variety of projects including Rock My World, Callas Forever, and the Steve Martin/Queen Latifah comedy Bringing Down the House. In 2006 she voiced a part in the big-screen adaptation of Curious George, and two years later could be seen in the family fantasy film The Spiderwick Chronicles.

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Knife Edge Marjorie 2010
80% The Spiderwick Chronicles Aunt Lucinda $71.2M 2008
70% Curious George Miss Plushbottom $58.4M 2006
No Score Yet Goose on the Loose Actor 2006
70% Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont Mrs. Palfrey 2005
39% I Am David Sophie $0.3M 2004
41% Callas Forever Sarah Keller $0.4M 2004
No Score Yet George and the Dragon (Dragon Sword) Mother Superior 2004
34% Bringing Down the House Mrs. Arness 2003
No Score Yet Rock My World (Global Heresy) Lady Foxley 2001
No Score Yet Bailey's Mistake Aunt Angie 2001
No Score Yet Una Frente a Otra Phoebe 2000
64% Dinosaur Baylene $135.7M 2000
No Score Yet Back to the Secret Garden Martha Sowerby 2000
No Score Yet Tom's Midnight Garden Mrs. Bartholomew 1999
66% Tea with Mussolini Mary 1999
51% Dance with Me Bea 1998
No Score Yet Aldrich Ames: Traitor Within Jeanne Vetrefeuille 1998
No Score Yet The Assistant Mrs. Bober 1997
42% 101 Dalmatians Nanny 1996
50% The Grass Harp Actor 1996
32% Surviving Picasso Francoise's Grandmother 1996
74% Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Mrs. Fairfax 1996
7% Mr. Wrong Mrs. Crawford 1996
13% The Scarlet Letter Harriet 1995
No Score Yet Hotel Sorrento (Sorrento Beach) Marge Morrisey 1995
0% A Pyromaniac's Love Story Mrs. Linzer 1995
No Score Yet The Return of the Native Mrs. Yeobright 1994
No Score Yet A Place for Annie Dorothy Kilgore 1994
94% Widows' Peak Mrs. Doyle Counihan 1994
No Score Yet On Promised Land Mrs. Appletree 1994
27% Dennis the Menace Martha Wilson 1993
36% Last Action Hero Teacher 1993
73% The Summer House Mrs. Monro 1993
No Score Yet Stalin Olga 1992
84% Enchanted April Mrs. Fisher 1992
No Score Yet Driving Miss Daisy Actor 1992
83% Avalon Eva Krichinsky 1990
58% I Love You to Death Nadja 1990
No Score Yet The Dressmaker Nellie 1988
92% Drowning by Numbers 1st Cissie Colpitts 1988
No Score Yet The Importance of Being Earnest Actor 1988
No Score Yet Dedicated Man Actor 1986
10% Revolution Mrs. McConnahay 1985
No Score Yet Revolution Revisited Actor 1985
No Score Yet Brimstone and Treacle Norma Bates 1982
50% Britannia Hospital Phyllis Grimshaw 1982
No Score Yet The Diary Of Anne Frank Actor 1980
No Score Yet Daphne Laureola Actor 1978
No Score Yet Saturday, Sunday, Monday Actor 1978
63% Equus Dora Strang 1977
No Score Yet The Three Sisters Masha 1974
No Score Yet The Merchant Of Venice Portia 1973
No Score Yet School for Scandal Actor 1965
77% The Entertainer Jean 1960
No Score Yet Time Without Pity Agnes Cole 1957


No Score Yet Great Performances
No Score Yet Masterpiece
33% Encore! Encore!
Marie Pinoni


Sophie says: There are an awful lot of people in this world who have nothing to say, but spend all their time talking.