Joan Plowright - Rotten Tomatoes

Joan Plowright

Highest Rated:   100% Widows' Peak (1994)
Birthday:  
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

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Knife Edge
  • Marjorie
2010
80% The Spiderwick Chronicles
  • Aunt Lucinda
$71.2M 2008
69% Curious George
  • Miss Plushbottom
$58.4M 2006
No Score Yet Goose on the Loose
  • Actor
2006
71% Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont
  • Mrs. Palfrey
2005
38% I Am David
  • Sophie
$0.3M 2004
42% 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
65% 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
65% Tea with Mussolini
  • Mary
1999
50% Dance with Me
  • Bea
1998
No Score Yet Aldrich Ames: Traitor Within
  • Jeanne Vetrefeuille
1998
No Score Yet The Assistant
  • Mrs. Bober
1997
38% 101 Dalmatians
  • Nanny
1996
50% The Grass Harp
  • Actor
1996
33% Surviving Picasso
  • Francoise's Grandmother
1996
74% Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre
  • Mrs. Fairfax
1996
7% Mr. Wrong
  • Mrs. Crawford
1996
14% 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
100% Widows' Peak
  • Mrs. Doyle Counihan
1994
23% Dennis the Menace
  • Martha Wilson
1993
37% Last Action Hero
  • Teacher
1993
71% The Summer House
  • Mrs. Monro
1993
No Score Yet Stalin
  • Olga
1992
82% Enchanted April
  • Mrs. Fisher
1992
83% Avalon
  • Eva Krichinsky
1990
56% I Love You to Death
  • Nadja
1990
No Score Yet The Dressmaker
  • Nellie
1988
91% 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
60% Britannia Hospital
  • Phyllis Grimshaw
1982
No Score Yet The Diary Of Anne Frank
  • Actor
1980
No Score Yet Daphne Laureola
  • Actor
1978
71% 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
89% The Entertainer
  • Jean
1960
No Score Yet Time Without Pity
  • Agnes Cole
1957
85% Moby Dick
  • Actor
1956

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Great Performances
2000
  • Actor
  • 2014
No Score Yet Masterpiece
1971-2015
  • Actor
  • 1989
  • 1980

Quotes from Joan Plowright's Characters