Georgina Hale (born 4 August 1943) is a British film, television and stage actress. She is best known for her roles in the films of director Ken Russell; including The Devils (1971), The Boy Friend (1971), and Mahler (1974), for which she received a BAFTA Film Award. An accomplished stage actress, she received a Laurence Olivier Award nomination for her performance in Steaming (1981). In 2010, The Guardian listed her as one of ten great character actors in British television. She remains active in film, television and theatre.
Hale and actor Murray Melvin at the Young Vic Theatre, October 2007
4 August 1943
|Education||Royal Academy of Dramatic Art|
|Spouse(s)||John Forgeham (1964 – c. 1969)[a]|
Life and early careerEdit
Hale was born in Ilford, Essex to publicans Elsie (née Fordham) and George Robert Hole. She later said she had "a really bad education. I couldn't write, spell, or read, so it was a real problem, because that sort of thing wasn't acknowledged then. There was a real shame in it." As a teenager, she worked as an apprentice hairdresser and studied Stanislavski's method approach to acting at a fledgling studio, the Chelsea Actors' Workshop, in London, before being accepted into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where she graduated in 1965.
An accomplished stage actress, Hale made her professional debut at Stratford as a walk-on. She subsequently appeared in rep at Canterbury, Windsor and Ipswich; then at the Playhouse, Liverpool in 1967, where her parts included the title role in Gigi, and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. At the Thorndike Theatre in Leatherhead in October 1975 she played Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion, followed by an acclaimed portrayal of Nina, opposite Alan Bates, in Chekhov's The Seagull at the Playhouse, Derby in July 1976, making her West End debut in the production when it transferred to the Duke of York's Theatre in August 1976. Other roles included: Marie Caroline David in The Tribades (Hampstead Theatre Club, May 1978); Melanie in Boo Hoo (Open Space Theatre, July 1978); and Bobbi Michele in Neil Simon's Last of the Red Hot Lovers (Royal Exchange, Manchester, April 1979 – transferring to the Criterion Theatre in November 1979).
In 1981, Hale played the leading role of Josie in Nell Dunn's play, Steaming, at the Comedy Theatre in London and received a 1981 Olivier Award nomination for her performance. In 1982, she appeared with Annette Crosbie and Richard O'Callaghan in a production of Noël Coward's Star Quality at the Theatre Royal, Bath. In April 1983 she starred opposite Glenda Jackson and Gary Oldman in Summit Conference at the Lyric Theatre, London, playing Benito Mussolini's mistress Clara Petacci. Later that same year she starred alongside Colin Blakely, Jane Carr and Paul Eddington in the play Lovers Dancing, directed by Donald McWhinnie, at the Noël Coward Theatre. She followed this with roles in two productions at The Old Vic: Phédre (1984), again opposite Glenda Jackson, and The Women (1985), alongside Susannah York and Diana Quick.
In 1991, Hale starred opposite Glenda Jackson in Mourning Becomes Electra, by Eugene O'Neill, at the Glasgow Citizens Theatre. In 1993 she appeared in a production of Alan Ayckbourne's Absurd Person Singular at the Theatre Royal, Bath. In 1994 she appeared opposite Rupert Everett in a production of Tennessee Williams' The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore at the Glasgow Citizens Theatre. In 1997, she appeared opposite Alan Bates in Life Support, by Simon Gray, at the Aldwych Theatre in London. Critic Sheridan Morley wrote in The New York Times that Hale, as the bed-bound Gwen, was "supremely touching even in almost total paralysis".
Other notable stage appearances include The Guardsman at the Noël Coward Theatre (2000), where critic Sheridan Morley noted that Hale added "superbly timed comic support", Semi-Monde at the Lyric Theatre (2001), Britannicus and as Madame Ranevsky in The Cherry Orchard at the Glasgow Citizens Theatre (both 2002), and Chéri and Take A Chance On Me at the New End Theatre (both 2003).
Hale's most recent stage role was that of Nell in a production of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame at the Gate Theatre, Dublin and then the Barbican Centre, London, as part of the Beckett Centenary Festival in May 2006. The production also featured Peter Dinklage, Kenneth Cranham and Tom Hickey.
Hale made her film debut in the historical drama Eagle in a Cage (1971) as Betsy Balcombe, opposite Kenneth Haigh as Napoléon Bonaparte. In his review for The New York Times, film critic Roger Greenspun noted that, at age 24, Hale displayed "a kind of mature intensity that argues for at least 30 years' experience on the stage".
Hale's most significant film role is arguably that of Alma Mahler in Ken Russell's Mahler (1974), a biopic of the Austrian composer and conductor, Gustav Mahler. Hale's performance was called "excellent" by both Time Out and Radio Times, and earned her the 1975 BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles.
Hale also made appearances in a number of Russell's other films, with roles in The Devils (1971), The Boy Friend (1971), Lisztomania (1975), Valentino (1977), and Treasure Island (1995). Russell later referred to Hale as "an actress of such sensitivity that she can make the hair rise on your arms."
Hale played a supporting role in the romantic drama The World is Full of Married Men (1979), based on the novel of the same name by Jackie Collins. In their review, Variety noted that Hale was "effective as a laconic wife who’s come to terms with the sexcess scene".
Hale had a small role in the Walt Disney film The Watcher in the Woods (1980), starring Bette Davis. Hale took the role of the younger version of Davis’ character largely because of her admiration for Davis.
Her other film appearances include supporting roles in Butley (1974), Sweeney 2 (1978), McVicar (1980), Castaway (1986), Preaching to the Perverted (1997), Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont (2005), and Cockneys vs Zombies (2011).
Hale's television career spans six decades. Her first major television appearances were supporting roles in plays filmed for The Wednesday Play, ITV Playhouse and ITV Play of the Week. Recurring roles in primetime series followed, first opposite Adam Faith in the LWT series, Budgie (1971–72) and then as Lili Dietrich in the ATV miniseries The Strauss Family (1972).
In 1973, she starred in A.D.A.M., as a physically disabled woman who develops an unusual relationship with the sentient computer system which controls her home. Directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, the stand-alone drama was broadcast as part of the ITV Sunday Night Drama anthology strand. In 1975, Hale appeared alongside Alan Bates in two television plays written by Simon Gray, broadcast as part of the ITV series, Play for Today. These were Plaintiffs and Defendants and Two Sundays. In 1978, Hale appeared with Michael Gambon in the BBC Play of the Month adaptation of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull. In 1980, Hale portrayed Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in the UK, in an episode of the ITV drama series, Ladykillers.
In 1990, Hale succeeded Elizabeth Estensen in the eponymous role of T-Bag, the villainous, tea drinking sorceress in a succession of children's adventure series produced by Thames Television. Hale played the role in four series and two Christmas specials broadcast between 1990–92.
In December 1992, Hale appeared in two television plays produced by Simon Curtis, broadcast as part of the BBC anthology series, Performance. These were Luigi Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author, opposite Brian Cox and John Hurt, and Terence Rattigan's After the Dance, opposite Gemma Jones and Ben Chaplin.
In 2007, Hale made a guest appearance in the ITV crime drama The Commander. Television critic Nancy Banks-Smith noted in The Guardian that Hale "was able to do wonders with a mere sliver of a scene".
Other notable television appearances include guest starring roles in Upstairs, Downstairs (1975), Minder (1980), Hammer House of Horror (1980), the Doctor Who serial The Happiness Patrol (1988), One Foot in the Grave (1990), Murder Most Horrid (1994), The Bill (2002), Emmerdale (2006), Hollyoaks (2010–2011) and Holby City (2016).
|1971||Eagle in a Cage||Betsy Balcombe|
|The Devils||Phillippe Trincant|
|The Boy Friend||Fay|
|1973||The Love Ban||Joyce|
|1974||Mahler||Alma Mahler||BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer|
|1976||Voyage of the Damned||Lotte Schulman|
|1978||Sweeney 2||Switchboard Girl|
|1979||The World Is Full of Married Men||Lori Grossman|
|1980||The Watcher in the Woods||Young Mrs Aylwood|
|1981||The French Lieutenant's Woman||Actress at Wrap Party|
|Waiting Room||The Woman||Short Film|
|1986||Castaway||Sister Saint Margaret|
|1991||A Future in Fish||Mother||Short Film|
|1994||Beyond Bedlam||Sister Romulus|
|1995||Jackson: My Life... Your Fault||Josephine|
|1997||Preaching to the Perverted||Miss Wilderspin|
|2002||AKA||Elizabeth of Lithuania|
|2005||Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont||Shirley Burton|
|2011||Cockneys vs Zombies||Doreen|
|1966||Way off Beat||Jill||The Wednesday Play|
|1967||Cross My Heart and Hope She'll Die||Ruth||Drama '67|
|Strike Pay||Maud Wharmby||ITV Play of the Week: Stories of D.H. Lawrence|
|1968||The Judge||Pat Dean||ITV Playhouse|
|Camille 68||Nanine||ITV Playhouse|
|1969||The Back of Beyond||Enid Clarke||W. Somerset Maugham (BBC series)|
|Men of Iron||Mary Ann||Plays of Today (BBC)|
|1970||Special Branch||Lisa||Episode: Love from Doris|
|1971-1972||Budgie||Jean||Episodes: Out, Brains, Dreaming of Thee, and And the Lord Taketh Away|
|1972||The Strauss Family||Lili Dietrich||Mini-Series|
|1973||A.D.A.M.||Jean Empson||ITV Sunday Night Theatre|
|Only Make Believe||Sandra George||Play for Today (BBC)|
|1974||Electra||Chrysothemis||Play of the Month (BBC)|
|Notorious Woman||Solange Dudevant-Sand|
|Affairs of the Heart||Lola Skinner||Episode: Adela|
|1975||Plaintiffs and Defendants||Joanna||Play for Today (BBC)|
|Two Sundays||Hilary||Play for Today (BBC)|
|Children of the Sun||Fran||Play for Today (BBC)|
|Upstairs, Downstairs||Violet Marshall||Episode: An Old Flame|
|Affairs of the Heart||Daisy Miller||Episode: Daisy|
|1976||The Author of Beltraffio||Beatrice Ambient|
|East Lynne||Afy Halljohn|
|1977||The Late Wife||Andrea||ITV Sunday Night Drama|
|1978||The Seagull||Masha||Play of the Month (BBC)|
|1980||Minder||Renee||Episode: The Beer Hunter|
|Lady Killers||Ruth Ellis||Episode: Lucky, Lucky Thirteen|
|Hammer House of Horror||Stella||Episode: The Mark of Satan|
|1981||Eden End||Lilian Kirby||Celebrity Playhouse (ITV)|
|1987||Boon||Alison||Episode: A Fistful of Pesetas|
|1988||Doctor Who||Daisy K||The Happiness Patrol, Episodes 1, 2 & 3|
|Gems||Lynne||36 episodes, Series 3|
|1989||Murder by Moonlight||Allison Quinney||TV Film|
|1990||T-Bag and the Pearls of Wisdom||Tabatha Bag|
|One Foot In The Grave||April Bluett||Episode: Love And Death|
|T-Bag's Christmas Ding Dong||Tabatha Bag|
|1991||T-Bag and the Rings of Olympus||Tabatha Bag|
|T-Bag's Christmas Turkey||Tabatha Bag|
|1992||The Count of Solar||Countess Solar||Screen Two (BBC)|
|T-Bag and the Sunstones of Montezuma||Tabatha Bag|
|After the Dance||Moya Lexington||Performance (BBC)|
|Take off with T-Bag||Tabatha Bag|
|Six Characters in Search of an Author||Leading Actress||Performance (BBC)|
|1994||Murder Most Horrid||Lady Jamieson||Episode: A Severe Case of Death|
|The Bill||Julie Stone||Episodes: Living Legend and Inquest|
|The Honeymoon's Over||Norma||Sitcom Pilot for BBC Two|
|1995||Treasure Island||Mrs. Hawkins||TV Film|
|Crown Prosecutor||Maureen Sherman||1 episode|
|1998||A Rather English Marriage||Sabrina's Maid||TV Film|
|2000||Casualty||Janet Henbury||Episode: Choked|
|2002||Trial and Retribution||Tammy Delaney||1 episode|
|The Bill||Marilyn Costello||Episodes: Code of Conduct, Seeing Red, and Little White Lies|
|2006||Emmerdale||Beryl Chugspoke||4 episodes|
|2007||The Commander||Vivienne Littlewood||Episode: The Devil You Know|
|2010–2011||Hollyoaks||Blanche Longford||Recurring Role, 7 episodes|
|2012||Crime Stories||Sally Woods||1 episode|
|2016||Holby City||Serephina Moore||Episode: On the Ropes|
- "England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005," database, FamilySearch (8 October 2014), Georgina A Hole and null, 1964; from “England & Wales Marriages, 1837-2005,” database, findmypast (http://www.findmypast.com : 2012); citing 1964, quarter 1, vol. 5C, p. 1841, Hampstead, London, England, General Register Office, Southport, England.
- Hayward, Anthony (13 March 2017). "John Forgeham obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
- Younger, Kevin (3 August 2010). "Looks Familiar: 10 great British character actors". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- Cooper, Neil (5 March 2002). "Opposites Attract". Glasgow Herald. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
- – recollections in biography, 2009, Mim Scala
- "Student and Graduate Profiles". Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
- Who's Who in the Theatre, 17th edition (1981)
- "1981 Olivier Award Nominees". Olivierawards.com. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
- "Return of Butley in 'Life Support'". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
- "LONDON THEATER: An 'Itch' for Nostalgia, Just for the Starstruck". The New York Times. 18 October 2000. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
- Greenspun, Roger (10 January 1972). "'Eagle in a Cage': Exile of Napoleon Is Subject of Romance". nytimes.com. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
- "Mahler". timeout.com. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
- "Mahler". radiotimes.com. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
- "1975 Bafta Winners". bafta.org. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
- "The Actresses Who Have Bewitched Me - Ken Russell". London: thetimes.co.uk. 30 August 2007. Retrieved 12 June 2009.
- Variety Staff. "The World Is Full of Married Men | Variety". variety.com. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
- Hough, John (2002). The Watcher in the Woods (DVD). Anchor Bay Entertainment, Walt Disney Pictures.
- "The Weekend's TV". theguardian.com. London. 8 January 2020. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
|Awards and achievements|
for The Hireling
| Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles