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Joanna Elizabeth Dunham (6 May 1936 – 25 November 2014) was an English actress, best noted for her work on stage and television. She also appeared in several major films.



Dunham was born in Luton, Bedfordshire. In 1956 she attended RADA, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, the same year as Susannah York and Brian Epstein, who later became the manager of the Beatles.

She first gained notice for playing Juliet in the 1962 Old Vic production of Romeo and Juliet, under the direction of Franco Zeffirelli, which was performed in a five-month, 13-city U.S. tour.[1] Her first television role had come four years earlier (1958), when she appeared as Louka in the "Arms and the Man" episode of BBC Sunday-Night Theatre. As of 1998 Dunham had appeared in at least 45 different television series or productions.[2]


Dunham had credited roles in at least seven films:

While working on The Greatest Story Ever Told, the on-site filming of which stretched to over a year,[3] Dunham announced that she was pregnant. Director George Stevens tried to keep her in the production with the use of flattering camera angles and draped costumes. He told an interviewer from Variety, "Well, that Mary Magdalene always was a troublemaker."[4][5]


In 1976, she appeared as a guest artist in an episode of Space 1999 entitled Missing Link, she played the character Vana. She appeared as Arlette van der Valk in the third series of Van der Valk (1977), as Alice Rhodes in an episode of Wicked Women (1970), and as Miss Featherstone in the episode "Goodbye Mrs. Slocombe" in the 10th series of Are You Being Served (1984).[2]

Personal lifeEdit

Dunham was married twice, to Henry A. Osborne (1961–72, ended in divorce) and to Reggie Oliver (1992-her death). She took up painting when her acting career declined, and converted a Suffolk farm building into an art gallery.


Dunham died on 25 November 2014, aged 78.[6]


  1. ^ “The New Old Vic,” Time Magazine, 2 March 1962
  2. ^ a b IMDb profile; accessed 3 September 2009.[unreliable source?]
  3. ^ The Hollywood Hall of Shame, p. 140
  4. ^ “Biblical Story Before Cameras,” New York Times, 9 February 1963 (fee access required)
  5. ^ Joanna Dunham filmography,; accessed 2 December 2014.
  6. ^ Obituary for Joanna Dunham,, 1 December 2014; accessed 2 December 2014.

External linksEdit