Mary Kerridge

Mary Kerridge (3 April 1914 – 22 July 1999)[1] was an English actress and theatre director, who (with her husband, John Counsell) ran the Theatre Royal, Windsor and its in-house repertory company from the 1930s to the 1980s. Her daughter is the actress Elizabeth Counsell.

Mary Kerridge
Actress Mary Kerridge.jpg
Born(1914-04-03)3 April 1914
London, England, United Kingdom
Died22 July 1999(1999-07-22) (aged 85)
Windsor, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom
Spouse(s)John Counsell
ChildrenElizabeth Counsell

Personal lifeEdit

Born in Islington to Ernest Kerridge and Antoinette Fick, she attended Highbury Hill School from 1924 to 1928. Her family later moved to Esher, Surrey and she attended Wimbledon High School from January 1929 to July 1932, having taken her London University Higher Certificate in English, French, Modern History and German in June 1932. At University College London, she studied for the (one year) Intermediate Arts BA. She worked as a secretary, model and receptionist before making her name as an actress.[2] In the middle of 1939 she married John Counsell, the managing director of the Theatre Royal, Windsor.[3] She gave birth to twin daughters in 1942, one of them the actress Elizabeth Counsell.[4]


Beginning her career in the repertory companies of Margate, Southsea and Bath, Kerridge made her West End debut in 1937 with Edgar Wallace's The Squeaker. She then based herself in Windsor, running the Theatre Royal and its in-house repertory company, whilst also directing and performing. During the Second World War she toured with Donald Wolfitt's travelling Shakespearean company.

After the war she appeared in a number of West End productions under her husband's direction, amongst them Tyrone Guthrie's only play as a writer (Top Of The Ladder at the St James' theatre in 1950). At the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre she was directed by the theatre's founder as Rosalind in As You Like It and Imogen in Cymbeline. In 1955 she played Queen Elizabeth in the Laurence Olivier film of Richard III, then reprised the role for Olivier's company at The Old Vic in 1962 (opposite Paul Daneman's Richard), alongside the part of Portia in Julius Caesar. In 1963 and 1964 she appeared alongside Michael MacLiammoir at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin and the Vaudeville Theatre, respectively.[5]


Mary Kerridge died in Windsor on 22 July 1999 and was buried at St George's Chapel, Windsor. Fittingly, the chapel is also the resting place of Elizabeth Woodville, the Queen Elizabeth in Richard III that Kerridge famously played.


Year Title Role Notes
1937 Jump for Glory
1948 Anna Karenina Dolly Oblonsky
1948 Under the Frozen Falls Mrs. Riley
1955 The Blue Peter Mrs. Snow
1955 Richard III Queen Elizabeth
1958 The Duke Wore Jeans Queen
1958 Law and Disorder Lady Crichton
1965 Curse of Simba Janet's mother
1976 No Longer Alone Lady Home


  1. ^ "Mary Kerridge". BFI. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012.
  2. ^ Eric Shorter. "Mary Kerridge". the Guardian.
  3. ^ "Obituary: Mary Kerridge". The Independent.
  4. ^ "Elizabeth Counsell".
  5. ^ Counsell, John. "Counsell's Opinion" (1963)

External linksEdit