Nyree Dawn Porter
Nyree Dawn Porter
Cropped version of photo by Vivienne, 1960s
Ngaire Dawn Porter
22 January 1936
|Died||10 April 2001 (aged 65)|
|Spouse(s)||Byron O'Leary (1959–1970; his death)|
Robin Bernard Halstead (1975–1987; divorced); 1 child
Early life and careerEdit
Porter was born in Napier, New Zealand in 1936. Her first professional work was touring with the New Zealand Players Trust. She was acclaimed for such roles as Jessica in The Merchant of Venice and Juliet in Romanoff and Juliet. She also performed in revues and musicals. She moved to Britain in 1958 after winning a Miss Cinema talent competition for young actresses organised by Rank, with the prize of a round-the-world trip and a film test in London. Although the test was probably little more than a publicity stunt, she decided to stay and was soon acting in the theatre. Look Who's Here at the Fortune Theatre in Drury Lane was her first West End appearance. She followed this with the role of Connie in Neil Simon's first West End play, Come Blow Your Horn, and a string of other appearances. She had two roles in Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George, at the National Theatre in 1990 and played Olivia in Twelfth Night at the Shaw Theatre, and Rosalind in As You Like It at the Ludlow Festival. She later toured in Australia, in Jeffrey Archer's Beyond Reasonable Doubt, and later in The King and I.
Television and filmsEdit
Porter is probably best remembered for her role as Irene in the hit BBC series The Forsyte Saga. The 1967 series, which attracted audiences of 18 million, saw her described by critics as "the first romantic sex symbol of the telly age." She herself said, "I was an unknown theatre actress and Irene gave me international fame and opened doors for me.”
Although subsequently finding similar high profile roles harder to come by, she starred in the 1968 comedy series Never a Cross Word and four years later opposite Robert Vaughn in Gerry Anderson's live-action series The Protectors. Porter also played the title role in the 26-part daytime serial For Maddie with Love, as a woman with only a few months left to live. Her screen husband was played by Ian Hendry. The programme ran for two series, in 1980 and 1981.
Her film appearances included The Cracksman (1963), Two Left Feet (1963) and two horror anthologies: The House That Dripped Blood (1971) and From Beyond the Grave (1974). She also appeared in Hilary and Jackie (1998), as the ballerina Dame Margot Fonteyn.
Awards and honoursEdit
Her first husband, Byron O'Leary, died in 1970 of an accidental drug overdose. In 1975 she married actor Robin Halstead after the birth of their daughter, Natalya Francesca Halstead. The couple divorced in 1987.
|1960||Sentenced for Life||Betty Martin|
|1961||Part-Time Wife||Jenny Briggs|
|1962||Live Now, Pay Later||Marjorie Mason|
|1965||Two Left Feet||Eileen|
|1971||The House That Dripped Blood||Ann||Segment: "Sweets to the Sweet"|
|1974||From Beyond the Grave||Susan Warren||Segment: "The Elemental"|
|1976||Morir... dormir... tal vez sonar||Ana Mari|
|1998||Hilary and Jackie||Margot Fonteyn|
|1959||ITV Play of the Week||Vera Berridge||"Touch Wood"|
|1960||Deadline Midnight||Julie Sykes||"1.5"|
|1960||Man from Interpol||Mary||"The Soul Peddlers"|
|1960||Danger Man||Stewardess||"The Island"|
|1961||The Avengers||Liz Wells||"Death on the Slipway"|
|1961||Drama 61-67||Mary Mills||"The Diamond Run"|
|1961||Armchair Theatre||Mildred||"His Polyvinyl Girl"|
|1961||Edgar Wallace Mysteries||Mary Greer||"Man at the Carlton Tower"|
|1962||Reunion Day||Judith Rubin||TV film|
|1962||The Third Man||Miss Wyvern||"A Question of Libel"|
|1963||Corrigan Blake||Francesca||"The Scientific Approach"|
|1963||No Hiding Place||Vicky West||"Death of Samantha"|
|1963||Drama 61-67||Caroline West||"Dead Darling"|
|1963||ITV Play of the Week||Vicky, the Princess Aziza||"Vicky and the Sultan"|
|1964||Madame Bovary||Emma Bovary||TV miniseries|
|1964||Ghost Squad||Yvette||"It Won't Be a Stylish Marriage"|
|1964||Judith Paris||Judith Paris||TV miniseries|
|1964||The Indian Tales of Rudyard Kipling||Janoo||"The Sending of Dana Da"|
|1964||The Saint||Patsy Butler||"The Scorpion"|
|1964||Love Story||Tina Morris||"Arranged for Strings"|
|1965||Public Eye||Sheila Reynolds||"I Went to Borrow a Pencil, and Look What I Found"|
|1965||Thursday Theatre||Agnes Potter||"The Kidders"|
|1965||Sherlock Holmes||Lady Brackenstall||"The Abbey Grange"|
|1965||Six Shades of Black||Melusine||"A Loving Disposition"|
|1965||ITV Play of the Week||Nina||"A Couple of Dry Martinis"|
|1965||Armchair Mystery Theatre||Lisa||"Wake a Stranger"|
|1965||Blackmail||Mrs. Donahoe||"The Case of the Phantom Lover"|
|1966||The Liars||Hermione||TV series|
|1967||The Forsyte Saga||Irene Forsyte||Main role|
|1968||The Gamblers||Rita Ironside||"Mates!"|
|1968||Armchair Theatre||Barbara||"A Second Look"|
|1968||Never a Cross Word||Deirdre Baldock||TV series|
|1970||Jane Eyre||Blanche Ingram||TV film|
|1972–1974||The Protectors||Contessa Caroline di Contini||Main role|
|1973||Armchair 30||Stephanie||"Ross Evan's Story"|
|1974||Thriller||Laura Vallance||"Ring Once for Death" (US title: "Death in Small Doses")|
|1976||Softly, Softly||Jane Rawlings||"Alarums and Excursions"|
|1980||The Martian Chronicles||Alice Hathaway||TV miniseries|
|1980||For Maddie with Love||Maddie Laurie||Main role|
|1986||David Copperfield||Mrs. Steerforth||TV miniseries|
- "Nyree Dawn Porter; TV, Theater Actress". Los Angeles Times. 12 April 2001.
- "Nyree Dawn Porter". BFI.
- "Obituaries: Nyree Dawn Porter". The Daily Telegraph. London. 12 April 2001. Archived from the original on 28 February 2011.
- "Nyree Dawn Porter". HeraldScotland.
- "Look Who's Here! - 1960 Original Cast" – via castalbums.org.
- "Production of Sunday In the Park with George | Theatricalia". theatricalia.com.
- "Nyree Dawn Porter profile". The Bulletin (5780). Sydney. 1991. p. 20.
- White, Leonard (2003). Armchair Theatre: The Lost Years. Tiverton, Cheshire, England: Kelly Publications. p. 261. ISBN 978-1-903053-18-8.
- "Nyree Dawn Porter | Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos". AllMovie.
- Gelder, Lawrence Van (14 April 2001). "Nyree Dawn Porter, 61, Actress In 'The Forsyte Saga' of the 60's" – via NYTimes.com.
- "For Maddie with Love Episode 1 (1980)". BFI.
- Stratton, David; Stratton, David (13 January 1999). "Hilary and Jackie".
- Screen, NZ On. "Nyree Dawn Porter | NZ On Screen". www.nzonscreen.com.
- Resting Places