Star Archive

Dame Flora Robson (1902 - 1984)

If Margaret Rutherford was this country's greatest example of the comic character actress then Flora Robson must be the best example of the serious character actress. Though she's primarily remembered as portraying tight-lipped spinsters, her actual range of characters was much wider. 

She was born in South Shields. Though she studied at RADA and made a good start in her acting career, she stopped acting for four years and took up a job as a factory welfare officer. When the acting bug took hold again she quickly re-established her career. By the time she got a season at The Old Vic, she'd already made a couple of films. Her stage career stage always took precedence so she didn't film too often in the 30s. 

It was her role as Queen Elizabeth in Fire Over England that really got her noticed by cinema audiences. This lead to a role in the Hollywood version of Wuthering Heights and one of her very few genuine starring roles in Poison Pen.

After a bit more Hollywood and Broadway, she returned to Britain in the middle of the war to begin her most productive cinema period. For these four years, mostly spent under contract to Rank, she appeared in a handful of much-loved films. Then the stage career took over again and she was off to New York to give her Lady Macbeth.

By the time she came back, the industry had changed and there were fewer decent roles for women. Her later years were spent in the usual round of horror movie and international co-productions, though her stage career still thrived. She was made a Dame in 1960.

Flora Robson on the set of Saraband for Dead Lovers


1931 A Gentleman of Paris
1931 Dance Pretty Lady
1933 One Precious Year
1934 Catherine the Great
1936 Fire Over England
1937 Farewell Again
1939 Wuthering Heights (U.S.)
1939 Poison Pen
1939 We Are Not Alone (U.S.)
1939 Invisible Stripes (U.S.)
1940 Sea Hawk (U.S.)
1941 Bahama Passage (U.S.)
1943 Saratoga Trunk (U.S.)
1944 Two Thousand Women
1945 Great Day
1945 Caesar and Cleopatra
1945 The Years Between
1946 Black Narcissus
1947 Good Time Girl
1947 Frieda
1947 Holiday Camp
1948 Saraband for Dead Lovers
1952 The Tall Headlines
1953 The Malta Story
1954 Romeo and Juliet
1957 Innocent Sinners
1957 High Tide at Noon
1957 No Time for Tears
1958 The Gypsy and the Gentleman
1962 55 Days at Peking
1963 Murder at the Gallop
1964 Guns at Batasi
1964 Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines
1965 Young Cassidy
1965 Seven Women (U.S.)
1966 The Shuttered Room
1966 A Cry in the Wind
1967 Eye of the Devil
1969 Fragment of Fear
1970 The Beloved
1971 The Beast in the Cellar
1972 Alice's Adventure in Wonderland
1972 Comedy, Tragedy and All That
1978 Dominique
1981 Clash of the Titans

 Flora Robson at Amazon UK

 Flora Robson at Amazon US