Shirley Anne Field
Field in 2014
Born
Shirley Broomfield

(1936-06-27)27 June 1936
Forest Gate, Essex, England
Died10 December 2023(2023-12-10) (aged 87)
OccupationActress
Years active1955–2023
Spouse
Charles Crichton-Stuart
(m. 1967; div. 1975)
Children1

Shirley Anne Field (born Shirley Broomfield; 27 June 1936 – 10 December 2023) was an English actress who performed on stage, film and television since 1955. She was prominent during the British New Wave.

Early life

Shirley Broomfield was born in Forest Gate, Essex (in the London Borough of Newham)[1] on 27 June 1936.[2] She was the third of four children, with two elder sisters and a younger brother, Earnest "Guy" Broomfield (c. 1939–1999).[2][3]

At the age of six, Shirley was placed in the National Children's Home at Edgworth, near Bolton, Lancashire, and four years later was moved to another children's home in Blackburn, where she attended Blakey Moor School for Girls.[2] She subsequently returned to Edgworth until she was 15, when she moved to a children's home hostel in London, training as a typist while still attending school.[2]

Acting career

Early roles

After a course at the Lucie Clayton School and Model Agency, Field became a photographic model for pin-up magazines like Reveille and Titbits. She was subsequently spotted by Bill Watts, who ran a theatrical agency and obtained for her roles in late 1950s British films, usually uncredited.[citation needed]

Field first appearance in a film was as an extra in Simon and Laura (1955). She had small parts in All for Mary (1955), Lost (1956), Yield to the Night (1956) (directed by J. Lee Thompson), It's Never Too Late (1956), It's a Wonderful World (1956), The Weapon (1956), Loser Takes All (1956), The Silken Affair (1956), Dry Rot (1956), The Good Companions (1957) (again for Thompson), Seven Thunders (1957), and The Flesh Is Weak (1957). She was in episodes of The New Adventures of Martin Kane (1957) and International Detective.[citation needed]

Field's first sizeable film role was in Horrors of the Black Museum (1959). She had minor parts in Once More, with Feeling! (1960) and And the Same to You (1960). Field had a larger role in the controversial Peeping Tom (1960). She appeared on stage in The Lily White Boys with Albert Finney.[citation needed]

Stardom

Field (age 27) in trailer for Kings of the Sun (1963).

In 1960, Field's breakthrough came when she was chosen by Tony Richardson to play the role of model Tina Lapford in The Entertainer (1960), starring Laurence Olivier, distributed by Bryanston Films. Half a century later, she clarified that she did not owe her break to Olivier: "It was Tony Richardson I owe it all to."[4]

Field had a supporting role in Beat Girl (1960), then appeared in probably her best known role as Doreen, the would-be girlfriend of rebellious Arthur Seaton (played by Albert Finney), in the New Wave film for Bryanston, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960). Director, Karel Reisz, described her as "difficult to play with".[5] Co-star Finney had previously had a small role in The Entertainer. The film was a huge hit.[citation needed]

Field starred alongside Kenneth More in Man in the Moon (1960). With those three big film starring roles in 1960, she became one of the very few actors ever to have their name above the titles in all the major cinemas around Leicester Square simultaneously.[6]

Although offered a role in A Kind of Loving (1962), Field turned it down to play the female lead in a Hollywood financed film, The War Lover (1962), with Steve McQueen. Four decades later she admitted that the shoot was not ideal:[4]

It was the stuff dreams are made of, but I didn't get to enjoy it like I should have. When I arrived I was so panicked and tired and the sun was just too yellow and the orange juice too orange. It was very stressful and I had a headache all the time. I just wasn't used to it. I didn't have anyone to look after me.

In the UK Field had the lead in Lunch Hour (1962), which was one of her favourite films.[7][8]

For Hammer films, Field starred in The Damned (1963), directed by Joseph Losey. She went to Hollywood to play the female lead in an epic directed by J. Lee Thompson, Kings of the Sun (1963). Thompson had her under personal contract at this stage.[9] She says she turned down roles in a James Bond movie and an Elvis Presley movie.[4]

Field went to Italy to appear in The Wedding March (1966), then back in England made Doctor in Clover (1966) and Alfie (1966). She had a supporting role in Hell Is Empty (1967).[10]

Later career

Field starred in With Love in Mind (1970) and A Touch of the Other (1970), then made House of the Living Dead (1974).[11]

By the late 1970s Field was more commonly seen on TV, in shows such as Centre Play, Shoestring, Buccaneer, Never the Twain and a long run on Santa Barbara as well as TV movies like Two by Forsyth. She had roles in films like My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), Shag (1989), Getting It Right (1989), The Rachel Papers (1989), Hear My Song (1991), U.F.O. (1993), Taking Liberty (1993), Loving Deadly (1994), and At Risk (1994).[citation needed]

Her later television roles included Anna Lee: Headcase (1993), Murder She Wrote, Lady Chatterly, Rumble, Bramwell, Barbara, Madson, Dalziel and Pascoe, The Bill, Where the Heart Is, Waking the Dead, Monarch of the Glen, Last of the Summer Wine, Doctors. Her most recent films are The Kid, The Power of Three and Beautiful Relics.[12]

Personal life and death

On 7 July 1967, Field married the aristocratic RAF pilot and racing driver Charles Crichton-Stuart (1939–2001). They had a daughter, Nicola Crichton-Stuart, who was born in 1969. The marriage ended in divorce during the late 1970s. Her autobiography, A Time for Love, was published in 1991.[13]

On 14 November 1993, Field appeared on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, talking to Sue Lawley about her upbringing in different children's homes in Northern England and her success as an actress in the 1960s. She also reminisced about her friendship with John F. Kennedy and an ill-fated date with Frank Sinatra. Her record choices included Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major and pieces by Rachmaninov, Elvis Presley and the Carpenters.[14]

In September 1999 Field's brother Guy was murdered in his San Francisco home, by his girlfriend's son Harry Dalsey, the son of DHL founder Adrian Dalsey. Field flew to the US to begin a civil action alleging wrongful death.[15][16]

In the September 2009 issue of Cinema Retro, there was a long interview with Field, where she candidly talked about her childhood and the making of Peeping Tom, The Entertainer, Beat Girl and The War Lover.[17]

Field died on 10 December 2023, at the age of 87.[18][19][20][21]

Filmography

Film

Years Title Role Notes
1955 Simon and Laura Extra uncredited
1955 All for Mary Young Woman on Aeroplane uncredited
1955 Lost Miss Carter uncredited
1956 Yield to the Night Extra uncredited
1956 It's Never Too Late Extra uncredited
1956 It's a Wonderful World Pretty Girl
1956 The Weapon Girl in Nightclub uncredited
1956 Loser Takes All Girl at Roulette Table uncredited
1956 The Silken Affair Young Lady uncredited
1956 Dry Rot Waitress in Cafe uncredited
1957 The Good Companions Redhead
1957 The Flesh Is Weak Susan
1957 Seven Thunders Prostitute uncredited
1959 Horrors of the Black Museum Angela Banks
1959 Upstairs and Downstairs Passenger uncredited
1960 Once More, with Feeling! Angela Hopper
1960 And the Same to You Iris Collins
1960 Peeping Tom Pauline Shields
1960 The Entertainer Tina Lapford
1960 Beat Girl Dodo
1960 Saturday Night and Sunday Morning Doreen
1960 Man in the Moon Polly
1960 Jungle Street Jaqui
1962 The War Lover Daphne
1962 The Damned Joan
1963 Kings of the Sun Ixchel
1963 Lunch Hour Girl [22]
1965 The Wedding March Laure
1966 Doctor in Clover Nurse Bancroft
1966 Alfie Carla
1967 Hell Is Empty Shirley McGee
1970 With Love in Mind Jane
1970 A Touch of the Other Elaine
1974 House of the Living Dead Mary Anne Carew
1985 My Beautiful Laundrette Rachel
1988 Shag Mrs. Clatterback
1989 Getting It Right Anne
1989 The Rachel Papers Mrs. Smith
1991 Hear My Song Cathleen Doyle
1993 U.F.O. Supreme Commander
1994 Loving Deadly Madame
1994 At Risk Mrs. Nolan
1999 A Monkey's Tale The Governess Voice
2000 Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry Mary
2010 The Kid Margaret
2011 The Power of Three Jenni

Television roles

Years Title Role Notes
1957 The New Adventures of Martin Kane Miss Craig Episode: "The Escape Story"
1959 International Detective The Girl Episode: "The Conway Case"
1966 Five More Madeleine Episode: "Shotgun"
1977 Centre Play Joanne Clewes Episode: "Risking It"
1979 Shoestring Barbara Knight Episode: "Knock for Knock"
1980 Buccaneer Janet Blair 11 episodes
1987 Never the Twain Stephanie Episode: "Affairs of the Heart"
1987 Santa Barbara Pamela Capwell Conrad 42 episodes
1992 El C.I.D. Dolly Episode: "Nothing Is Forever"
1992 Murder, She Wrote Anne Gillen Episode: "The Wind Around the Tower"
1993 Anna Lee: Headcase Mrs. Westerman TV film
1993 Lady Chatterley Mrs. Bolton All 4 episodes
1995 Rumble Vatwoman Episode: #1.2
1995 Bramwell Peggy Heart Episode: "The Threat of Reprise"
1995 Barbara Jean Episode: "Job"
1996 Madson Elaine Dews 4 episodes
1999 Dalziel and Pascoe Cissy Kohler Episode: "Recalled to Life"
2000 The Bill Janice Laughlin Episode: "Crime and Punishment"
2001 Where the Heart Is Linda 5 episodes
2003 Waking the Dead Monica Reynolds 2 episodes
2005 Monarch of the Glen Sadie Episode: #7.6
2008 Last of the Summer Wine Eva Episode: "Eva's Back in Town"
2010 Doctors Flora Reid Episode: "Swansong"

References

  1. ^ "The Big Interview: Shirley Anne Field". The Yorkshire Post. Archived from the original on 11 April 2019. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Obituaries, Telegraph (11 December 2023). "Shirley Anne Field, Sixties beauty who starred in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning – obituary" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  3. ^ "Star's brother shot dead in US". The Bolton News. 4 October 1999. Retrieved 15 December 2023.
  4. ^ a b c Mawston, Mark (1 September 2009). "Field of dreams [Interview with Shirley Ann Field]". Cinema Retro.
  5. ^ "9780060152352: No Bells on Sunday: The Rachel Roberts Journals - AbeBooks - Rachel Roberts: 0060152354". abebooks.co.uk. Archived from the original on 22 December 2019. Retrieved 22 December 2019.
  6. ^ Padman, Tony (18 April 2015). "Whatever happened to...The Entertainer's Shirley Anne Field". www.express.co.uk. Archived from the original on 17 July 2018. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  7. ^ Hiddleston, Tom (15 April 2011). "Interview with Shirley Ann Field about the movie on BBC Radio 4". Archived from the original on 11 October 2018. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  8. ^ Weiler, A. H. (4 November 1962). "View from a Local Vantage Point". The New York Times. p. X9.
  9. ^ Hopper, Hedda (15 December 1962). "Hedda Predicts Movie Boom Within Year". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 1.
  10. ^ Wynne-Morgan, David (30 July 1966). "title unknown". London Life; London: 10, 12.
  11. ^ WITH LOVE IN MIND Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 37, Iss. 432, (1 Jan 1970): 171.
  12. ^ "Interview: Shirley Anne Field". Den of Geek. 23 March 2009. Archived from the original on 25 January 2021. Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  13. ^ McFarlane, Brian. "ScreenOnline: "Field, Shirley Anne"". BFI. Archived from the original on 24 February 2018. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  14. ^ BBC4, Desert Island Disc, 14 November 1993: "Shirley Anne Field" Retrieved 7 December 2012
  15. ^ Lee, Henry (6 September 1999). "Son of DHL Founder's Widow Held in Walnut Creek Slaying". SFGate. Archived from the original on 11 April 2019. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  16. ^ Kerr, Jane (8 June 2001). "SHIRLEY IN BATTLE FOR DEAD BROTHER". The Free Library. Farlex. Archived from the original on 12 January 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  17. ^ Cinema Retro, September 2009: Field of Dreams Archived 4 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 7 December 2012
  18. ^ Murray, Tom (11 December 2023). "Shirley Anne Field, The Entertainer and Alfie actor, dead at 87". The Independent. Retrieved 11 December 2023.
  19. ^ Reporters, Telegraph (11 December 2023). "Actress Shirley Anne Field dies aged 87" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  20. ^ Media, P. A. (11 December 2023). "Stage and screen actor Shirley Anne Field dies aged 87" – via The Guardian.
  21. ^ "Shirley Anne Field: Alfie actress dies aged 87". 11 December 2023 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  22. ^ ""Flipside 017: Lunch Hour (Dual Format Edition)" by James Hill, at filmstore.bfi.org.uk". Archived from the original on 1 August 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2011.

Bibliography