Dame Thora Hird

  1. Muriel Aked, Wonder Boy (aka: The Wonder Kid), UK-Austria, 1950. The amazing French kid, Bobby Henrey- the Macauley  Culkin of his day –  scored anew  in his second and last film as  a  terriblyy exploited pianist prodigy.   Muriel Aked took over from Thora Hird as Miss Frisbee (!), the English governess rescuing the boy in Graham Greene’s story.

  2. Kathleen Harrison, Turn The Key Softly, 1953.    Harrison and Hird were both under contract at Rank and interchangeable in their work: mid-aged battleaxes!  “Jack Lee wanted me to have  the bigger part but [production  chief] Earl St John said: “ No, it’s  Kathy’s turn!”  (But only Thora got to work with Brando!).
  3. Peggy Ashcroft, Sunday Bloody Sunday, 1970.     As if they hadn’t been surrounded by gays during their long careers, many   a veteran actress snobbishly complained that John Schlesingerl’s demi-gay project was too risqué and backed away from being Glenda Jackson’s mother. Including, ironically, the future Dame Thora who’d had a similar role in Schlesinger’s equally controversial  drama-directing debut, A Kind of Loving, 1961-  the star of which, Alan Bates, had been first choice for the gay medic hero of this film until delayed on a previous movie.


 Birth year: 1911Death year: 2003Other name: Casting Calls:  3