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Wendy Hiller, Award Winner

Hiller in The Elephant Man

Wendy Hiller: Best
Supporting Actress 1958:

Separate Tables (Drama)

Wendy Hiller won her Supporting Oscar for playing the lonely hotel manager in a British seaside boarding house in Separate Tables.

About Wendy Hiller (1912 – 2003)

Dame Wendy Hiller was a veteran star of the British stage. She was cast by George Bernard Shaw, himself, in heroine rolls in Major Barbara, St. Joan and Pygmalion and was reported to be his favorite actress.

She is best known for her film work in the 1938 classic film adaptation of PYGMALION, in which she played the Eliza Doolittle, the plucky street urchin, with an iron fist in a velvet glove. Dame Wendy Hiller originated this role on the stage. She was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance, along with co-star Leslie Howard. George Bernard Shaw who worked on the screenplay, was also nominated for Best Picture and was reportedly blase and even insulted when he won the Oscar for Best Screenplay, not only failing to attend the ceremonies, but also using the weighty award statute as a door stop.

In the 1945 film, I Know Where I'm Going, Wendy Hiller plays a woman determined to marry for money, who is stranded for a week on the Isle of Mull, where she is diverted from her cause when she falls in love with a nonchalant naval officer. Wendy Hiller returned to the London stage,after this project, but continued to work on film and television projects over the course of her lengthy career.

In the 1958 film, Separate Tables, Wendy Hiller played the lonely owner of a hotel in the off season, engaged to a character played by Burt Lancaster, who was also a co-producer on the movie. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards. Hiller won the Best Supporting Actress award in 1959 for her work in the film.

Wendy Hiller played Alice More, Sir Thomas More's wife in A Man For All Seasons (1966) and was nominated for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for that role, in 1967.

In 1971, Wendy Hiller was made an Officer of the British Empire and in 1975 was made a Dame Commander by the British Crown. In spite of all her successes, she lived a modest lifestyle, and kept her personal life private.

In the 1980 David Lynch film, The Elephant Man, she played the redoubtable hospital matron.

Wendy Hiller's notable movie credits include...

Major Barbara (1941)
I Know Where I'm Going (1945)
sons and lovers (1960)
toys in the attic (1963)
a man for all seasons (1966)
murder on the orient express (1974)
voyage of the damned (1976)
the elephant man (1980)
Making Love (1982)
The Countess Alice (1993)

Wendy Hiller's television credits include...

David Copperfield (1969)
The Death Of The Heart (1987)
The Curse Of King Tut's Tomb (1980)




Wendy Hiller in A Man For All Seasons (1966).