British actress Anna Neagle had a lengthy career in the 1930s through to the 1950s, but she’s largely unknown to modern audiences. Turns out she left quite the legacy when it came to historical roles on film!
Magic Night (1932)
One of Anna’s earliest starring roles, this film is set in pre-WWI Vienna. It was originally titled Good Night, Vienna.
Anna plays Sarah Linden, a woman torn between her true love and going through with an advantageous marriage to a total bore in this film adaptation of the Noel Coward operetta.
Nell Gwynn (1934)
A film treatment of plucky Nell Gwynn, who rises from an orange girl in Drury Lane, to a star of the stage, and ultimately the mistress of King Charles II.
Peg of Old Drury (1935)
Another biopic of an actress, Peg Wolfington. Unlike Nell Gwynn, this film was a critical success for Anna.
Victoria the Great (1937)
Probably the role that Anna is best known for, that of Queen Victoria.
Sixty Glorious Years / Queen of Destiny (1938)
The follow-up to Victoria the Great, focusing on Victoria’s middle years on the throne.
Nurse Edith Cavell (1939)
Biopic of Edith Cavell, a British nurse who went to the front lines of the First World War.
Katy’s Love Affair / The Courtneys of Curzon Street (1947)
Anna plays Kate, a servant who married way, way above her station to the shock of London Society at the turn of the 20th century.
Elizabeth of Ladymead (1948)
Anna plays four generations of women, starting in the 1870s and going up to the 1940s, as each go through their lives while their men are away at war.
The Lady with a Lamp (1949)
Anna was lauded for her depiction of Florence Nightingale.
What is your favorite historical role played by Anna Neagle? Share it with us in the comments!