WCW: Judy Davis


Say what you will, I love Judy Davis. Yes, I’ve heard the horror stories about working with her (she allegedly drove River Phoenix to the brink during the filming of Dark Blood, precipitating his overdose in 1993), but there’s no question that she’s a powerhouse of an actress. Some of her best work has been in the historical genre of film, so let’s take a look at some of the highlights.

My Brilliant Career (1979) – Sybella Melvyn


Merry Wives of Windsor (1982) – Mistress Ford


A Passage to India (1984) – Adela


Impromptu (1991) – George Sand


Where Angels Fear to Tread (1991) – Harriet Herrington


One Against the Wind (1991) – Countess Mary Lindell


Dash and Lilly (1999) – Lillian Hellman


Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows (2001) – Judy Garland


Marie Antoinette (2006) – Comtesse de Noailles


Elsa Schiaparelli (2012) – Elsa Schiaparelli

The Dressmaker (2015) – Molly Dunnage

Feud (2017-) – Hedda Hopper

What’s your favorite Judy Davis role? Share it in the comments!


About the author

Sarah Lorraine


Sarah discovered her dual passion for history and costume right around the age of twelve. Dragged kicking and screaming to her first Renaissance Faire at Black Point, she was convinced she was going to hate it, but to her surprise, she fell head over heels in love with the world of reenactment and dress up immediately. Her undergraduate degree is in Clothing & Textile Design, and she has a Master's in Art History and Visual Culture. When she’s not hauling crap to SCA events and ren faires, Sarah enjoys reading true crime books, writing fiction, and sewing historical clothing from the Middle Ages through the 20th-century. One of these days, she might even start updating her old costuming blog again.

16 Responses

  1. Patricia

    Love, Love, Love My Brilliant Career! Had to buy the book. And Impromptu. As a music major, a must see!

  2. Janeheiress

    The first thing I ever saw her in was A Passage to India, and not having read the book yet, her performance was so good that I thought Adela was supposed to be the protagonist. The second half really threw me in for a loop!

    I really need to watch My Brilliant Career again.

  3. Peggy S.

    Gosh, I love Impromptu. Arch dialog, wonderful cast, beautiful settings.

  4. Susan Pola

    Judy rocked Garland in Me and My Shadow, but although a fav, it’s not my absolutely favourite. That position is a three way tie between One Against the Wind, Impromptu & A Passage to India.
    But I can truthfully say that I love all her films. Wish the Mary Lindell was on DVD.

  5. Kathleen Norvell

    My Brilliant Career and Impromptu. I recently saw her as Hedda Hopper in Feud and she was wonderfully manipulative and catty. I’d watch her read a phone book.

  6. Renngrrl

    And Barton Fink! Passage to India is where my personal JD crush began

  7. janette

    Sybella.Always Sybella. My Brilliant Career is one of my favourite Australian films and love the book too.

  8. Karen K.

    I first saw her in a Passage to India. (Loved the movie,hated the book.) I think my favorite of her costume roles was Impromptu, which I need to watch again, simply because of Emma Thompson’s brilliant delivery of the line, “Silly, silly rain!”

    She was also brilliant in Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives, though not a Frock Flick.

  9. skippy

    Do you guys remember another 90s WWII TV series? It had snappy dialog and romance, a redheaded female star who was fabulous and snarky. Her love interest was an RAF pilot. It was short-lived but i looooved it. I can’t for the life of me remember what it was called, but I feel like it started with an A and maybe had three words in the title. This has been driving me crazy for years. help!


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