Jean Marsh is one of those quintessentially English actors to me, because, of course, I first saw her in the original Upstairs, Downstairs as the proper but feisty maid. Later, I learned she co-created the series with Eileen Atkins. The pair also created The House of Eliott (1991-4), and while neither acted in that series, Marsh did write for it. She’s performed in plenty of TV over the years — alas, the early U.K. serials are often lost completely and the later U.S. miniseries are impossible to find pix from. But here are some highlights of her varied career in frock flicks, perhaps with a fantasy tinge.
Octavia in Cleopatra (1963)
Mrs. Rochester aka Bertha Mason in Jane Eyre (1970)
Rose in Upstairs, Downstairs (1971-1975)
Joanna Grey in The Eagle Has Landed (1976)
Hilary von Kleist in The Waltons, “The Hiding Place” (1977)
Nurse Wilson / Mombi in Return to Oz (1985)
Morgaine in Doctor Who, “Battlefield” (1989)
The Queens in Monarch (2000)
Furmity Woman in The Mayor of Casterbridge (2003)
Mrs. Ferrars in Sense and Sensibility (2008)
Lady Constance de Momery in Crooked House (2008)
Mrs. Rose Buck in Upstairs Downstairs (2010-2012)
What’s your favorite frock flick role of Jean Marsh’s?