Dame Joan Plowright — aka Baroness Olivier, aka third wife of Laurence Olivier — had a long and successful career on the British stage before dabbling in TV and film in the ’80s and ’90s. While her historical roles tend to be the crotchety biddy type, she adds depth, pathos, and humor to her characters. And if you want a peek at the lady herself, I highly recommend the 2018 documentary Tea With the Dames filmed at Plowright’s house and featuring an entertaining chat amongst her and Dames Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, and Eileen Atkins.
Mrs. Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank (1980)
Mrs. McConnahay in Revolution (1985)
Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest (1986)
Eva Krichinsky in Avalon (1990)
Mrs. Fisher in Enchanted April (1991)
Mrs. Doyle-Counihan in Widows’ Peak (1992)
Mrs. Yeobright in The Return of the Native (1994)
Harriet Hibbons in The Scarlet Letter (1995)
Mrs. Fairfax in Jane Eyre (1996)
Mary in Tea With Mussolini (1999)
What’s your favorite historical costume movie or TV role of Joan Plowright’s?