WCW: Saffron Burrows


I miss seeing British actress Saffron Burrows’ height (she’s 6’0″! My people!) and amazing cheekbones in my historical costume movies and TV series! She seems to be doing mostly modern-set projects these days, but she’s played supporting roles in many iconic-to-me frock flicks. Do any of you remember her?


Circle of Friends (1995)

Ostensibly set in 1950s Ireland, Burrows plays the complicated, glamorous friend to Minnie Driver’s girl-after-your-own-heart.

1995 Circle of Friends

Keep an eye on those cheekbones, they could cut glass.

1995 Circle of Friends
1995 Circle of Friends

With author Maeve Binchy, who wrote the book on which the film is based.


Miss Julie (1999)

She played the title role in this adaptation of the 1888 August Strindberg play about an upper class woman who toys with her male servant. It’s kind of weird, but Sandy Powell’s costumes are AMAZING.

1999 Miss Julie

Sadly, there aren’t super clear pics available, but STRIPES.

Miss Julie (1999) costumes by Sandy Powell

And dots!

1999 Miss Julie

And delicate embroideries!

1999 Miss Julie

The story takes place over the course of one night, so she’s mostly in that stripey number, but she does get a new ensemble the next morning.


Enigma (2001)

She’s again the complicated, glamorous friend (notice a theme here?) in this Kate Winslet-starring World War II film about British codebreakers.

2001 Enigma

There’s that 6′ of gorgeousness!

2001 Enigma

She really does sophisticated well.

2001 Enigma


The Seventh Stream (2001)

A TV movie in which “A lonely widowed Irish fisherman meets a pretty mysterious woman who may just literally be the stuff of legends,” per IMDB.

2001 The Seventh Stream

Okay, so I’m not running out to watch this any time soon.


Frida (2002)

She has the small role of “Gracie” in this Frida Kahlo biopic, and it’s been too long for me to remember what she’s about.

2002 Frida

She looks great in that dress and that red hair, tho!


Troy (2004)

As the heartbreaking Andromache, wife to Hector, in this adaptation of Homer’s Illiad.

2004 Troy

She’s the heart of the film.

2004 Troy

I have no idea how accurate this is, but I know it’s gorgeous!

2004 Troy


Klimt (2006)

A biopic about the Austrian painter. Burrows plays dancer Lea de Castro, who has a relationship with Klimt. If anyone knows where to watch this, please let us know!

2006 Klimt

Appropriately art nouveau!

2006 Klimt

I need to know more about this! WHAT IS ON HER HEAD??


Agatha Christie’s Marple: Towards Zero (2007)

She starred in one episode of the 1950s-set murder mystery series.

2007 Agatha Christie's Marple- Towards Zero

She makes a great redhead.

2007 Agatha Christie's Marple- Towards Zero



Do you remember Saffron Burrows, fondly or not?


About the author



Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

10 Responses

  1. susan l eiffert

    I first saw her in an English production of a Ruth Rendell mystery. She played a cool-y calculating beauty opposite a hapless woman. She was mesmerizing.
    On the subject of that Klimt movie: the sets and costumes are brilliant, and the fellow who plays Schiele makes the young artist instantly recognizable using the same mannerisms as in his paintings. There are other important figures from the Vienna Secession in the movie as well, and it’s fun to pick them out. The movie itself is poor, moves slowly, matched only by Malkovich’s completely languorous, boring, characterless portrayal of Klimt. Talk about phoning it in! I found the videotape at a tag sale.

    • Kendra

      Thanks! I figured Klimt wasn’t very good since I’d never really heard about it, but I do want to see the costumes someday.

  2. Boxermom

    I remember watching The Seventh Stream, and liking it. They hinted at the fact that her character may or may not have been a Selkie, mythical creatures that are seals in the water and humans on land. :)

  3. Roxana

    The thing on her head looks a bit like a Thai crown. But why she’s wearing it is anybody’s guess!

  4. mjsamuelson

    I don’t think I ever realized it was her in Circle of Friends, but it’s been ages since I saw it. Love so many of these roles she’s done.

    • SarahV

      her character in Circle of Friends makes me seethe. Seethe, I said. SEETHE, even if she was glamorous and charismatic as fuck.

  5. Lily Lotus Rose

    Oh God, do I remember Saffron Burrows? I LOVE her! She’s one of those women who is so gorgeous that I question why I even exist. Beyond envy, she’s a good actress, and I always enjoy her performances. She’s in one of my all-time FAVORITE romantic comedies, The Matchmaker, from the mid ’90s. It’s not a FrockFlick, but it’s criminally underseen and underrated. And I also liked her in what I’ve seen of the contemporary Amazon Prime show Mozart in the Jungle. As for her FrockFlicks, I really enjoyed Enigma. Troy was a travesty, but she was excellent as Andromache and Eric Bana as Hector–GOOD LORD!! It’s been forever since I saw Frida, but I think her character was a lesbian dalliance for Frida…maybe? Open question to anyone who’s seen her version of Miss Julie: Was it any better than the Colin Farrell / Jessica Chastain version? That one was so boring I couldn’t even last 10 minutes!

    • Kendra

      I’ll have to check out The Matchmaker! I didn’t see the recent Miss Julie, but yes, the Saffron Burrows one was decently engaging.

  6. Lily Lotus Rose

    Forgot to add that I would love to see Saffron Burrows and Natasha McElhone star as sisters in some project, especially a Frock Flick.