Biography

Launching her career on radio at age 11, British actress Billie Whitelaw spent several seasons as an assistant stage manager before making her theatrical acting debut in 1950. The blonde, hypertense Whitelaw started out in films as a standard leading lady, but quickly distinguished herself in neurotic, single-purposed roles. She won a BFA award for her portrayal of Albert Finney's disgruntled ex-wife in Charlie Bubbles (1968). Billie Whitelaw's next screen assignment of note was as the smothering "monster mommy" of two of Britain's most vicious mob leaders in The Krays (1990). She played nurse Grace Poole in the 1996 version of Jane Eyre and appeared in the 1998 TV miniseries Merlin, playing Ambrosia. Whitelaw's final film appearance was Hot Fuzz (2007). She is also noted for having a close professional relationship with playwright Samuel Beckett, often being called his muse, and appeared in a number of his stage productions. Whitelaw died in 2014, at age 82. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi