Sian Phillips has been nominated for a Tony for her work in Marlene. She was perhaps the most unforgettable character in the TV miniseries, "I Claudius": Livia, the evil-to-the-core wife of Caesar. But that was a long time ago, and before and since then Welsh-born Sian Phillips has added dozens of film, television and stage roles to her credit.
In London, she played Madame Armfeldt in the National Theatre's acclaimed and enormously successful revival of A Little Night Music, as well as Mrs. Alving in Pam Gems' adaptation of Ibsen's Ghosts. Phillips' impersonation of Marlene Dietrich was easily the most-praised aspect of Gems' Marlene, which had billed itself as "a play with music" before the Tony administration committee officially ruled it a musical.
As for Phillips' early years as an actress? She received a scholarship to The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, which awarded her the Bancroft Gold Medal. She even worked for the BBC as a news announcer. Her autobiography is due out in the UK in October.