Dorothy Tutin, British Actress Who Played the Greats, Dead at 70

News   Dorothy Tutin, British Actress Who Played the Greats, Dead at 70 Dame Dorothy Tutin, the British actress who played stage and screen roles over a 50-year career, died of leukemia Aug. 6 in London, leaving behind recorded documents of her work, including playing Cecily Cardew in the 1952 film, "The Importance of Being Earnest," and Goneril to Laurence Olivier's "King Lear," in a 1984 TV production.
Dorothy Tutin in William Francis' Portrait of a Queen.
Dorothy Tutin in William Francis' Portrait of a Queen.

Dame Dorothy Tutin, the British actress who played stage and screen roles over a 50-year career, died of leukemia Aug. 6 in London, leaving behind recorded documents of her work, including playing Cecily Cardew in the 1952 film, "The Importance of Being Earnest," and Goneril to Laurence Olivier's "King Lear," in a 1984 TV production.

Ms. Tutin, 70, was active at least to 1999 when she played an English revival of The Gin Game opposite Joss Ackland. A London native, she made her first appearance on stage as Princess Margaret of England in The Thistle and the Rose at Bolton's Theatre in 1949, after studying drama at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She appeared with the Bristol Old Vic, The Old Vic, Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. She was a Tony Award nominee for Broadway's Portrait of a Queen in 1967-68.

Her West End theatre credits include Rose in The Living Room, Sally Bowles in I Am a Camera, Saint Joan in Anouilh's The Lark, Dolly in Once More, With Feeling, What Every Woman Knows, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Thursdays Ladies, The Browning Version and A Kind Of Alaska. Ms. Tutin appeared in Portrait of a Queen at the Vaudeville Theatre and on Broadway (she lost the Tony to Zoe Caldwell that year), A Month in the Country at Chichester and in the West End, The Hollow Crown on Broadway and as Rosalind in As You Like It in Los Angeles.

She played Peter Pan for two seasons at the Coliseum in London, and essayed some of the great female theatre roles, according to her 1999 program biography. For the RSC she played Viola, Ophelia, Juliet, Portia, Desdemona and Cressida. For the National she played Madame Ranyevskaya, Lady Macbeth, Lady Pliant, Lady Fanciful and Genia Hofreiter in Undiscovered Country. She won both the Olivier and Evening Standard Best Actress Awards.

Among her films are "The Beggars Opera," "A Tale of Two Cities," "Cromwell," "Savage Messiah," "The Shooting Party," "The Great Kandinsky," "Alive and Kicking" and "It Could Be The Last Time" with Joan Plowright. She played Anne Boleyn in the celebrated BBC production of "The Six Wives of Henry VIII." Ms. Tutin was named a Dame of the British Empire in 2000.

— By Kenneth Jones