Flora Robson

About Flora Robson

Who is it?: Actress, Soundtrack
Birth Day: March 28, 1902
Birth Place:  South Shields, Durham, England, United Kingdom
Alma mater: Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
Occupation: Actress
Years active: 1921–1984

Flora Robson

Flora Robson was born on March 28, 1902 in  South Shields, Durham, England, United Kingdom, is Actress, Soundtrack. Flora Robson knew she was no beauty, but her wise and sympathetic face would become a familiar - indeed, shining - ornament of the 1930s and 40s silver screen. Though not sure of acting as a career in her early years, she nevertheless appeared on stage for the first time at 5 years old. She was educated at Palmer's Green High School and went on still in her teens to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, winning a Bronze Medal in 1921. Between 1921 to 1923 she performed in London and Oxford, but both uncertainty and the unstable income of acting at that time convinced her to spend the next few years working as a factory welfare officer in east London. Still her versatility, even in her youth, as a budding character actress of the first water, was noticed. In 1929 a friend urged her to join the Cambridge Festival Theatre where she remained two years. By 1931 she was in residence at the Old Vic with as varied roles as Herodias in "Salome" (1931), a drunken prostitute in Bridie's "The Anatomist", Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth in "Macbeth", and Gwendolen in "The Importance of Being Earnest" (both in 1933).She stayed at the Old Vic until 1934, but she was already turning to the big screen with her film debut in A Gentleman of Paris (1931). Her dexterity as screen monarchs began shortly thereafter as Russian Empress Elisabeth in The Rise of Catherine the Great (1934). And she even had a place in television history in the British pioneering TV production of Anna Christie (1937), although she was initially skeptical of the future of this later powerful medium. She was a forceful Livia in Josef von Sternberg's ill-fated and unfinished I, Claudius (1937), but gave notice of her future potential with her rousing Queen Elizabeth I in Alexander Korda's Fire Over England (1937) with Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh.The year 1939 was extremely busy for Robson. It marked her first association with British director Michael Powell in his The Lion has Wings and Smith (1939) and the unsurprising call from Hollywood. There she was lauded quickly for two roles that year: as the domineering wife of Paul Muni in "We Are Not Alone" (1939) and opposite fellow British stars Olivier, Merle Oberon, and David Niven as narrator and housekeeper Nelly Dean in the haunting Wuthering Heights (1939). Her compelling Korda Elizabeth marked her for a reprise of the role in the 'Errol Flynn' swashbuckler The Sea Hawk (1940) in which she played the role to the hilt. Among early screen Elizabeth standouts, Florence Eldridge in Mary of Scotland (1936)resembled the historical queen and the more famous Bette Davis displayed the manner and temperament with her usual command (though it is hard not to feel that it is Bette playing her brilliant self and not Elizabeth) in The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939), but Robson seemed to best personify the total person and spirit of Good Queen Bess.Her continued film career was marked with a like character versatility which had and continued to mark precious time for stage work (as in her murderess Ellen Creed in "Ladies in Retirement" (1940, on Broadway). In fact, in 1941, she returned to war-torn London to boldly continue theater performances to a grateful country. After the war it was a full life of crisscrossing the Atlantic. Though some British critics were not impressed with her return to Hollywood to play the overly protective mulatto servant of Ingrid Bergman in Saratoga Trunk (1945), it was an outstanding tour de force character performance honored with an Oscar nomination. Among other memorable roles in the late 1940s, even her reflective Anglican Sister Philippa in Powell's visually stunning and provocative Black Narcissus (1947) displays her depth as a solid character actress. Another quarter of a century of roles were accented with memorable theatrical performances as Lady Macbeth on Broadway (1949) and as Paulina in Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale" (1951), production by John Gielgud, to add to a kaleidoscope mix of movies from 1948 to 1981 and a sprinkling of character pieces on British TV, though she retired from the stage in 1969.The material success of Hollywood played a part in her much deserved honor as Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 1952 and her ascension as Dame Commander (DBE) in 1960. Kenneth Barrow wrote a biography Flora: The Life of Dame Flora Robson by (1981). She had the further honor of rating two portraits in the National Portrait Gallery in London for her full and distinguished life.
Flora Robson is a member of Actress

Does Flora Robson Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Flora Robson has been died on 7 July 1984(1984-07-07) (aged 82)\nBrighton, Sussex, England.

🎂 Flora Robson - Age, Bio, Faces and Birthday

When Flora Robson die, Flora Robson was 82 years old.

Popular As Flora Robson
Occupation Actress
Age 82 years old
Zodiac Sign Aries
Born March 28, 1902 ( South Shields, Durham, England, United Kingdom)
Birthday March 28
Town/City  South Shields, Durham, England, United Kingdom
Nationality United Kingdom

🌙 Zodiac

Flora Robson’s zodiac sign is Aries. According to astrologers, the presence of Aries always marks the beginning of something energetic and turbulent. They are continuously looking for dynamic, speed and competition, always being the first in everything - from work to social gatherings. Thanks to its ruling planet Mars and the fact it belongs to the element of Fire (just like Leo and Sagittarius), Aries is one of the most active zodiac signs. It is in their nature to take action, sometimes before they think about it well.

🌙 Chinese Zodiac Signs

Flora Robson was born in the Year of the Tiger. Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Tiger are authoritative, self-possessed, have strong leadership qualities, are charming, ambitious, courageous, warm-hearted, highly seductive, moody, intense, and they’re ready to pounce at any time. Compatible with Horse or Dog.

Some Flora Robson images

Awards and nominations:

She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress as Angelique Buiton, a Haitian maid, in Saratoga Trunk (1945).

She was created a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1952 New Year Honours, and raised to Dame Commander (DBE) in the 1960 Birthday Honours. She was also the first famous name to become president of the Brighton Little Theatre.

On 4 July 1958, she received an honorary DLitt from Durham University at a congregation in Durham Castle.

She was the subject of This Is Your Life in February 1961 when she was surprised by Eamonn Andrews in central London.



Robson was born in South Shields, County Durham, of Scottish descent to a family of six siblings. Many of her forebears were Engineers, mostly in shipping. Her father was a ship's Engineer who moved from Wallsend near Newcastle to Palmers Green in 1907 and Southgate in 1910, both in north London, and later to Welwyn Garden City.


Robson made her stage debut in 1921. By the 1930s she was appearing in several prominent films both in the UK and in Hollywood, alongside such stars as Laurence Olivier, Paul Muni and George Raft. Her most notable role was that of Queen Elizabeth I in both Fire Over England (1937) and The Sea Hawk (1940). In 1934, Robson played the Empress Elizabeth in Alexander Korda's Catherine the Great (1934). She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Angelique Buiton, a servant, in Saratoga Trunk (1945). The same year, audiences in the U.K. and the U.S. watched her hypnotic performance as Ftatateeta, the nursemaid and royal confidante and murderess-upon-command to Vivien Leigh's Queen Cleopatra in the screen adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra (1945).


A plaque at 40 Handside Lane in Welwyn Garden City records Flora Robson living there from 1923 to 1925.


In 1931, she was cast as the adulterous Abbie in Eugene O'Neill's Desire Under the Elms. Her brief, shocking appearance as the doomed prostitute in James Bridie's play The Anatomist put her firmly on the road to success. "If you are not moved by this girl's performance, then you are immovable" the Observer critic wrote. This success would lead to her famous 1933 season as leading lady at the Old Vic.


She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress as Angelique Buiton, a Haitian maid, in Saratoga Trunk (1945).


After the Second World War, demonstrating her range, she appeared in Holiday Camp (1947), the first of a series of films which featured the very ordinary Huggett family; as Sister Philippa in Black Narcissus (1947); as a magistrate in Good-Time Girl (1948); as a prospective Labour MP in Frieda (1947); and in the costume melodrama Saraband for Dead Lovers (1948). Her other film roles included the Empress Dowager Cixi in 55 Days at Peking (1963), Miss Milchrest in Murder at the Gallop (1963), the Queen of Hearts in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1972), and Livia in the aborted I, Claudius in 1937.


She was created a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1952 New Year Honours, and raised to Dame Commander (DBE) in the 1960 Birthday Honours. She was also the first famous name to become President of the Brighton Little Theatre.


On 4 July 1958, she received an honorary DLitt from Durham University at a congregation in Durham Castle.


She continued her acting career late into life, though not on the West End stage, from which she retired at the age of 67, often for American television films, including a lavish production of A Tale of Two Cities (in which she played Miss Pross). She also performed for British television, including The Shrimp and the Anemone. In the 1960s, she continued to act in the West End, in Ring Round the Moon, The Importance of Being Earnest and Three Sisters, among others.


She was the subject of This Is Your Life in February 1961 when she was surprised by Eamonn Andrews in central London.


Dame Flora Robson Avenue, built in 1962, in Simonside, South Shields, is named after her. There is a plaque on the house in Wykeham Terrace, Dyke Road, Brighton, and also one in the doorway of St. Nicholas's Church, of which Flora Robson was a great supporter.


She continued to act on film and television. She was last briefly seen as a Stygian Witch in the fantasy adventure Clash of the Titans in 1981. Both the BBC and ITV made special programs to celebrate her 80th birthday in 1982, and the BBC ran a short season of her best films.


She died in Brighton, aged 82; the cause was never revealed. She had never been married or had any children. The two sisters, with whom she shared her life and home, died around the same time: Shela shortly before Flora, in 1984, and Margaret on 1 February 1985.


In 1996, the British Film Institute erected a plaque at number 14 Marine Gardens, location of Flora's other home in Brighton, where she lived from 1961 to 1976.


A blue plaque sponsored by Southgate District Civic Trust and Robson's former school Palmers Green High School was unveiled at her family home from 1910 to 1921, The Lawe, 65, The Mall, Southgate, on 25 April 2010.

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