Alison Leggatt

Alison Leggatt (7 February 1904 – 15 July 1990) was an English character actress.

Alison Leggatt
Photo by Bassano Ltd,1927
Alison Joy Leggatt

(1904-02-07)7 February 1904
Kensington, London, England
Died15 July 1990(1990-07-15) (aged 86)
London, England


Born as Alison Joy Leggatt in the Kensington district of London, Leggatt trained under Elsie Fogerty at the Central School of Speech and Drama, then based in the Royal Albert Hall, London.[1] Leggatt spent the early part of her career primarily on the stage. Her performance in Miles Malleson's The Fanatics in 1927 launched her, according to The New York Times, as "one of the most promising theatrical newcomers of her generation".[2][3] Other stage work included the original 1931 Drury Lane production of Cavalcade by Noël Coward.[4] Her first major film credit was as Aunt Sylvia in This Happy Breed (1944), Noël Coward's homage to the British working class.[5] She was known for playing a variety of disapproving in-laws, motherly landladies, nosy neighbours and helpful housekeepers.[6] She played opposite Petula Clark three times, in Here Come the Huggetts (1948), The Card (1952) and Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969). In the John Schlesinger film version of Far from the Madding Crowd (1967) she played Mrs Hurst; her final screen appearance was in the Sherlock Holmes film The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976).[7]

Additional theatre work included appearances at Stratford, as well as the original West End productions of Bernard Shaw's Geneva in 1938; T.S. Eliot's The Cocktail Party and The Confidential Clerk in 1950 and 1954; John Osborne's Epitaph for George Dillon in 1958 (and its Broadway transfer); Harold Pinter's A Slight Ache in 1961; and N. F. Simpson's One Way Pendulum in 1959 (and its 1964 film version).[8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15]

Leggatt's television credits include the 1975 mini-series Edward the Seventh, in which she portrayed Queen Victoria's mother, the Duchess of Kent.[16]


Alison Leggatt died of natural causes in London, aged 86.[2]

Selected filmography


  1. V&A Archives, Theatre & Performance Special Collections, Elsie Fogerty Archive, THM/324
  2. AP. "Alison Leggatt Is Dead; British Actress Was 86".
  3. "Production of The Fanatics - Theatricalia".
  4. "Production of Cavalcade - Theatricalia".
  5. "BFI Screenonline: This Happy Breed (1944)".
  6. "Alison Leggatt - Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  7. "Alison Leggatt".
  8. "Alison Leggatt - Theatricalia".
  9. "Production of Geneva - Theatricalia".
  10. Wearing, J. P. (16 September 2014). "The London Stage 1950-1959: A Calendar of Productions, Performers, and Personnel". Rowman & Littlefield via Google Books.
  11. "Production of The Confidential Clerk - Theatricalia".
  12. League, The Broadway. "Epitaph for George Dillon – Broadway Play – Original - IBDB".
  13. Pinter, Harold (3 October 2013). "A Slight Ache". Faber & Faber via Google Books.
  14. "Production of One Way Pendulum - Theatricalia".
  15. "One Way Pendulum (1964)".
  16. "The New World (1975)".
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