Georgina Hale

Georgina A. Hole (born 4 August 1943), known professionally as Georgina Hale, is an English actress notable for many stage, film and television appearances; often in the works of director Ken Russell and writer Simon Gray. She won a BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer for her performance as Alma Mahler in the 1974 film, Mahler.

Georgina Hale
Georgina A. Hole

(1943-08-04) 4 August 1943
Years active1965present
Spouse(s)John Forgeham (1964 – c. 1969)[lower-alpha 1]

In 2010, Hale was featured in an article in the British newspaper The Guardian, where she was ranked third in a list of ten great character actors in British television.[3]

Life and early career

Hale was born in Ilford, Essex to Elsie (née Fordham) and George Robert Hole. She revealed that her "schooling was appalling since we were always moving around" and was unable to read or write for many years.[4] As a teenager, she worked as an apprentice hairdresser and studied Stanislavski's method approach to acting at a fledgling studio, the Chelsea Actors' Workshop, in London,[5] before being accepted into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Acting career


An accomplished stage actress, Hale made her professional debut at Stratford as a walk-on. She subsequently appeared in rep at Canterbury, Windsor and Ipswich; then at the Playhouse, Liverpool in 1967, where her parts included the title role in Gigi, and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. At the Thorndike Theatre in Leatherhead in October 1975 she played Liza Doolittle in Pygmalion, followed by an acclaimed portrayal of Nina in Chekhov's The Seagull at the Playhouse, Derby in July 1976, making her West End debut in the production when it transferred to the Duke of York's Theatre in August 1976.[6]

Other roles included: Marie Caroline David in The Tribades (Hampstead, May 1978); Melanie in Boo Hoo (Open Space, July 1978); and Bobbi Michele in The Last of the Red Hot Lovers (Royal Exchange, Manchester, April 1979 - transferring to the Criterion Theatre in November 1979).

In 1981, Hale played the role of Josie in Nell Dunn’s play, Steaming, at the Comedy Theatre in London. Hale received a 1981 Best Comedy Performance Olivier nomination for her performance.[7]

A year later in April 1982 she starred opposite Glenda Jackson in Summit Conference at the Lyric Theatre, playing Benito Mussolini's mistress Clara Petacci in a revival of Robert David MacDonald's play for the Citizens' Theatre, Glasgow.[8]

Over the years, Hale has made numerous appearances with the Citizens'. These include Mourning Becomes Electra (1991), The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore (1994), Britannicus (2002) and Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard (2002).

Other notable stage appearances include Simon Gray's Life Support, opposite Alan Bates, at the Aldwych Theatre in London (1997), Noël Coward’s Semi-Monde at the Lyric Theatre (2001), Roger Hall's Take A Chance On Me at the New End Theatre (2003), and as Nell in Samuel Beckett’s Endgame at the Barbican Centre (2006).


Hale’s most notable film role is arguably that of Alma Mahler in Ken Russell’s Mahler (1974), a biopic of the Austrian composer and conductor, Gustav Mahler. Hale received the 1975 Most Promising Newcomer BAFTA Film Award for her performance.[9] Hale also made appearances in a number of Russell’s other films, with supporting roles in The Devils (1971), and The Boy Friend (1971), and cameo roles in Lisztomania (1975), Valentino (1977), and Treasure Island (1995).

"Georgina actress of such sensitivity that she can make the hair rise on your arms."

Ken Russell, 2007[10]

Hale had a small role in the 1980 Walt Disney film The Watcher in the Woods, starring Bette Davis. Hale took the role of the younger version of Davis’ character largely because of her admiration for Davis.[11]

Subsequent film appearances include supporting roles in Butley (1974), Sweeney 2 (1978), McVicar (1980), Castaway (1986), Beyond Bedlam (1994), Preaching to the Perverted (1997), Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont (2005), and Cockneys vs Zombies (2011).


Hale's television career spans five decades. Her first major television appearances were opposite Adam Faith in the ITV series, Budgie (1971–72) and as Lili Dietrich in the miniseries The Strauss Family (1972). In 1974, she appeared in an episode of The Protectors as 'a girl' in a train cabin, alongside assassin, Tom Bell, travelling from Edinburgh to London. In 1975, Hale featured in two television plays written by Simon Gray. These were Plaintiffs and Defendants and Two Sundays, broadcast as part of the ITV series, Play for Today (1975).

In 1980, Hale portrayed Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in the UK, in the third episode of the first series of Lady Killers.

In 1990, Hale succeeded Elizabeth Estensen in the eponymous role of T-Bag, the villainous, tea drinking sorceress in a succession of children’s adventure series produced by Thames Television. Hale played the role in four series and two Christmas specials broadcast between 1990-92.

Other notable television appearances include guest starring roles in Upstairs, Downstairs (1975), Minder (1980), Hammer House of Horror (1980), the Doctor Who serial The Happiness Patrol (1988), One Foot in the Grave (1990), Murder Most Horrid (1994), The Bill (2002), Emmerdale (2006), and The Commander (2007).

From September 2010 to February 2011, Hale appeared as Blanche Longford in the long-running, British soap opera Hollyoaks.



Year Title Role Notes
1971 The Devils Phillippe
1971 The Boy Friend Fay
1972 Eagle in a Cage Betty Balcombe
1973 The Love Ban Joyce
1974 Mahler Alma Mahler BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer
1974 Butley Carol Heasman
1975 Lisztomania Uncredited Appearance
1976 Voyage of the Damned Lotte Schulman
1977 Valentino Uncredited Appearance
1978 Sweeney 2 Switchboard Girl
1979 The World Is Full of Married Men Lori Grossman
1980 The Watcher in the Woods Young Mrs Aylwood
1980 McVicar Kate
1981 Waiting Room The Woman Short Film
1986 Castaway Sister Saint Margaret
1988 Dogplant Professor Short Film
1994 Beyond Bedlam Sister Romulus
1995 Jackson: My Life... Your Fault Josephine
1997 Preaching to the Perverted Miss Wilderspin
2002 AKA Elizabeth of Lithuania
2003 Photo Finish Therapist
2005 Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont Shirley Burton
2011 Cockneys vs Zombies Doreen
2015 Angel Grandma

Selected television credits

Year Title Role Notes
1971 Budgie Jean
1972 The Strauss Family Lili Dietrich Mini-Series
1973 A.D.A.M. Jean Empson TV Film
Only Make Believe Sandra George
1974 Electra Chrysothemis
1975 Plaintiffs and Defendants Joanna
Two Sundays Hilary
Children of the Sun Fran
1978 The Seagull Masha
1980 Minder Renee Guest Star, episode The Beer Hunter
Lady Killers Ruth Ellis Guest Star, episode Lucky, Lucky Thirteen
1987 "Boon" Alison series 2 episode 10
1988 Doctor Who Daisy K Guest Star, The Happiness Patrol, Episodes 1,2 & 3
1989 Murder by Moonlight Allison Quinney TV Film
1990 One Foot In The Grave April Guest Star, episode Love And Death
T-Bag and the Pearls of Wisdom Tabatha Bag
1991 T-Bag and the Rings of Olympus Tabatha Bag
The Count of Solar Countess Solar TV Film
1992 T-Bag and the Sunstones of Montezuma Tabatha Bag
After the Dance Moya Lexington
Take off with T-Bag Tabatha Bag
1994 Six Characters in Search of an Author TV Film
1995 Treasure Island Mrs. Hawkins TV Film
1998 A Rather English Marriage Sabrina's Maid TV Film
2002 Trial and Retribution Tammy Delaney Guest Star, 1 episode
The Bill Marilyn Costello Guest Star, 3 episodes
2006 Emmerdale Beryl Chugspoke Guest Star, 3 episodes
2007 The Commander Vivian Littlewood Guest Star, episode The Devil You Know
2010–2011 Hollyoaks Blanche Longford Recurring Role, 7 episodes
2012 Crime Stories Sally Woods Guest Star, 1 episode
2016 Holby City Serephina Moore Guest Star, episode On the Ropes


  1. England and Wales Marriage Registration Index lists Hale and Forgeham's marriage as being registered in 1964.[1] An obituary for Foregham published by The Guardian notes his subsequent remarriage in 1970.[2]


  1. "England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005," database, FamilySearch (8 October 2014), Georgina A Hole and null, 1964; from “England & Wales Marriages, 1837-2005,” database, findmypast ( : 2012); citing 1964, quarter 1, vol. 5C, p. 1841, Hampstead, London, England, General Register Office, Southport, England.
  2. Hayward, Anthony (13 March 2017). "John Forgeham obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  3. "Looks Familiar: 10 great British character actors". London: 3 August 2010. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  4. "Georgina Hale Interview". Retrieved 17 May 2009.
  5. – recollections in biography, 2009, Mim Scala
  6. Who's Who in the Theatre, 17th edition (1981)
  7. "1981 Olivier Award Nominees". Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  8. Theatre Record Index, 1982
  9. "1975 Bafta Winners". Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  10. "Actresses Who Have Bewitched Me - Ken Russell". London: 30 August 2007. Retrieved 12 June 2009.
  11. Hough, John (2002). The Watcher in the Woods (DVD). Anchor Bay Entertainment, Walt Disney Pictures.

Further reading

  • Who's Who in the Theatre, 17th edition, Gale (1981) ISBN 0-8103-0234-9
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Peter Egan
for The Hireling
Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles
for Mahler

Succeeded by
Valerie Perrine
for Lenny
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