Maxine Audley

Maxine Audley (29 April 1923 – 23 July 1992) was an English theatre and film actress. She made her professional stage debut in July 1940 at the Open Air Theatre. Audley performed with the Old Vic company and the Royal Shakespeare Company many times. She appeared in more than 20 films, the first of which was the 1948 adaptation of Anna Karenina.

Maxine Audley
Maxine Hecht

(1923-04-29)29 April 1923
London, England
Died23 July 1992(1992-07-23) (aged 69)
Fulham, London, England
Other namesViolet M. Hecht
Years active1947–1992
Spouse(s)Leo Maguire (1978–1992) (her death)
Leonard Cassini (1944–?) divorced
Andrew Broughton (?–?) divorced
Frederick Granville (1954–1965) (a daughter)


Maxine Audley was born in London on 29 April 1923. Her parents were Henry Julius Hecht and Katherine Arkandy, a coloratura soprano. Audley attended the Westonbirt School in Gloucestershire. She trained for the stage at the Tamara Daykharhanova School in New York City and the London Mask Theatre School.[1]

Audley was married four times, to the pianist Leonard Cassini, to company manager Andrew Broughton, to Frederick Granville the impresario, with whom she had a daughter, Deborah Jane, and to Glasgow born actor and Leo Maguire 1938-1992 (not to be confused with Irish songwriter of the same name).[1][2] Audley died in London on 23 July 1992.[2]

Stage work

Audley made her first professional stage appearance in July 1940 at the Open Air Theatre in a walk-on role in a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. From 1940 to 1942, Audley performed with repertory companies in Tonbridge, Maidenhead and Birmingham. She again performed at the Open Air Theatre in 1942 and 1943, appearing in such roles as Nerissa in The Merchant of Venice and Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night's Dream.[1] After the Second World War, Audley toured with the Old Vic company in Arms and the Man and made her West End theatre debut in the 1948 musical Carissima.[2]

From 1948 to 1949, Audley performed in repertory theatre at the Nottingham Playhouse. The following year, she joined the company of what was then referred to as the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, touring Germany in the roles of Goneril in King Lear, Mariana in Measure for Measure and Ursula in Much Ado About Nothing. Audley continued to work with this company throughout her career, appearing with them again for their 1955 and 1957 seasons.[3] In the 1955 season, Audley appeared as Lady Macduff in Macbeth, a performance that was praised by Kenneth Tynan as having "exceptional power".[2] Audley portrayed Tamora in the 1957 production of Titus Andronicus, a role that she would later list as one of her favourites, along with Amanda in Private Lives and Blanche du Bois in A Streetcar Named Desire.[2][1]

In 1961, Audley joined the Old Vic company, appearing as Constance in King John at the Royal Lyceum Theatre and the Old Vic. The following year, she performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Edinburgh Festival. She worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company again in 1977, playing Volumnia in Coriolanus in Stratford and at the Aldwych Theatre. Other venues at which Audley has appeared include the Haymarket Theatre in 1963, the Palace Theatre, Watford in 1968 and the Warehouse Theatre in 1978.[1]

Film and TV work

Maxine Audley appeared in more than 20 films, her first appearance being in the 1948 adaptation of Anna Karenina.[2] She then appeared in The Prince and the Showgirl, A King in New York (1957), The Vikings, Dunkirk (1958) and Our Man in Havana in 1959. The following year, she created arguably her most famous film role, Mrs. Stephens in Peeping Tom. Her other films include The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960) as Ada Leverson, The Battle of the Villa Fiorita (1965), Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush (1968), House of Cards (1968), Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, Sinful Davey, The Looking Glass War (1969) and Running Scared (1972). Her television appearances included International Detective and Danger Man (1960), "The Edgar Wallace Mysteries" and "Man at the Carlton Tower" (1961), The Adventures of Black Beauty (1972), Space: 1999 (1976) and the television miniseries adaptations of Zastrozzi: A Romance (1986) and A Ghost in Monte Carlo (1990).


Year Title Role Notes
1948Anna KareninaMinor RoleUncredited
1954The Sleeping TigerCarol
1957The Barretts of Wimpole StreetArabel Barrett
1957The Prince and the ShowgirlLady Sunningdale
1957A King in New YorkQueen Irene
1958DunkirkDiana Foreman
1958The VikingsEnid
1959Our Man in HavanaTeresa
1960Bluebeards Ten HoneymoonsCynthia
1960Peeping TomMrs. Stephens
1960Hell Is a CityJulia Martineau
1960The Trials of Oscar WildeAda Leverson
1961Petticoat PiratesMary - Superintendent
1961Man at the Carlton TowerLydia Daney
1962The BrainMarion Fane
1963RicochetYvonne Phipps
1964A Jolly Bad FellowClarinda Bowles-Ottery
1965The Battle of the Villa FioritaCharmian
1965The Battle of the Villa FioritaLiz Teasdale
1968Here We Go Round the Mulberry BushMrs. Beauchamp
1968House of CardsMathilde Rosier
1969Sinful DaveyDuchess of Argyll
1969Frankenstein Must Be DestroyedElla Brandt
1970The Looking Glass WarMrs. Leclerc
1972Running ScaredMrs. Betancourt


  1. Ian Herbert, ed. (1981). "AUDLEY, Maxine". Who's Who in the Theatre. 1. Gale Research Company. pp. 30–31. ISSN 0083-9833.
  2. Vallance, Tom (25 July 1992). "Obituary: Maxine Audley". The Independent.
  3. McFarlane, Brian (2008). "Audley, Maxine (1923–1992)". BFI Screenonline. Retrieved 28 September 2009.
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