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Shirley Anne Field

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Shirley Anne Field
Shirley Ann Field.jpg
Field (age 76) in 2014
Shirley Broomfield

(1938-06-27) 27 June 1938 (age 84)
Years active1955–present
SpouseCharles Crichton-Stuart (1967–late 1970s) (divorced)

Shirley Anne Field (born Shirley Broomfield; 27 June 1938) is an English actress who has performed on stage, film and television since 1955, prominent during the British New Wave.

Early life

Broomfield was born in Forest Gate, Essex (now in the London Borough of Newham). She was the third of four children, with two elder sisters and a younger brother, Earnest "Guy" Broomfield (c. 1939–1999). Her brother was murdered, in 1999, by Harry Dalsey, the son of Adrian Dalsey.[2][3]

At the age of six, Shirley was placed in the National Children's Home at Edgworth, near Bolton, Lancashire and four years later was moved to another children's home in Blackburn, where she attended Blakey Moor School for Girls. She subsequently returned to Edgworth until she was 15, when she moved to a children's home hostel in London, training as a typist while still attending school.[citation needed]

Acting career

Early roles

After a course at the Lucie Clayton School and Model Agency, she became a photographic model for pin-up magazines like Reveille and Titbits. She was subsequently spotted by Bill Watts, who ran a theatrical agency and obtained for her roles in late 1950s British films, usually uncredited.[citation needed]

Her first appearance in a film was as an extra in Simon and Laura (1955). She had small parts in All for Mary (1955), Lost (1956), Yield to the Night (1956) (directed by J. Lee Thompson), It's Never Too Late (1956), It's a Wonderful World (1956), The Weapon (1956), Loser Takes All (1956), The Silken Affair (1956), Dry Rot (1956), The Good Companions (1957) (again for Thompson), Seven Thunders (1957), and The Flesh Is Weak (1957). She was in episodes of The New Adventures of Martin Kane (1957) and International Detective.[citation needed]

Field's first sizeable film role was in Horrors of the Black Museum (1959). She had minor parts in Once More, with Feeling! (1960) and And the Same to You (1960). Field had a larger role in the controversial Peeping Tom (1960). She appeared on stage in The Lily White Boys with Albert Finney.[citation needed]


Field (age 25) in trailer for Kings of the Sun (1963).
Field (age 25) in trailer for Kings of the Sun (1963).

In 1960, Field's breakthrough came when she was chosen by Tony Richardson to play the role of model Tina Lapford in The Entertainer (1960), starring Laurence Olivier, distributed by Bryanston Films. Half a century later, she clarified that she did not owe her break to Olivier: "It was Tony Richardson I owe it all to."[4]

Field had a supporting role in Beat Girl (1960), then appeared in probably her best known role as Doreen, the would-be girlfriend of rebellious Arthur Seaton (played by Albert Finney), in the New Wave film for Bryanston, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960). Director, Karel Reisz, described her as "difficult to play with".[5] Co-star Finney had previously had a small role in The Entertainer. The film was a huge hit.[citation needed]

Field starred alongside Kenneth More in Man in the Moon (1960). With those three big film starring roles in 1960, she became one of the very few actors ever to have their name above the titles in all the major cinemas around Leicester Square simultaneously.[6]

Although offered a role in A Kind of Loving (1962), Field turned it down to play the female lead in a Hollywood financed film, The War Lover (1962), with Steve McQueen. Four decades later, she admitted that the shoot was not ideal:

"It was the stuff dreams are made of, but I didn't get to enjoy it like I should have. When I arrived I was so panicked and tired and the sun was just too yellow and the orange juice too orange. It was very stressful and I had a headache all the time. I just wasn't used to it. I didn't have anyone to look after me."[4]

In the UK, Field had the lead in Lunch Hour (1962), which was one of her favorite films.[7][8]

For Hammer films, Field starred in The Damned (1963), directed by Joseph Losey. She went to Hollywood to play the female lead in an epic directed by J. Lee Thompson, Kings of the Sun (1963). Thompson had her under personal contract at this stage.[9] She says she turned down roles in a James Bond movie and an Elvis Presley movie.[4]

Field went to Italy to appear in The Wedding March (1966), then back in England made Doctor in Clover (1966) and Alfie (1966). She had a supporting role in Hell Is Empty (1967).[10]

Later career

Field starred in With Love in Mind (1970) and A Touch of the Other (1970), then made House of the Living Dead (1974).[11]

By the late 1970s Field was more commonly seen on TV, in shows such as Centre Play, Shoestring, Buccaneer, Never the Twain and a long run on Santa Barbara as well as TV movies like Two by Forsyth. She had roles in films like My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), Shag (1989), Getting It Right (1989), The Rachel Papers (1989), Hear My Song (1991), UFO (1993), Taking Liberty (1993), Loving Deadly (1994), and At Risk (1994).[citation needed]

Later TV included Anna Lee: Headcase (1993), Murder She Wrote, Lady Chatterly, Rumble, Bramwell, Barbara, Madson, Dalziel and Pascoe, The Bill, Where the Heart Is, Waking the Dead, Monarch of the Glen, Last of the Summer Wine, Doctors. Her most recent films are The Kid, The Power of Three and Beautiful Relics.[12]

Personal life

On 7 July 1967, Field married the aristocratic RAF pilot and racing driver Charles Crichton-Stuart (1939–2001). They had a daughter, Nicola Crichton-Stuart, who was born in 1969. The marriage ended in divorce during the late 1970s. Her autobiography, A Time for Love, was published in 1991.[13]

On 14 November 1993, Field appeared on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs,[14] talking to Sue Lawley about her upbringing in different children's homes in Northern England and her success as an actress in the 1960s. She also reminisced about her friendship with John F. Kennedy and an ill-fated date with Frank Sinatra. Her record choices included Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major and pieces by Rachmaninov, Elvis Presley and the Carpenters.

In the September 2009 issue of Cinema Retro, there was a long interview with Field, where she candidly talked about her childhood and the making of Peeping Tom, The Entertainer, Beat Girl and The War Lover.[15]


Selected television appearances


  1. ^ "The Big Interview: Shirley Anne Field". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  2. ^ Lee, Henry (6 September 1999). "Son of DHL Founder's Widow Held in Walnut Creek Slaying". SFGate. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  3. ^ Kerr, Jane (8 June 2001). "SHIRLEY IN BATTLE FOR DEAD BROTHER". The Free Library. Farlex. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Mawston, Mark (1 September 2009). "Field of dreams [Interview with Shirley Ann Field]". Cinema Retro.
  5. ^ "9780060152352: No Bells on Sunday: The Rachel Roberts Journals - AbeBooks - Rachel Roberts: 0060152354". Retrieved 22 December 2019.
  6. ^ Padman, Tony (18 April 2015). "Whatever happened to...The Entertainer's Shirley Anne Field". Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  7. ^ Hiddleston, Tom (15 April 2011). "Interview with Shirley Ann Field about the movie on BBC Radio 4". Archived from the original on 11 October 2018. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  8. ^ Weiler, A. H. (4 November 1962). "View from a Local Vantage Point". The New York Times. p. X9.
  9. ^ Hopper, Hedda (15 December 1962). "Hedda Predicts Movie Boom Within Year". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 1.
  10. ^ Wynne-Morgan, David (30 July 1966). "title unknown". London Life; London: 10, 12.
  11. ^ WITH LOVE IN MIND Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 37, Iss. 432, (1 Jan 1970): 171.
  12. ^ "Interview: Shirley Anne Field". Den of Geek. 23 March 2009.
  13. ^ McFarlane, Brian. "ScreenOnline: "Field, Shirley Anne"". BFI. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  14. ^ BBC4, Desert Island Disc, 14 November 1993: "Shirley Anne Field" Retrieved 7 December 2012
  15. ^ Cinema Retro, September 2009: Field of Dreams Retrieved 7 December 2012
  16. ^ "Flipside 017: Lunch Hour (Dual Format Edition)" by James Hill, at


External links

This page was last edited on 6 March 2023, at 20:21
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