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Remembering Aldridge-born actress

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: May 31, 2014

By Dan Shaw

Isabel Dean

Isabel Dean

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DO you recall the Black Country-born actress Isabel Dean?

She was born Isabel Hodgkinson on May 29, 1918, in Aldridge. Intending to become an art teacher she studied at Birmingham Art School but in 1937 she joined the Cheltenham Repertory Company as a scenic artist.

It was not long before she started taking acting lessons and small parts in productions. She worked with repertory companies in Brighton and Norwich before making her London debut in May 1940 in adaption of Agatha Christie'sPeril at End House.

In 1944 she attrated attention as understudy to Peggy Ashcroft's Ophelia, opposite John Gielgud's Hamlet. However, she rejected the opportunity to carry on as understudy when the production toured India, harming her West End career.

Her first major television role was in the groundbreaking The Quatermass Experiment (1953), playing a scientist whose astronaut husband slowly mutates into an alien monster.

She also had TV roles in Barnaby Rudge (1960), Sense and Sensibility (1971), Ripping Yarns (1977) and Inspector Morse (1990). In film she appeared in The Story of Gilbert and Sullivan (1953), Light in the Piazza (1962), A High Wind in Jamaica (1965) and Oh! What a Lovely War (1969).

Isabel Dean died in London on July 27, 1997.

What are your memories of actress Isabel Dean? Please contact editor@black countrybugle.co.uk or drop us a line at 41 High Street, Cradley Heath, B64 5HL.

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