Friday, 24 November 2017

JENNIE LINDEN: THE ACTRESS WHO FACED DALEKS VAMPIRE GIRLS AND A NAKED OLIVER REED!


WITH IT'S infamous fireplace scene of two men wrestling naked, it was, in its day, one of the most controversial films ever made in Britain, with audiences flocking to cinemas to be shocked and scandalised. Ken Russell’s 1969 screen adaptation of D. H. Lawrence’s Women In Love was a vivid celebration of sensuality and sexuality.


THE STORY of the lives and loves of two sisters, Ursula and Gudrun Brangwen, it was provocative and erotic, and the abundant nudity – both female and male – provoked outrage. An updated version of Lawrence’s story was produced and broadcast by the BBC in 2011. Beautifully made and brilliantly acted, it has no less flesh on view than in Russell’s film and yet no one batted an eyelid.


IT WAS a sign of the times and an irony that was not lost on Linden. Her luminous beauty lit up the screen and set male pulses racing the world over. Although nominated for a Bafta for her performance in Russell’s film, she gave up the chance of Hollywood because she wanted to bring up her son Rupert in England. . . .



BUT, before all this drama and promise of super-stardom, back in 1965 Jennie played Barbara, niece to Peter Cushing's Dr Who in the first of AARU's big screen adaptions of the BBC television series Dr Who. The programme and it's most popular aliens. THE DALEKS were taking the country by storm, and DALEKMANIA had started. Sadly, when the producers decided to make another Dr Who Dalek film, Jenny's role was taken by another actress, Jill Curzon . . . the reason? Maybe in time, we may all find out!







IMMEDIATELY, after work on 'Dr Who' with Cushing, Linden followed him  onto the stage in a production of Ben Traver's 'THARK' from August 3rd at the Garrick theatre and then in the West End at the Yvonne Arnaud, until December 1965. 



IN AN INTERVIEW at the time the play was running in Guildford, Cushing remembered that his character Sir Hector was called to share a four poster bed with his nephew, Ronnie (Alec McCowen) in the 'Haunted House' of 'Thark'. The rake (slope) of the stage was exceptionally steep and the bed, on castors, would edge closer and closer to the edge of the stage. 'We were, in danger of going 'Over The Top'! Director, Ray Cooney suggested that they push the bed back up stage, to the encouragement of the audience..!


JENNIE LINDEN was born in Worthing to Marcus and Freida Fletcher, an architect and housewife. She attended the Central School of Speech and Drama at the age of 17 on a scholarship. Her classmates included Julie Christie and Vanessa and Lynn Redgrave. Her earliest film appearances were as the heroine in Hammer Film's 'Nightmare' (1964) and Barbara in 'Dr. Who and the Daleks' (1965).




HER MOST widely known film role was as Ursula in Women in Love (1969), for which she received a BAFTA nomination, and she also appeared opposite Lee Remick and Ian Holm in the film version of Iris Murdoch's novel 'A Severed Head' (1970). Her later film appearances included 'Vampira' (1974), 'Hedda' (1975), 'Valentino' (1977), and 'Charlie Muffin' (1979).










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