Thursday, 10 September 2015

Whatever Happened To ... Judy Geeson?


As it's Judy Geeson's birthday today I thought I'd write a blog about her career and find out what happened to her after her one and only Carry On appearance. Judy starred in the notorious Carry On England which was released in 1976 to less than favourable reviews. Sadly this was her only appearance in the series but thankfully this dud did not seem to affect her acting career.

Born in Sussex in 1948, Judy Geeson attended the famous Corona Academy in West London. Corona produced many notable young actors including Dennis Waterman and Richard O'Sullivan (as well as the majority of the younger cast in Carry On Teacher). Judy's earliest screen appearances came on television with guest spots in the likes of Probation Officer, Dixon of Dock Green and Emergency Ward 10. These roles all came in the early 1960s. Although further television appearances would follow (including a major role in the classic serial Poldark in the mid-1970s and a recurring role in an early soap opera, The Newcomers), Geeson found her greatest fame on the big screen with a run of major film parts.



Judy Geeson's first big success in films came in 1967 which she took on the role of Pamela in To Sir With Love opposite Sidney Poitier. Incidentally, both actors reprised their roles in an American television movie sequel in 1996. Further films came her way, including the 60s classic Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush, co-starring with Barry Evans, Adrienne Posta and Angela Scoular. This was followed by Prudence and the Pill, in which Judy worked with the likes of Joyce Redman, Edith Evans and David Niven. Judy also had another early role, playing Joan Crawford's naughty daughter Angela in the macabre British thriller Beserk! in 1967. The film also featured the likes of Robert Hardy, Diana Dors and Geoffrey Keen.


Another of Judy's famous screen roles came in 1971 when she played Beryl Evans in the film 10 Rillington Place. This film told the sinister true story of British serial killer John Christie, played by Richard Attenborough. John Hurt also starred as Judy's on screen husband. Judy followed this up with a run of classic British horror films, very much in vogue at the time. These included Fear In The Night (1972) starring Joan Collins and Peter Cushing; A Candle For the Devil (1973) and Dominique (1978) which co-starred Jenny Agutter, Jean Simmons, Flora Robson and Ron Moody. 



In 1975, Judy Geeson starred opposite Hollywood legend John Wayne in the police thriller Brannigan, which saw Wayne's character come to London to catch a Chicago mobster. The following year came Judy's sole Carry On role, as Tilly Willing in England. Judy was one of many new faces (including Patrick Mower, Diane Langton and Melvyn Hayes) who were drafted in to freshen up the film franchise. Unfortunately they couldn't play the Carry On comedy like the traditional regulars and the film flopped. This didn't stop Geeson signing up for two similar low-brow comedies at around this time. Judy starred alongside Robert Lindsay, Adrienne Posta and Barry Evans in the sub-Confessions film Adventures of A Taxi Driver and also appeared in the Betty Box and Ralph Thomas comedy Percy's Progress. 

Judy returned to big budget films later in 1976 with a supporting role in the Second World War drama The Eagle Has Landed. The film boasted an amazing cast which included Michael Caine, Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland, Jean Marsh and Jenny Agutter.  Judy continued to work in British film and television until she took the decision to move to the United States in the early 1980s. 

Work in the United States came mainly from television. Judy won roles in the likes of The Love Boat, Star Trek, MacGyver, Mad About You and Charmed. Having settled in California, Judy Geeson took a break from acting in the 2000s, however she has recently returned to film, appearing in two horror films - The Lords of Salem in 2012 and most recently, the slasher film 31, released this year.

Judy Geeson is also of course the sister of Carry On and Bless This House actress, Sally. The two sisters have never acted together, as far as I'm aware but both had very successful careers as the 1960s started to swing. Judy lived with the set designer Sean Kenny in the early 1970s and following his death married the actor Kristoffer Tabori in 1985. They divorced in 1989. 

As far as I'm aware Judy has never spoken about her role in Carry On England. I would love to hear her thoughts on the production. Whatever she is doing today, I hope she has a fantastic birthday!


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4 comments:

  1. I loved her in To Sir With Love, just watched it on TCM, so gorgeous I had to look her up, she is a lovely woman.

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  2. She played in the series Danger uxb as well and was facinating

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  3. She was fabulous as Caroline in the 1970's series of Poldark.

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  4. She was fabulous as Caroline in the 1970's series of Poldark.

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