Actress. Born Edith Margaret Emily Ashcroft in Croydon, Surrey, England. After graduation from London's Central School of Dramatic Art, Ashcroft made her stage debut in the Birmingham Repertory's production of Dear Brutus in 1926, and her London debut a year later. She first gained recognition, however, for her portrayal Naomi in Jew Süss in 1929. She earned star status after a production of Romeo and Juliet in 1935 where hers was lauded as the finest portrayal of Juliet in the 20th century. A prolific actress, she appeared in numerous plays in the West End, moving into film with a debut in 1933 in The Wandering Jew. Ashcroft was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1951 and Dame Commander in 1956. She continued her career largely on stage, appearing in principal roles in more than 100 productions in England and on tour, making only occasional forays in film. Her filmography includes such classics as The 39 Steps in 1935; The Nun's Story in 1959; Sunday Bloody Sunday in 1971; and A Passage to India in 1984 for which she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. That same year, she appeared in the British series The Jewel in the Crown, for which she won a British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award for Best Television Actress. Her last appearance was in the 1989 television movie She's Been Away. She succumbed to a stroke in London at the age of 83.
Bio by: Iola
1882–1954 (m. 1934)