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Coral Browne
, 1975

by Don Bachardy

pencil with ink wash on paper (sheet: 73.5 cm x 58.5 cm)

Coral Browne (1913-1991), actress, was born in Australia but made her career in the UK and the USA. An elegant, distinguished performer first noted for her comedic roles on the London stage, Browne began appearing in films in the late 1930s. Probably best known for her role as the dowager Lady Claire Gurney in Peter Medak's satire The Ruling Class (1972), she also appeared in the British TV drama An Englishman Abroad (1983) which was based on her real-life encounter in 1958 with the English spy Guy Burgess. Browne won great critical acclaim late in life for her performance in Gavin Millar's Dreamchild (1985). She played octogenarian Alice Hargreaves, who had been the inspiration for Lewis Carroll's Alice books. From 1974 until her death Browne was married to horror actor Vincent Price, her co-star in Theatre of Blood (1973).

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 1999
Accession number: 1999.20