Skip to main content

We’re thrilled to welcome you back to the Gallery! Please see what we need you to do first.

Menu

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Portrait of Ruth Cracknell as the Sibyl, 1995

Rosemary Valadon

oil on canvas

Ruth Cracknell AM (1925-2002) was grounded in theatrical practice by her mother and seven unmarried aunts, and joined an amateur drama club at seventeen. She left for England in 1952, where she worked in radio drama with the BBC. Returning to Australia in 1954 she joined the Phillip Street Theatre, in 1965 heading the cast of A Cup of Tea, a Bex and a Good Lie Down. Meanwhile, her film career began with a role in Smiley Gets a Gun (1958). Over the ensuing years she appeared in a great number of seminal theatre, television, and radio productions, winning major awards for roles in The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1977) and Mother and Son (1993). Cracknell was Patron of the Sydney Theatre Company and an influential spokesperson for older Australian women. In 2000 she published Journey From Venice, a thoughtful and affecting account of the death of her husband and her own 'journey' through grief.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2000

Accession number: 2000.3

Currently not on display

Copyright image request form
Request a digital copy of an image for publication

Artist and subject

Rosemary Valadon (age 48 in 1995)

Ruth Cracknell (age 70 in 1995)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Related portraits

1. Rosemary Valadon, 1995. All Greg Weight.

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

The Gallery

Explore portraiture and come face to face with Australian identity, history, culture, creativity and diversity.

Plan your visit

Timed ticketing, location, accessibility and amenities

Support your Portrait Gallery

We depend on your support to keep creating our programs, exhibitions, publications and building the amazing portrait collection!

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia


Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.