Samantha Eggar [Victoria Louise Samantha Marie Elizabeth Therese Eggar] (1939-) b. London, England.
The daughter of a British Army brigadier, capable auburn-haired beauty Samantha Eggar was educated at a convent and began her acting career in her teens with several Shakespearean companies in the provinces, and for two seasons at the Oxford Playhouse. Whilst appearing in the Royal Court Theatre production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream she was discovered by Rank producer Betty Box who cast her as a college student in The Wild and the Willing (1962) and a love-interest in Doctor in Distress (1963), she was also affecting as Donald Pleasence’s mistress in Dr. Crippen (1962).
She won critical reviews and an Oscar nomination for her performance as the anxious kidnap victim of William Wyler’s haunting The Collector (1965), co-starring Terence Stamp. There then followed a succession of unremarkable film roles including Psyche 59 (1964), Walk, Don’t Run (1966) and as the object of Rex Harrison‘s affection in Doctor Doolittle (1967). Though she had several excellent films to her credit including J. Lee Thompson’s noirish thriller Return from the Ashes (1965), she mysteriously failed to become a major star. For the rest of her prolific career, she co-starred in few big US films, notably The Molly Maguires (1970) and produced a notable performance in The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976), and subsequently appeared in routine US telemovies and horror features like The Uncanny (1977) and The Brood (1979). In the 90s, Eggar has appeared in minor roles in big-budget productions including a society mother in Simon Wincer’s The Phantom (1996) and a cameo role in The Astronaut’s Wife (1999).