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Freda Dowie (1928 - 2019) RIP

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  • Freda Dowie (1928 - 2019) RIP

    Freda Dowie died on 10 August 2019.

    https://www.familynotices24.co.uk/ed...mpson-ne-dowie


    IMDb page:

    https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0235782

  • #2
    I have just read that the wonderful Freda Dowie died a couple of weeks ago.

    Always remember her in Distant voices, still lives with Pete Postlethwaite.

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    • #3
      RIP Freda, I have asked about Freda before. So sorry to hear she has died. A really good actress and I thought she was excellent in distant voices.

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      • #4
        Freda Dowie, actress who excelled as the long-suffering abused mother in Terence Davies’s ‘Distant Voices, Still Lives’ – obituary Save


        Freda Dowie in ‘Distant Voices, Still Lives’ CREDIT: PHOTO 12 / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO
        22 AUGUST 2019 • 6:21PM

        Freda Dowie, who has died aged 91, was a character actress who specialised in long-suffering, put-upon characters, most notably as the abused mother in Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988), Terence Davies’s stunning debut feature film which won the International Critics’ Prize at Cannes.

        Drawn from Davies’s memories of his own childhood in post-war working class Liverpool, the film focused on the real-life experiences of his mother, sisters and brother whose lives are thwarted by their father (a chilling performance by Pete Postlethwaite) an abusive, violent man who is none the less capable of humour and gentleness.

        As the careworn, battered but ever-loving “Mum”, Freda Dowie almost wordlessly radiated stoicism and goodness, and she was nominated for a European Film Award for her performance.

        “When I met Terry, I’d been cast as a victim in a series of TV roles. That was a quality he was looking for,” she recalled.

        “Playing a non-fictitious person gives you a great responsibility. Some incidents, like when Pete Postlethwaite knocks me about, Terry wasn’t present at, so my craft came into play. But most of the time he was remembering. I took every bit of direction as if it were a memory of [his mother].”


        Freda Dowie, right, as Mrs Green in 'Oranges are not the Only Fruit', with Geraldine McEwan (left) and Elizabeth Spriggs CREDIT: EVERETT COLLECTION INC / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

        Born Freda May Dowie in Carlisle on July 22 1928, she attended Barrow Girls’ School before training as a drama teacher at Central School. From the mid-1950s, she formed part of the Tower Theatre Company, which was based near to where she lived in a two-up, two-down in Islington.

        She made her small screen debut in The Eustace Diamonds (1959), with David McCallum, and played the nursemaid in the 1966 Jonathan Miller BBC adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, in which she splashed around in the Pool of Tears with Alice (Anne-Marie Mallik).

        “It was a long scene” she recalled. “Jonathan Miller was on-hand with fluffy towels and a good slug of brandy. The longer the scene the more I shivered, so the more I drank and got drunk.”

        Twenty years later she was brilliant as the Cook in another BBC adaptation of Alice, with Kate Dorning in the title role. She also appeared into television film adaptations of Laurie Lee’s Cider with Rosie, as drama teacher Miss Crabby in the 1971 BBC film, then as Granny Wallon in the 1998 ITV version.

        She was Jack Watson’s long-suffering wife in the 1975 ITV drama series The Hanged Man (1975), Sally Brass in The Old Curiosity Shop (BBC, 1979) and the peevish Mrs Green in Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (BBC, 1990).

        On the big screen she had a small part in the espionage thriller Subterfuge (1968), and was the nervous nun who confronts the American ambassador Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck), over his evil son (Harvey Stephens) in Richard Donner’s The Omen (1976). Other film credits include Michael Winterbottom’s Butterfly Kiss (1995), Jude (1996) and Fragile (2005).

        In 1970, divorced from her first husband John Goodrich, she married the writer and director David Thompson. She went on to appear in his production of Euripedes’s Electra, with Derek Jacobi, and in his production of Tartuffe, with Leonard Rossiter – both at the Greenwich Theatre.

        In 1983 and 1984 she played Emily Dickinson in William Luce’s one-woman play The Belle of Amherst at the Theatre Royal, Bath.

        On radio she was Elspeth Cary in The Day of the Triffids (1968) and the Pythia in The Death of the Pythia or What Really Might Have Happened to Oedipus (1983).

        She recorded a number of audio books including Wuthering Heights and Dangerous Liaisons, and continued to work in television until about a decade ago, bowing out with roles in Midsomer Murders and Heartbeat.

        She and David Thompson settled in Suffolk, where he died in April this year.

        Freda Dowie, born July 22 1928, died August 10 2019
        Last edited by Maurice; 22nd August 2019, 10:59 PM.

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        • #5
          What an excellent obituary. Thanks for posting.

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          • #6
            The Guardian obituary

            https://www.theguardian.com/film/201...dowie-obituary

            Nick

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Luke 1972 View Post
              I have just read that the wonderful Freda Dowie died a couple of weeks ago.

              Always remember her in Distant voices, still lives with Pete Postlethwaite.
              That's very misleading. Couldn't make sense of it till I read Maurice's post.
              Would have understood: Distant Voices, Still Lives, with Pete Postlethwaite.

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              • #8
                Freda played Christopher Eccleston's Mum in the drama series 'Our friends in the North', which I thought was very good.......

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                • #9
                  The Guardian obituary is very good. More in-depth than the earlier one. Thanks to both posters.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Shirley Brahms View Post
                    That's very misleading. Couldn't make sense of it till I read Maurice's post.
                    Would have understood: Distant Voices, Still Lives, with Pete Postlethwaite.
                    Oh yeah. Just got that lol

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