Star Archive

Hermione Baddeley (1906 - 1986)

Hermione Baddeley's main career was on stage, and her revue performances have become the stuff of legend thanks to the dazzling array of characters she presented to the delight of audiences. Film work restricted her and she tended to be typecast as blousy mothers and maids, though within the limits of what she was offered there are some magnificent roles beautifully played.

Hermione Youlanda Ruby Clinton-Baddeley was born in Shropshire. She went to stage school at an early age and was treading the boards at the age of twelve. She scored her first successes in drama, but was soon in demand for comedy and she joined The Co-optimists revue troop in 1924. The 20s and 30s were the great decades for revue and Baddeley was a major attraction. In 1941 she teamed with Hermione Gingold for Rise Above It.

She still went dramatic occasionally and she was sought as a marquee "name" for an adaptation of Brighton Rock in 1943 to support newcomers Richard Attenborough and Dulcie Gray. Though author Graham Greene hated her performance, the play was a big hit and brought her back to film.

Baddeley had filmed several times before but had made little impression. Her avenging Ida in Brighton Rock made her a name for cinema audiences as well as West End ones. The 50s were full of leading support roles in both comedy and drama culminating in her Oscar-nominated role in Room at the Top.

This role helped establish her in the US and she took A Taste of Honey to Broadway in 1961. After that, she worked mainly in America, guesting on many television shows from Batman to Little House on the Prairie. She was particularly popular on the sitcom Maude in which she appeared over 40 times.

Baddeley married twice and had a long-term relationship with Laurence Harvey. She died in Los Angeles. Her sister Angela became a household name in the role of cook Mrs Bridges in Upstairs Downstairs, and her daughter Pauline Tennant also appeared on stage and in film. 


1927 A Daughter in Revolt
1928 The Guns of Loos
1930 Caste
1935 Royal Cavalcade
1941 Kipps
1947 It Always Rains on Sunday
1947 Brighton Rock
1948 No Room at the Inn
1948 Quartet
1949 Passport to Pimlico
1949 Dear Mr Prohack
1950 The Woman in Question
1951 Hell is Sold Out
1951 There is Another Sun
1951 Scrooge
1951 Tom Brown's Schooldays
1952 Song of Paris
1952 Time, Gentlemen, Please!
1952 The Pickwick Papers
1953 Cosh Boy
1953 Counterspy
1954 The Belles of St Trinian's
1956 Women Without Men
1959 Room at the Top
1959 Jet Storm
1959 Expresso Bongo
1960 Let's Get Married
1960 Midnight Lace
1961 Young, Willing and Eager
1961 Information Received
1964 The Unsinkable Molly Brown
1964 Mary Poppins
1965 Harlow
1965 Marriage on the Rocks
1965 Do Not Disturb
1967 The Adventure of Bullwhip Griffin
1967 The Happiest Millionaire
1970 The Aristocats
1972 Up the Front
1974 The Black Windmill
1979 C.H.O.M.P.S.
1980 There Goes the Bride
1982 The Secret of NIMH

Hermione Baddeley at Amazon UK   

Hermione Baddeley at Amazon US