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Julie Christie

in Doctor Zhivago (1965)
Born Julie Frances Christie
14 April 1941 (1941-04-14) (age 68)
Chabua, Assam,
British India
Occupation Actress
Years active 1963–present
Spouse(s) Duncan Campbell (2007-present)
Domestic partner(s) Warren Beatty (1967-1974)

Julie Frances Christie (born 14 April 1941) is a British actress. A pop icon of the "swinging London" era of the 1960s, she has won the Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Contents

Early life

Christie was born in Chabua, Assam, India, then part of the British Empire, the first of two children of Rosemary (née Ramsden) and Frank St. John Christie.[1] Christie's father ran the tea plantation around which Christie grew up, and her mother was a painter from Hove.[1] Christie had a brother, as well as a half-sibling from her father's affair with an Indian mistress.[2] Christie's parents separated during her childhood. She was baptized in the Anglican church,[2] and studied as a boarder at the independent Convent of Our Lady School in St. Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, from which she was later expelled, and then at the independent Wycombe Court School in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, also living with a foster mother from the age of six.[3] After her parents' divorce, Christie spent time with her mother in rural Wales.[3] As a teenager at Wycombe Court School, she played the role of the Dauphin in a school production of George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan. She later studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama[4] before getting her big break in 1961 in a science fiction series on BBC television, A for Andromeda.

Early career

Christie's first major film role was in The Fast Lady, a 1962 romantic comedy. She first gained notice as Liz, the friend and would-be lover of the eponymous Billy Liar (1963) played by Tom Courtenay. The director, John Schlesinger, cast Christie only after another actress dropped out of the film.

It was 1965 when Christie became known internationally. Schlesinger directed her in her breakthrough role, as the amoral model Diana Scott in Darling, a role which the producers originally offered to Shirley MacLaine. Christie appeared as Lara Antipova in David Lean's adaptation of Boris Pasternak's novel Doctor Zhivago (1965), one of the all-time box office hits, and as Daisy Battles in Young Cassidy, a biopic of Irish playwright Seán O'Casey, co-directed by Jack Cardiff and (uncredited) John Ford. In 1966, the 25-year-old Christie was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role when she played a double role in François Truffaut's Fahrenheit 451 and won the Academy Award for Best Actress and BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Darling. Later, she played Thomas Hardy's heroine Bathsheba Everdene in Schlesinger's Far from the Madding Crowd (1967) and the lead character, Petulia Danner, (opposite George C. Scott) in Richard Lester's Petulia (1968).

In the 1970s, Christie starred in smaller, but culturally significant films such as Robert Altman's postmodern western McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), with Warren Beatty, where her role as a brothel 'madam' gained her a second Best Actress Oscar nomination, The Go-Between (again co-starring Alan Bates, 1971), Don't Look Now (1973), Shampoo (1975), Altman's classic Nashville (also 1975, in an amusing cameo as herself opposite Karen Black and Henry Gibson), Demon Seed (1977), and Heaven Can Wait (1978), again with Beatty. She moved to Hollywood during the decade, where she had a high-profile (1967-1974), but intermittent relationship with Warren Beatty who described her as "the most beautiful and at the same time the most nervous person I had ever known."[3]

Following the end of the relationship with Beatty, she returned to the United Kingdom, where she lived on a farm in Wales. Never a prolific actress, even at the height of her fame and bankability in the 1960s, Christie made fewer and fewer films in the 1980s. She had a major supporting role in Sidney Lumet's Power (1986), but generally avoided appearances in large budget films and appeared in non-mainstream films. She narrated the 1981 documentary The Animals Film (directed by Myriam Alaux and Victor Schonfeld), which argues against vivisection.

Christie has turned down many leading roles in films such as They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, Anne of the Thousand Days and The Greek Tycoon. Christie also signed on to play the female lead in American Gigolo opposite Richard Gere, however when Gere dropped out and John Travolta was cast in the role, Christie too dropped out from the project. Gere changed his mind and took back the role, however it was too late for Christie as her part was already taken by Lauren Hutton. Julie Christie also had to drop out of the leading role in Agatha due to breaking her wrist whilst roller-skating; the part was filled by Vanessa Redgrave.

Later work

Christie appeared as Gertrude in Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet. Despite her classical training as an actor, it was her first-ever venture into Shakespeare. Her next critically acclaimed role was the unhappy wife in Alan Rudolph's domestic comedy-drama Afterglow, which gained her a third Oscar nomination.

Christie made a brief appearance in the third Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, playing Madame Rosmerta. That same year, she also appeared in two other high-profile films: Wolfgang Petersen's Troy and Marc Forster's Finding Neverland, playing Kate Winslet's mother. The latter performance earned Christie a BAFTA nomination as supporting actress in film.

Christie portrayed the female lead in Away From Her, a film about a long-married Canadian couple coping with the wife's Alzheimer's disease. Based on the Alice Munro short story "The Bear Came Over the Mountain", the movie was the first feature film directed by Christie's sometime co-star, Canadian actress Sarah Polley. She only took the role, she says, as Polley is her friend.[5] On her part, Polley said that Christie liked the script but initially turned it down as she was ambivalent about acting. It took several months of persuasion by Polley before Christie finally accepted the role, which was written with her in mind.

Debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2006 as part of the TIFF's Gala showcase, Away From Her drew rave reviews from the trade press, including the Hollywood Reporter, and the four Toronto dailies. The critics singled out the performances of Christie and her co-star, Canadian actor Gordon Pinsent, and Polley's assured direction. Her luminous performance generated Oscar buzz, leading the distributor, Lions Gate Entertainment, to buy the film at the festival to release the film in 2007 in order to build up momentum during the awards season. On December 5, 2007, Christie won the Best Actress Award from the National Board of Review for her performance in Away From Her.[6] She also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama, the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role and the Genie Award for Best Actress for the same film. On January 22, 2008, Christie received her fourth Oscar nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for the 80th Academy Awards, she was ultimately beaten out by Marion Cotillard for the Oscar. She appeared at the ceremony wearing a pin calling for the closure of the prison in Guantánamo Bay.

In 2008 Christie narrated Uncontacted Tribes, a short film for the British-based charity Survival International, featuring previously unseen footage of remote and endangered peoples.[7] Christie has been a long-standing supporter of the charity,[8] and in February 2008 was named as its first 'Ambassador'.[9]

Christie appeared in a segment of the 2008 film New York, I Love You, written by Anthony Minghella, directed by Shekhar Kapur, and co-starring Shia LaBeouf, and in Glorious 39, a movie about a British family at the beginning of World War II.

Personal life

Christie dated Warren Beatty (1967-1973). She is best friends with his sister Shirley MacLaine. In November 2007, aged 66, Christie discreetly married[10] her long-time partner (since 1979), The Guardian journalist Duncan Campbell. It was her first marriage and the wedding surprised many as Christie had long insisted for many years that marriage was not an option for her. She has owned a farm in Montgomeryshire, Wales, since the late 1970s, where she spends most of her time. She is active in various causes, including animal rights, environmental protection, the anti-nuclear power movement and is also a Patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.[11]

Filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1962 The Fast Lady Claire Chingford First film appearance
1962 Crooks Anonymous Babette LaVern
1963 Billy Liar Liz Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best British Actress
1965 Darling Diana Scott Academy Award for Best Actress
BAFTA Award for Best British Actress
National Board of Review Award for Best Actress also for Doctor Zhivago
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
Doctor Zhivago Lara Antipova National Board of Review Award for Best Actress also for Darling
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best British Actress
Young Cassidy Daisy Battles
1966 Fahrenheit 451 Clarisse / Linda Montag Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best British Actress
1967 Far from the Madding Crowd Bathsheba Everdene
Tonite Let's All Make Love in London Herself
1968 Petulia Petulia Danner
1969 In Search of Gregory Catherine Morelli
1970 The Go-Between Marian - Lady Trimingham Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
1971 McCabe & Mrs. Miller Constance Miller Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
1973 Don't Look Now Laura Baxter Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
1975 Shampoo Jackie Shawn Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
Nashville Herself
1977 Demon Seed Susan Harris
1978 Heaven Can Wait Betty Logan
1981 Memoirs of a Survivor 'D'
1982 The Return of the Soldier Kitty Baldry
Les Quarantièmes rugissants Catherine Dantec
1983 Heat and Dust Anne (1982. In Satipur Town)
The Gold Diggers Ruby
Separate Tables Mrs. Shankland Television film
1986 Champagne amer Betty Rivière
Miss Mary Mary Mulligan
Power Ellen Freeman
1988 Dadah Is Death Barbara Barlow
1990 Fools of Fortune Mrs. Quinton
1992 The Railway Station Man Helen Cuffe
1996 Hamlet Gertrude
Dragonheart Queen Aislinn
1997 Afterglow Phyllis Mann Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival Award for Best Cast
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
2001 Belphégor - Le fantôme du Louvre Glenda Spender
No Such Thing Dr. Anna
2002 I'm with Lucy Dori aka Autour de Lucy (France)
Snapshots Narma
2004 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Madame Rosmerta
Finding Neverland Mrs. Emma du Maurier Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Troy Thetis
2005 Garbo Narrator
Cycle of Peace Narrator
The Secret Life of Words Inge
2006 Away From Her Fiona Anderson Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
London Film Critics Circle Award for British Actress of the Year
National Board of Review Award for Best Actress
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role - Motion Picture
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Chlotrudis Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
2009 New York, I Love You Isabelle
Glorious 39 Elizabeth

Theatre

  • Cries From The Heart (2007)

Royal Court Theatre

  • Old Times (1995, 2007)

Wyndham's Theatre

  • Suzanna Andler (1997)

Chichester

  • Uncle Vanya (1973)

Broadway

  • The Comedy of Errors (1964)
  • Frinton Repertory of Essex (1957)

References

External links








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