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Judy Geeson

Judy Geeson at the special friends and fans screening of THE LORDS OF SALEM at the AMC Burbank 16, Burbank, California on April 18, 2013. Photo Credit Sue Schneider_MGP Agency

Judy Geeson was Born in Arundel, Sussex, on 10th September 1948. At the age of ten years old her family moved to London and soon enrolled Judy and sister Sally Geeson (who would go onto have her own successful career with roles in Bless This House, The Oblong Box, Cry of the Banshee) into the Corona Academy, Chiswick. Judy initially had ambitions of becoming a professional ballet dancer but switched to acting after suffering terrible headaches as a result of some of the ballet moves.

“I trained at a professional stage school, if you took yourself too seriously, or started to think you were better than anybody else, you just got the shit beaten out of you.”

Her first TV appearance came in 1961 at the age of 12 playing the role of Dawn Pearce in the Dixon of Dock Green episode “The Traffic of a Night.” She followed this up with the role of Gwen Thomas in Probation Officer, and the recurring role of Joanne Phipps in Emergency-Ward 10. More roles followed in Wings of Mystery, Television Club, The Wednesday Play, The Flying Swan, Danger Man, and Blackmail.

In 1967 Geeson achieved her big breakthrough roles as Pamela Dare in To Sir, With Love opposite Sidney Poitier. She reflected back on that role stating “when you act a scene with Sidney Poitier he listens intently to every word you say. You can feel your words hit him. He makes the scene utterly real.” Following To Sir, With Love, Geeson gained the role of Maria Cooper in The Newcomer and played that role for two years.

“Joan Crawford said she was lonely, and I could see and feel that she was. She wasn’t easy, but I think Berserk (1967) was hard on her precisely because it *was* a B-movie. And there was something very likable about her – after all, when people show their vulnerabilities, it’s hard not to forgive them for other things”

She also appeared in Man in a Suitcase, Berserk (opposite Joan Crawford), Hammerhead, The Executioner, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and the disturbing 10 Rillington Place.

Further roles included Doom Watch, Fear in the Night, The Adventurer, The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, It Happened at Nightmare Inn, Brannigan opposite John Wayne , Space: 1999, Diagnosis: Murder, and Carry On England.

“Oh, I loved John Wayne. He was just so charming and easy to work with. Although we shot the film in London, it was like making an American movie just because you were working with John Wayne. It was very funny to see the look on people’s faces when we were filming. We’d pull up in a car on a London street, and you’d see these people looking at him, and they must have been thinking, ‘That man looks just like John Wayne. But, oh, it can’t be.’ I think he got a kick out of that.”

In 1976, Geeson was cast as Fulvia in the television series Star Maidens.

Further roles in The Eagle Has Landed, Seven Faces of Woman, Poldark, Return of the Saint, Danger UXB, and Breakaway led Geeson into the 1980’s. Then in 1981 she starred in the film Inseminoid – a film she states was terrible and that she only did it for the money. Never the less it remains a cult classic to this day.

As the 1980’s rolled on Geeson would find a wide variety of work including The Kenny Everett Show, Tales of the Unexpected, The Plague Dogs, Murder She Wrote, The A-Team, MacGyver, Boon, and Monsters. The 1990’s were no different with Geeson still in demand appearing in Star Trek: Voyager, To Sir With Love II, Baywatch Nights, Fired Up, Houdini, and as Maggie Conway in the hit show Mad About You.

The new millennium saw Geeson still grace the big and small screen with roles in Touched by an Angel, Alien Fury: Countdown to Invasion, Charmed, Spanish Fly, Gilmore Girls, as Lacy Doyle in The Lords of Salem and then in 2016 she played Sister Dragon in 31.

 

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