Died on Friday, aged 82, English actress Geraldine McEwan, well known and admired in the UK by her stage career - shared the stage with actors like Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud - but whose international reputation was due more to roles she played in movies and, above all, to some of her interpretations in #Television
Already septuagenarian, McEwan starred in the twelve episodes of a new series inspired by the books of Agatha Christie starring Miss Marple. For those accustomed to previous interpretations of Miss Marple, as Margaret Rutherford and Angela Lansbury, McEwan version may seem strange, but it is not certain to be less faithful to the character of Agatha Christie.
This Miss Marple, skinny, bold and disrespectful of the conventions sparked some controversy in the UK, but is in the plots that the series moves away more clearly the stories of Agatha Christie. In the first four episodes, two involve, for example, lesbians connections that do not exist on their books, although it can be argued that the topic is subtly suggested in several books of the author. In its attempt to modernize the figure of the detective grandmother of the imaginary village of St. Mary Mead, the series does not shy away from too small deliberate provocations, such as to show Miss Marple, in which one can see an alter ego of the Queen of British police deduction, reading eagerly read novels from American police master, Raymond Chandler.
The actress used to mock the fact that many of its leading roles have already been before interpreted by famous actors, as happened with Jean Brodie, the heroine of the novel 'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie' of Muriel Spark. McEwan was Jean Brodie in the television series of 1978, after the highly prestigious Maggie Smith had already shined in the same role in 1969 in the film 'When spring Finish' of Ronald Neame. After seeing the show, the very Muriel Spark said to prefer the interpretation of McEwan.
The actress, who died in the hospital of Charing Cross in London, three months after suffering a stroke, debuted in cinema in 1953 with a supporting role in the movie 'There Was a Young Lady', of Lawrence Huntington. The following year she was invited to star in the TV series 'Crime On Your Hands', his first foray into the police, exactly 50 years before starting to record, in 2004, the first episodes of Miss Marple.
Highly versatile, on stages both played contemporary comedies like Shakespeare's tragedies, and his film career shows this diversity. Entered in comedies like No Kidding (1961) of Gerald Thomas; in adventure movies like Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) of Kevin Reynolds, and was still a daunting sister Bridget, a cruel nun and abuser in Sisters Mary Magdalene (2002) of Peter Mullan.
The actress, born in 1932 in a family of Irish descent, will be deeply missed.