Great British Character Actors No.2: Margaret Rutherford
Whether she was playing Miss Marple, Madame Arcati, a professor or a nurse, Dame Margaret Rutherford brought a unique energy to her roles, chasing baddies, climbing ladders and generally behaving like someone a fraction of her age. She didn’t appear in a West End acting role until she was in her forties. But her greatest role may have been the one they never filmed.
‘Miss Hargreaves’ by Frank Baker is about an old lady conjured from the imagination of two young men who need an alibi – until she becomes flesh and blood. It’s a funny, sinister novel recently republished by Ray Russell’s Tartarus Press, and Rutherford played the role on stage. She was due to make the film version, but sadly it didn’t happen.