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Anderson, Frances Margaret (Judith) (1898 - 1992)

Dame, AC, DBE

10 February 1898
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
3 January 1992
Santa Barbara, California, United States


Judith Anderson was the first Australian-born actress to be conferred with the title of Dame. On 01 January 1960 she was awarded the Order of the British Empire - Dames Commander, for services as an actress.


daughter of James and Jessie (née Saltmarsh) Anderson.

Frances Margaret Anderson, attended Norwood High School, South Australia. Her acting career commenced at the age of 17. Using the name of Francee Anderson she appeared, with English actor Julius Knight, at the Theatre Royal, Sydney.

Three years later, she travelled to the United States and worked with the Fourteenth Street Theatre in New York and the Emma Bunting Stock Company, in 1918-1919. In September 1922, using the name Frances Anderson, she made her debut on Broadway, in On the Stairs. After changing her name to Judith Anderson, she appeared in Cobra (1924), Interlude (1928) and Mourning Becomes Electra (1932). As Judith Anderson, she later played female roles in Medea, Hamlet and Macbeth.

Anderson's film credits include Mrs Danvers in Rebecca, for which she was nominated for an Oscar. Others films in which Anderson acted are Edge of Darkness, The Ten Commandments, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A Man Called Horse and Star Trek 111.

For her two performances of Lady Macbeth, Anderson was the first recipient of two separate Emmys for two separate performances. Also Anderson received the Women's International Centre (WIC) Living Legacy Award in 1986.

Dame Judith Anderson, who was twice married, died at the age of 93 in Santa Barbara, California in 1992.

Anne Heywood

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