Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Googie Withers

This British actress appeared on stage and TV, and made more than 60 films between 1934 and 1996. During the 30s she was much in demand for lead roles in minor films and supporting roles in bigger ones. In 1992 she appeared in a TV programme called, rather disparagingly, Britain's Missing Movie Heritage.

I think I saw a TV series in which she was the governor of a women’s prison, and a few of the films, but none were particularly memorable; I remembered her face, but I doubt if her name would have stuck in my mind had it not such an odd one. For many years I deliberately refrained from finding out what the first part was short for, preferring to wonder about it at idle moments. On the analogy of Connie, I would muse, it might have been Googstance, or, as with Winnie, Googifred. And then, with wilder fancy: Penny, Googelope? Sammy, Googantha? Jenny, Googifer? Lizzie, Egoogabeth?

But when I read in the paper that she was 90 years old yesterday I felt it was time to end the speculation, so I looked her up.

Many Happy Returns, Georgette!

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