Monday, April 1, 2019

Godspeed Julia Lockwood

Julia Lockwood Clark, the daughter of legendary British actress Margaret Lockwood and a star of film and television in her own right, died on March 24 2019 at age of 77.

Julia Lockwood was born Margaret Julia Leon on August 23 1941 in Bournemouth, Dorset. She was the daughter of Margaret Lockwood and Rupert Leon. Her parents divorced in 1949. Miss Lockwood followed her mother into acting while very young. She made her screen debut in an uncredited role as Fanny's daughter in her mother's film Hungry Hill in 1947. That same year she appeared in another one of her mother's films, The White Unicorn (1947), in her first credited role. She made her stage debut in Alice in Wonderland at the Kew Theatre in London in 1953. Miss Lockwood would have a considerable career on stage. She played Wendy opposite her mother as Peter in Peter Pan in 1957 and would later play the title role herself in 1959, 1960, 1963, and 1967.  She also appeared on stage in such plays as Every Other Evening, A Servant with Two Masters, The Jockey Club, Birds on a Wing, and Arsenic and Old Lace. Agatha Christie wrote a role for Miss Lockwood in her play Spider's Web, in which Margaret Lockwood starred. Unfortunately Julia Lockwood had prior commitments that would keep her from appearing in the play.

Julia Lockwood made her television debut in the BBC mini-series Heidi in October 1953. She also starred in the sequel Heidi Grows Up in 1954. She appeared opposite her mother, Margaret Lockwood, in the 1957-1958 TV series The Royalty. Miss Lockwood starred in the Associated-Rediffusion Television sitcom Don't Tell Father in 1959. During the Fifties Julia Lockwood also guest starred on the TV programmes The Invisible Man, Interpol Calling, and Saturday Playhouse. She appeared in the TV movies The Secret Way and Call It a Day. Miss Lockwood appeared in the films The Flying Eye (1955), The Solitary Child (1958), Please Turn Over (1959), and No Kidding (1960).

In the Sixties Julia Lockwood appeared on several series on British television. She starred in the series The Six Proud Walkers, Compact, and The Flying Swan (with her mother, Margaret Lockwood). She guest starred on the programmes Playdate, The Spies, and Out of the Unknown. In 1971 she starred on the series Birds on the Wing.

Julia Lockwood married actor Ernest Clark in 1972. She retired from acting in 1976.

Sadly, much of Julia Lockwood's work in television remains unavailable. In fact, some of it, like much of early British television, has been wiped. That having been said, enough of her television work, as well as the entirety of her work in film, remains to show that she was a very talented actress. In the Invisible Man episode "Odds Against Death", she played the teenage daughter of a British scientist, who is kidnapped by gangsters who want to use her as leverage with regards to her father. In her best known film role Please Turn Over, she played a seventeen year old hairdresser who writes a scandalous novel that the community takes to be a tell-all book about her family. In No Kidding she played a young woman with an overactive imagination. Miss Lockwood had a particular gift for comedy, making it all the more unfortunate that much of her work in television sitcoms remains unavailable. At the same time, she was equally talented in playing in dramas as well.

I never had the privilege of knowing Julia Lockwood, but I have friends who did and yet others who had met her. Mrs. Clark was a warm,woman with a love of plants and animals, as well as an interest in ghosts and a great sense of humour. She was a wonderful woman who was very much down-to-earth despite her mother literally being a legend and having been a film and TV star in her own right. Julia Lockwood Clark leaves behind not only a wonderful legacy on stage, in film, and on television, but one of wonderful memories for those who knew her.

(Special thanks to author Lyndsy Spence, who provided some of the information for this post.)

1 comment:

Virginie Pronovost said...

Beautiful tribute Terence. It's so unfortunate that her work isn't really available anymore.