She trod the boards with the best

The late Renee Asherson (she’d slightly shortened her surname from “Ascherson”) was a staple of the British stage for half a century, beginning in 1935 as a walk-on in John Gielgud’s production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, in which Gielgud and Laurence Olivier swapped roles night after night, one playing Romeo, the other Mercutio. (Officially, Asherson was the second understudy for Juliet, but she, too, wound up in multiple roles.) In 1945, she starred with Robert Donat in Walter Greenwood’s The Cure for Love; she continued to work with Donat, and in 1953 they were married. (He died five years later; she never remarried.)

In the 1940s and thereafter, she took film and television roles; on screen, she is perhaps best remembered as Princess Katherine in Olivier’s 1944 adaptation of Henry V.

Renee Asherson autograph

Renee Asherson as Princess Katherine

Renee Asherson in period costume

Los Otros (“The Others”), a 2001 gothic-horror film by Alejandro Amenábar, featured Renee Asherson’s last appearance. She died in 2014, about six months before her 100th birthday.

Comments are closed.