London River - Brenda Blethyn
After twenty years of hard work on stage and television, there are not many
other actresses who deserved the success, recognition and stardom which
Brenda Blethyn has now achieved.
Born in 1946 in Ramsgate in Kent, England, she started her career at British Rail in the 1960s. Saving money during her time there, she took a risk and enrolled herself at The Guildford School of Acting in Guildford, Surrey, England and soon was able to leave British Rail behind. Her risk paid off. By the mid‐1970s, she was working on stage, eventually joining the National Theatre Company in 1975.
It was the 1980s, however, that saw Blethyn move onto the small screen when she appeared in a BBC2 Playhouse presentation called BBC2 Playhouse: Grown‐Ups (1980). She still remained relatively unknown with the viewing public during the 1980s, despite her consistent work. In 1990, she played the supporting cast member role of Mrs. Jenkins in film based on the Roald Dahl novel The Witches (1990), with Anjelica Huston, Jane Horrocks and Mai Zetterling. That led to her role in A River Runs Through It (1992) and the television film "Screen One: The Bullion Boys" (1993). It was then back to a TV series in 1994 with Outside Edge" (1994).
It is without a doubt that 1997 will be remembered as her biggest year to date. She was cast by her old friend Mike Leigh in the film Secrets & Lies (1996) as Cynthia Rose Purley, opposite highly talented Marianne Jean‐Baptiste. The film received rave reviews and Blethyn won a BAFTA Film Award and subsequently received an Academy Award® nomination for her role, along with Jean‐Baptiste. She received her second Oscar nomination in Little Voice (1998).
Brenda Blethyn discusses LONDON RIVER at the Toronto Film Festival: