Renée Asherson Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (5)  | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (3)

Born in Kensington, London, England, UK
Died in Primrose Hill, London, England, UK  (natural causes)
Birth NameDorothy Renée Ascherson

Mini Bio (1)

A beautiful and durable actress of screen, stage and television, Asherson was born Renée Ascherson in London (dropping the "c" early in her acting career), the younger daughter of Charles Ascherson, a businessman and bibliophile of German-Jewish extraction, and his second wife, Dorothy Wiseman, who wed on 14 December 1910. (Her older sister was Janet Elizabeth Ascherson, born 22 May 1914).

Asherson's parents narrowly avoided being passengers on the fateful maiden voyage of the Titanic in 1912, after Charles Ascherson reportedly canceled the passage due to suffering from appendicitis.

She played the bride of Laurence Olivier's title character in Henry V (1944) (Henry V (1944)). She later appeared in Maniacs on Wheels (1949), a speedway drama with Dirk Bogarde. A frequent co-star of the actor Robert Donat, whom she married in 1953. The couple separated in 1956, but were due to reconcile at the time of his untimely death in London on 9th June 1958, aged 53.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: rms125a@hotmail.com

Spouse (1)

Robert Donat (4 May 1953 - 9 June 1958) ( his death)

Trivia (5)

Stepmother of John Donat.
Asherson's serendipitous casting as French Princess Katherine in Henry V (1944) was the result of Olivier fearing that 'Vivien Leigh was too big a star and might eclipse his own performance in the title role'.
Trained for the stage at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. Made her theatrical debut in a walk-on part in John Gielgud's 1935 revival of Romeo and Juliet at the New Theatre.
Aunt of writer Neal Ascherson, who is the son of Renée's half-brother from her father's first marriage in 1900.
She died only 13 days before her Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1966) co-star Richard Pasco.

Personal Quotes (1)

Larry [Laurence Olivier] saw me when I was at the Mercury, doing a revival of the Mask of Virtue, the play in which Vivien Leigh had made her name. Apparently they had come to see the play and then asked me to do a test for Henry V - I didn't even know Larry was filming it. Larry also asked Janet Burnell who was playing my mother to test for the Queen, and we both got the parts. It had been intended that Vivien should play the Princess but, after Gone with the Wind, her agents didn't think it was a big enough part for her.

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