Born: February 16, 1922; Died: March 11, 2012.
Faith Brook, who has died aged 90, was the daughter of an early Hollywood movie star and she went on to a distinguished career herself in film, television and theatre, with several notable appearances at the Edinburgh Festival.
She was a key figure in a major event in the official festival, celebrating the banned Russian poet Anna Akhmatova, in 1981. She also appeared in Peter Ustinov's play The Marriage the following year.
On stage she also worked with such luminaries as Michael Redgrave, Ian McKellen and Alec Guinness, who was a personal friend and her regular companion on theatre visits.
She and McKellen appeared in an acclaimed 1971 production of Hamlet, both in the West End and on a national tour, which included Edinburgh and Glasgow. Brook's boozy Gertrude is regarded by some as the definitive 20th Century interpretation of the role of Hamlet's mother.
But it was film and television that took her to her widest audience. She was Countess Rostova in the BBC adaptation of War and Peace (1972-1973), with Anthony Hopkins, and had recurring roles in Angels (1975-1976) and The Irish RM (1983-84).
Born in York in 1922, Faith Brook was the daughter of Clive Brook, an English silent movie star who went to Hollywood when she was just an infant. Her father survived the transition to sound and was Marlene Dietrich's co-star in Shanghai Express (1932).
Faith Brook grew up in California and made her screen debut at 19 in Alfred Hitchcock's Suspicion in 1941.
However, in the latter years of the Second World War she enlisted in the ATS, the Auxiliary Territorial Service, and appeared in a production of the Terence Rattigan play Flare Path that toured military bases in the Adriatic.
She married a doctor in the US and during the early 1950s appeared regularly on American television. The marriage ended in divorce, she was back in the UK by the end of the decade and was in the 1959 version of The 39 Steps. It filmed on location in Scotland, though she never made it over the Border – she was the spy who is killed in Richard Hannay's London flat at the start of the movie.
Brook played Kate Nelligan's mother in another Scottish-set spy thriller Eye of the Needle (1981), which starred Donald Sutherland and was shot on Mull and in the West Highlands.
Despite failing sight, Brook went on working into her 80s and received glowing notices for The Colour of Poppies, a one-woman show looking at sex and love from an elderly perspective, which she performed in London and on tour in 2005-2008.
She had married a second time, to another doctor, this time in the UK. That marriage also ended in divorce. She is survived by her son from the second marriage.
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