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Maureen Pryor

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Title: Maureen Pryor  
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Subject: Frederick Delius, Ethel Smyth, Bill Gilmour (director), Doctor in the House, Madhouse on Castle Street, The Black Windmill, The Weak and the Wicked, Jelka Rosen, Life for Ruth, Song of Summer
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Maureen Pryor

Maureen Pryor (23 May 1922 – 5 May 1977) was an Irish-born English character actress who made stage, film and television appearances.

Early life

Maureen Pryor was born Maureen Pook in 1922 in Limerick, Ireland, to a Cockney father and an Irish mother. She began acting with Manchester Repertory in 1938 and studied with Michel Saint-Denis at the London Theatre Studio (1939–40).


She appeared in the West End in Seán O'Casey's Red Roses for Me, Noël Coward's Peace In Our Time, John Griffith Bowen's After the Rain (also on Broadway),[1] Doris Lessing’s Play with a Tiger[2] and plays such as Little Boxes and Where’s Tedd.[3] She was a member of the Stables Theatre Company. She also appeared on Broadway in the premiere season of Boeing-Boeing (1965).[1] In Manchester, she appeared in Eugene O'Neill's one-act play Before Breakfast, directed by Bill Gilmour.

She made over 500 television appearances, including a Play for Today, "O Fat White Woman" (1971),[4] adapted by William Trevor from his own short story, and Ken Russell's television film Song of Summer (1968), in which she played Jelka Delius, the long-suffering wife of the composer Frederick Delius. Russell cast her again in his cinema film The Music Lovers (1970) as Tchaikovsky's mother-in-law. In the 1974 BBC television film Shoulder to Shoulder she played the composer Dame Ethel Smyth.

Selected filmography

Personal life

Her first marriage ended in divorce, her second in separation. She had one son, Mark, and died in 1977 from a heart ailment.



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