Saturday 22 November 2014

Janet Henfrey

Actress Janet Henfrey as the school teacher in the BBC series 'The Singing Detective'

Janet Henfrey:

With her rather severe features - somewhere between Edith Sitwell and Geoffrey Bayldon - Janet Henfrey has been called on to play forbidding schoolmarms and formidable aristocrats, although she also has a nice line in charming English eccentricity. You may remember her from the schoolroom flashbacks in Dennis Potter's 'The Singing Detective', or have seen her quite recently in 'Dr Who' or 'Toast Of London'. 

Another scary Dennis Potter schoolteacher. This one from
'Stand Up Nigel Barton', a BBC Wednesday Play from 1965

She has a long association with the RSC and the Oxford Playhouse and her TV and film appearances were relatively sparsely distributed in the period from the early '60s until the early '80s. TV work has seen a variety of period dramas from 'Silas Marner' to 'Tipping The Velvet', and lots of Dickens adaptations. Lighter drama and comedy jobs include 'Jeeves & Wooster', 'Boon', 'Lovejoy', 'Father Brown', 'Agatha Christie's Marple', and a regular turn in 'As Time Goes By' with Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer.   

Less than a second to live... In the 2014 'Dr Who'
episode 'Mummy On The Orient Express' 

Film appearances include 'Reds' (1981), 'The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover' (1989), 'The Man Who Knew Too Little (1998), 'Les Miserables' (1998), 'Metamorphosis' (2012), and her earliest role, in Tommy Steele's 'It's All Happening' (1963). 

As girls' school headmistress, Miss Mapleton, extracting Bertie from
the police station in 'Jeeves & Wooster', thanks to Jeeves's intervention  

With Benjamin Whitrow and Matt Berry in 'Toast Of London'

She has appeared in a substantial number of kids' shows, such as 'Chocky', 'Simon & The Witch', 'Mr Majeika', 'The Famous Five', 'The Worst Witch' and 'Mike & Angelo'. She also has the distinction of having been in two Dr Who stories, the Sylveste McCoy era 'Curse of Fenric' and the Peter Capaldi episode 'Mummy On The Orient Express.

Looking a bit more contemporary in the 1988 BBC
children's show 'Simon & The Witch'.

Janet Henfrey-imdb

1 comment:

  1. Terrifying in fever dream scarecrow guise in "The Singing Detective". When that episode was first shown I was kept up with dread of her shuffling towards the bedside...