Claire Bloom film Legend on a 10 by 8 photograph
has appeared in a number of plays and theatrical works in both London and New York. Those works include Look Back in Anger, Rashomon, and Bloom's favorite role, that of Blanche in the Tennessee Williams play A Streetcar Named Desire. Bloom has also performed in a one woman show that included monologues from several of her stage performances. She also starred in 1976 Broadway revival of The Innocents.
Bloom's first film role was in 1948, for the film The Blind Goddess.
She was chosen by Charlie Chaplin in 1952 to appear in his film Limelight, which catapulted Bloom to stardom, and remains one of her most memorable roles. Limelight is probably a unique film in at least one interesting respect. Its two leads were in the industry in no less than three different centuries. In the 19th Century, Chaplin made his theatrical debut at the age of eight, in 1897, in a clog dancing troupe, The Eight Lancaster Lads. In the 21st Century, Bloom is still enjoying a full and productive career, having appeared in dozens of films and television series produced up to and including 2011.
She was subsequently featured in a number of "costume" roles in films such as Alexander the Great, The Brothers Karamazov, The Buccaneer, and The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm. Bloom also appeared in Laurence Olivier's film version of Richard III, Ibsen's A Doll's House, The Outrage with Paul Newman and Laurence Harvey, as well as the films The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Look Back in Anger, both with Richard Burton.
In the 1960s she began to play more contemporary roles, including an unhinged housewife in The Chapman Report, a psychologist in the Oscar winning film Charly, and Theodora in The Haunting. She also appeared in the Woody Allen films Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) and Mighty Aphrodite (1995). Her most recent appearance in a Hollywood film was in the 2010 film The King's Speech.
Bloom has appeared on television, perhaps the most memorable of which was her portrayal of Lady Marchmain in Brideshead Revisited (1981). Other roles included two prominent BBC Television productions for director Rudolph Cartier; co-starring with Sean Connery in Anna Karenina (1961), and playing Cathy in Wuthering Heights with Keith Michell as Heathcliff (1962). She also appeared as First Lady Edith Wilson in Backstairs at the White House (1979); as Joy Gresham, the wife of C. S. Lewis in Shadowlands (For that performance she received the BAFTA Award as Best Actress. (1985), and as the older Sophy in the 1992 mini-series The Camomile Lawn on Britain's Channel 4. Her most recent appearance in a mini-series was in the 2006 version of The Ten Commandments.
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