Billie Whitelaw Dies at 82

By Christine Torralba | 2 years ago
Billie Whitelaw Dies at 82

It’s a sad day for Hollywood as fans of Billie Whitelaw mourn the death of the actress. After battling with a long-term illness, the 82-year-old finally succumbed to her sickness.

Whitelaw has long been identified in the industry for her portrayal in a number of Samuel Beckett’s work. Because of her talent, Beckett used to describe Whitelaw as "the perfect actress." Not only did Whitelaw become the playwright’s muse. In fact, Whitelaw gained an important role as Beckett’s inspiration, to which she has appeared in six of his plays. And as Whitelaw once spoke of Beckett as someone who used her as a piece of plaster that the playwright used as a mould until the right shape was obtained.


Apart from working with Beckett, Whitelaw has also gained recognition for her appearance in more than 50 movies. Such movies that were part of the late actress’ portfolio include “The Omen,” “Frenzy” and “The Krays.” Whitelaw also gained recognition when she played the role of Desdemona. It also helped that Whitelaw did not limit herself to playing female roles. Her performance in BBC Radio’s Children’s Hour back in the 1950s led her to star in boy roles.

But if there’s any role that Whitelaw was best associated with, it would be her performance with Beckett’s “Play” in 1964. The performance was held at the National Theatre Company at the Old Vic. Whitelaw’s amazing performance in the play will always be something that people will remember her for.

After starring in that role, Whitelaw appeared in “Not I,” performed at the Royal Court in 1973. The play was also of Beckett’s. Just three years after, Whitelaw starred in “Footfalls,” which was a role that Beckett wrote specifically for her. This spiraled her career on stage in no time.

Whitelaw’s performance in the cinema was most remembered for her supporting role in films such as “Charlie Bubbles,” “Leo the Last” and “Frenzy.” This gave her the diversity and extraordinary range of being able to combine her talent and physical appeal to lead to her outstanding career. Surely, she will be missed.

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Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Andy Mabbett