Bloom, Claire 1931–

views updated May 29 2018

Bloom, Claire 1931–

(Clair Bloom)


Original name, Patricia Claire Blume; born February 15, 1931, in London, England; daughter of Edward Max (in sales) and Elizabeth (maiden name, Grew) Blume; married Rod Steiger (an actor), September 19, 1959 (divorced, January, 1969); married Hillard Elkins (a director and producer), August 14, 1969 (divorced, c. 1972); married Philip Roth (a writer), April 29, 1990 (divorced, March, 1995; some sources cite 1993); children: (first marriage) Anna Justine (an opera singer). Education: Trained for the stage with Eileen Thorndike at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, 1946–48; also attended Central School of Speech and Drama, 1947–48. Avocational Interests: Opera, music, needlepoint.

Addresses: Agent—Jeremy Conway, Conway van Gelder Ltd., 18-21 Jermyn St., 3rd Floor, London SW1Y 6HP, England.

Career: Actress. Affiliated with British Broadcasting Corp., beginning 1946; also performed as child singer and radio actress in the early 1940s. Hunter College of the City University of New York, distinguished visiting professor, 1989–90; Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, associate member; narrator of performance by Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra.

Member: Actors' Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

Awards, Honors: Film Award, most promising newcomer to film, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and Elle Award, both 1953, for Limelight; Drama Desk Award, outstanding performance, 1971, and Outer Critics Circle Award, 1972, both for A Doll's House and Hedda Gabler; Distinguished Performance Award (with others), Drama League, 1972; Plays and Players Award, best actress, and London Evening Standard/Variety Club Award, both 1974, for A Streetcar Named Desire; Emmy Award nomination, outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or special, and Television Award nomination, best actress, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, both 1982, for Brideshead Revisited; Television Award, best actress, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, 1986, for Shadowlands; two Annual CableACE Award nominations, outstanding actress in a dramatic or theatrical special, National Cable Television Association, 1989, for both Intimate Contact and "Oedipus the King," The Theban Plays; Elliot Norton Award, lifetime achievement, 1993; Antoinette Perry Award nomination, best performance by a featured actress in a play, and Outer Critics Circle Award, outstanding featured actress in a play, both 1999, for Electra; medal, Shakespeare Society, 2001.


Film Appearances:

Mary Dearing, The Blind Goddess, General Films, 1947.

Tereza "Terry" Ambrose, Limelight, United Artists, 1952.

Voice of shepherdess for English language version, The Shepherdess and the Chimneysweep (animated; also known Adventures of Mr. Wonderful, The Curious Adventures of Mr. Wonderbird, and La bergere et le ramoneur), Lippert, 1952.

Susanne Mallison, The Man Between, United Artists, 1953.

Susan Robbins, Innocents in Paris (also known as Week-end a Paris), Tudor, 1955.

Barsine, Alexander the Great (also known as Alejandro Magno), United Artists, 1956.

Lady Anne Neville, Richard III, Lopert, 1956.

Bonnie Brown, The Buccaneer, Paramount, 1958.

Katya, The Brothers Karamazov (also known as Karamazov and The Murderer Dmitri Karamazov), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1958.

Helena Charles, Look Back in Anger, Warner Bros., 1959.

Irene Andreny, Schachnovelle (also known as Brainwashed, The Royal Game, and Three Steps to Freedom), Associated Artists, 1960.

Dorothea Grimm, The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1962.

Naomi Shields, The Chapman Report, Warner Bros., 1962.

Ada, Il maestro di Vigevano (also known as The Teacher from Vigevano), De Laurentiis Entertainment Group, 1963.

Julie Monks, 80,000 Suspects, Rank, 1963.

Theodora "Theo", The Haunting, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1963.

Laura, "Peccato nel pomeriggio," Alta infedelta (also known as High Infidelity and Haute infidelite), De Laurentiis Entertainment Group, 1964.

Nina Wakefield, The Outrage, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1964.

Nan Perry, The Spy Who Came In from the Cold, Paramount, 1965.

Alice Kinian, Charly, Cinerama, 1968.

Felicia, The Illustrated Man, Warner Bros./Seven Arts, 1969.

Frances Howard, Three Into Two Won't Go, Universal, 1969.

Ann Arnold, Red Sky at Morning, Universal, 1970.

Honor Klein, A Severed Head, Columbia, 1971.

Nora Helmer, A Doll's House, Paramount, 1973.

Audrey, Islands in the Stream, Paramount, 1977.

Hera, Clash of the Titans, United Artists, 1981.

Eleanor Harvey, Deja Vu, Cannon, 1985.

Alice, Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (also known as Sammy and Rosie), Cinecom, 1987.

Miriam Rosenthal, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Orion, 1989.

(Uncredited) The Age of Innocence, Columbia, 1993.

Voice of Great-Great-Grandmother Irene, The Princess and the Goblin (also known as A hercegnoe es a kobold), Hemdale Releasing, 1993.

Amanda's mother, Mighty Aphrodite, Buena Vista/Miramax, 1995.

Liz Stringer, Mad Dogs and Englishmen (also known as Shameless), BMG Video, 1995.

Eleanor Trilling, Daylight, Universal, 1996.

Lulu Fraker, Wrestling with Alligators, Homegrown Pictures, 1998.

Eva Smallwood, The Book of Eve (also known as Histoire d'Eve), Lions Gate Films, 2002.

Onion, The Republic of Love, Seville Pictures, 2003.

Sara Sternberg, Imagining Argentina, Arenas Entertainment, 2003.

Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin (documentary), 2003.

Claire Martin, Daniel and the Superdogs, Zephyr Films, 2004.

Eleanor, Kalamazoo?, Londinium Productions, 2006.

Television Appearances; Series:

A Legacy, 1975.

Orlena Grimaldi/Lena Smythe, As the World Turns, CBS, 1993–95.

Frances Pye, Family Money, Channel 4, 1997.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, Backstairs at the White House, NBC, 1979.

Athene, Oresteia (also known as The Serpent Son), BBC, 1979.

Lady Marchmain, Brideshead Revisited, Granada, 1981, broadcast on Great Performances, PBS, 1982.

This Lightning Always Strikes Twice (also known as Time for Murder: This Lightning Always Strikes Twice), Granada, 1984.

Rebecca Weiler, Ellis Island, CBS, 1984.

Czarina Alexandra, Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna (also known as Anastasia), NBC, 1986.

Edwina, Lady Dunvale, Hold the Dream, NBC, 1986.

Vicky Kelley, Queenie, ABC, 1987.

Ruth Gregory, Intimate Contact, HBO, 1987.

Lady Florence Delamere, Beryl Markham: A Shadow on the Sun (also known as Shadow on the Sun and A Shadow on the Sun: The Life of Beryl Markham), CBS, 1988.

The older Sophy, The Camomile Lawn, Channel 4, 1992.

Anne Deveraux Rawlings, Remember (also known as Barbara Taylor Bradford's "Remember"), NBC, 1993.

Voice, The Irish in America: The Long Journey Home, PBS, 1998.

Elinor, Imogen's Face, ITV, 1998, AMC, 1999.

Helen Masters, Trial & Retribution: Sins of the Father, ITV, 2006.

Rani, The Ten Commandments, ABC, 2006.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Cathy, Wuthering Heights, BBC, 1962.

Fanny Nightingale, Florence Nightingale, NBC, 1985.

Sally, Promises to Keep, CBS, 1985.

Madame Bartholdi, Liberty, NBC, 1986.

Lady Emma Darlington, The Lady and the Highwayman (also known as Dangerous Love), CBS, 1989.

Maria Cruz, Pas de deux, Yorkshire, 1990.

Evelyn Whitloff, It's Nothing Personal, NBC, 1993.

Cecily, A Village Affair, 1994.

Emma Sachs, The Lady in Question, Arts and Entertainment, 1999.

Nina Love, Love and Murder (also known as Criminal Instincts: Love and Murder and Crimes et passion), Lifetime, 2000.

Aunt Ida, Marple: By the Pricking of My Thumbs, ITV, 2006.

The older Helena, The Chatterley Affair, BBC4, 2006.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Juliet, Romeo and Juliet, 1955.

Title role, "Anna Karenina," The 25th Anniversary of BBC-TV, BBC, 1961, later broadcast on BBC Drama, BBC, 1964.

Queen Anne, "Soldier in Love" (also known as "George Schaefer's Showcase Theatre" and "George Schaefer's Showcase Theatre: Soldier in Love"), Hallmark Hall of Fame (also known as Hallmark Television Playhouse), NBC, 1967.

Sasha, Ivanov, CBS, 1967.

Presenter, The 40th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1968.

Hannah, The Going Up of David Lev, 1971.

Catherine of Aragon, "Henry VIII," Shakespeare Plays, PBS, 1979.

Gertrude, "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark" (also known as "Hamlet"), Shakespeare Plays, PBS, 1980.

Voice, "Misunderstood Monsters," CBS Children's Library, CBS, 1981.

Miss Cooper, Separate Tables, HBO, 1982.

Queen, "Cymbeline," Shakespeare Plays, PBS, 1982.

Hope Louff, "The Ghost Writer," American Playhouse, PBS, 1984.

Constance, "The Life and Death of King John" (also known as "King John"), Shakespeare Plays, PBS, 1985.

Mrs. Conway, Time and the Conways, BBC, 1985.

Joy Davidman, Shadowlands (also known as C. S. Lewis Through the Shadowlands), 1985, Arts and Entertainment, 1989.

Jocasta, "Oedipus the King," The Theban Plays, PBS, 1988.

Interviewee, "Vivien Leigh: Scarlett and Beyond," Biography, Arts and Entertainment, 1990.

Voice of Anna Akhmatova, Fear and the Muse: The Story of Anna Akhmatova, PBS, 1991.

Narrator, "Martha Graham: The Dancer Revealed," American Masters, PBS, 1994.

Hilla Rebay, 1071 Fifth Avenue: Frank Lloyd Wright & the Guggenheim Museum, Bravo, 1994.

Maddie Tynan, "What the Deaf Man Heard," Hallmark Hall of Fame, CBS, 1997.

Narrator, "Man-Eaters of India," National Geographic Explorer, TBS, 1997.

"Charlie Chaplin: A Tramp's Life," Biography, Arts and Entertainment, 1998.

"Brush Up Your Shakespeare," Evening at Pops, PBS, 1999.

Host and multiple Shakespearean women, Shakespeare's Women & Claire Bloom (also known as Claire Bloom and Shakespeare's Women), Bravo, 1999.

Evening at Pops: Keith Lockhart's 10th Anniversary Special, PBS, 2004.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Roxane, "Cyrano de Bergerac," Producers' Showcase, NBC, 1955.

Cleopatra, "Caesar and Cleopatra," Producers' Showcase, NBC, 1956.

"First Love," Goodyear Playhouse, NBC, 1957.

"Victoria Regina," Robert Montgomery Presents (also known as Lucky Strike Theatre, Montgomery's Summer Stock, and The Robert Montgomery Summer Theatre), NBC, 1957.

Juliet, "Romeo and Juliet," Producers' Showcase, NBC, 1957.

Beauty, "Beauty and the Beast," Shirley Temple's Storybook (also known as The Shirley Temple Show), NBC, 1958.

Person to Person, CBS, 1959.

Hypatia, "Misalliance," Playhouse 90, CBS, 1959.

Gina Burton, "Through a Dark Glass," Checkmate, CBS, 1961.

The Tonight Show, NBC, 1962.

"Claire Bloom Reads Poetry," Camera Three, CBS, 1964.

Margaret Chapman, "A Time to Love," Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theater (also known as The Chrysler Theatre and Universal Star Time), NBC, 1967.

"The Many Faces of Romeo and Juliet," The Bell Telephone Hour, NBC, 1967.

Guest, Charlie Chaplin: Mennesket, klovnen og instruktoeren, 1967.

The Merv Griffin Show, syndicated, 1967.

Amelia Lornan, "The Triumph of Death," Late Night Horror, BBC, 1968.

"An Imaginative Woman," Wessex Tales, BBC2, 1973.

Sheila Pennell, "Ice Storm," Great Mysteries, syndicated, 1973, broadcast as Orson Welles' Great Mysteries, Anglia, 1974.

Marina Gregg, "The Mirror Crack'd" (also known as "The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side"), Miss Marple, Arts and Entertainment, 1992.

(As Clair Bloom) Maggie, Yesterday's Children, CBS, 2000.

Interviewee, "On Cukor," American Masters, PBS, 2000.

Marion Whitney, "Unrequited," Law & Order: Criminal Intent (also known as Law & Order: CI), NBC, 2004.

Marie Hewitt, "To Murder and Create," Jericho, ITV, 2005.

Margaret Ellingham, "The Family Way," Doc Martin, ITV, 2005.

Stage Appearances:

Helen, An Italian Straw Hat, Oxford Repertory Theatre, Oxford, England, 1946.

Jessie, Pink String and Sealing Wax, Oxford Repertory Theatre, 1946.

Private Jesse Killigrew, It Depends What You Mean, Oxford Repertory Theatre, 1946.

He Who Gets Slapped, Under Thirty Group, Duchess Theatre, London, 1947.

The White Devil, Duchess Theatre, 1947.

Erinna, The Wanderer, His Majesty's Theatre, London, 1947.

Lady Blanche, King John, Memorial Theatre (now Shakespeare Memorial Theatre), Stratford-upon-Avon, England, 1948.

Ophelia, Hamlet, Memorial Theatre, 1948.

Perdita, The Winter's Tale, Memorial Theatre, 1948.

Alizon Eliot, The Lady's Not for Burning, Globe Theatre, London, 1949.

Daphne Randall, The Damask Cheek, Lyric Theatre, London, 1949.

Isabelle, Ring Around the Moon, Globe Theatre, 1950.

Jessica, The Merchant of Venice, Old Vic Company, Old Vic Theatre, London, 1952–53.

Juliet, Romeo and Juliet, Old Vic Company, Old Vic Theatre, 1952–53.

Ophelia, Hamlet, Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1953, then Old Vic Company, Old Vic Theatre, 1953–54.

Helena, All's Well that Ends Well, Old Vic Company, Old Vic Theatre, 1953–54.

Miranda, The Tempest, Old Vic Company, Old Vic Theatre, 1953–54.

Viola, Twelfth Night, Old Vic Company, Old Vic Theatre, 1953–54.

Virgilia, Coriolanus, Old Vic Company, Old Vic Theatre, 1953–54.

Cordelia, King Lear, Palace Theatre, London, then Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, both 1955.

Queen, King Richard II, Old Vic Company, Old Vic Theatre, 1955, then Winter Garden Theatre, New York City, 1957.

Juliet, Romeo and Juliet, Old Vic Company, Old Vic Theatre, 1956, then Winter Garden Theatre, 1957.

Lucille, Duel of Angels, Apollo Theatre, London, 1958.

Wife, Rashomon, Music Box Theatre, New York City, 1959.

Johanna, The Condemned of Altona, Royal Court Theatre, then Saville Theatre, both London, 1961.

Andromache, The Trojan Women, Spoleto Festival of the Two Worlds, Teatro Caio Melisso, Spoleto, Italy, 1963.

Sasha, Ivanov, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, England, then Phoenix Theatre, London, 1965.

Nora Helmer, A Doll's House, Playhouse Theatre, 1970–71, then Eisenhower Theatre, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC, 1971.

Hedda Tesman, Hedda Gabler, Playhouse Theatre, New York City, 1971.

Mary, Queen of Scots, Vivat! Vivat Regina!, Broadhurst Theatre, New York City, 1972.

Nora Helmer, A Doll's House, Criterion Theatre, London, 1973.

Blanche Dubois, A Streetcar Named Desire, Piccadilly Theatre, London, 1974.

Miss Giddens, The Innocents, Morosco Theatre, New York City, 1976.

Rebecca West, Rosmersholm, Haymarket Theatre Royal, London, 1977.

Madame Ranyeskvya, The Cherry Orchard, Chichester Festival Theatre, Chichester, England, 1981.

These Are Women: A Portrait of Shakespeare's Heroines (solo show), London, 1982–83.

Irena, When We Dead Waken, Almeida Theatre, London, 1990.

Daughters, Wives and Mothers, London, 1991.

Silenced Voices, London, 1992.

Women in Love, London, 1993.

The Cherry Orchard, London, 1994.

Medea, "Medea," Sturm und Drang (musical), Opera House, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY, 1994.

Mary Tyrone, Long Day's Journey into Night, American Repertory Theatre, Cambridge, MA, 1996.

Clytemnestra, Electra, McCarter Theatre, Princeton, NJ, 1998, then Ethel Barrymore Theatre, New York City, 1998–99.

A Mother's Day Salute to America's Founding Mothers of Liberty, PECO Energy Liberty Center, Independence Mall, Philadelphia, PA, 2000.

Julienne, Conversations after a Burial, Almeida Theatre, 2000.

Madame Armfeldt, A Little Night Music, Fifth Avenue Theatre, Seattle, WA, 2001, then New York City Opera, State Theatre, New York City, 2003.

Appeared as Lyubov, The Cherry Orchard, American Repertory Theatre; also appeared in Time Remembered, and in benefit performances.

Major Tours:

Juliet, Romeo and Juliet, Canadian and U.S. cities, 1956–57.

Queen, Richard II, U.S. cities, 1957.

These Are Women: A Portrait of Shakespeare's Heroines (solo show), British and U.S. cities, 1982–83.

Enter the Actress (solo show), U.S. cities, 1998.

Radio Appearances:

Confessions of an Opium Eater, 1946.



Narrator, The Sound of Music: From Fact to Phenomenon, Twentieth Century-Fox Home Entertainment, 1994.

"The World of Emily Dickinson," The Master Poets Collection, Monterey Movie, 1998.

Chaplin Today: Limelight, Warner Home Video, 2002.

Audio Books; Reader:

Dame Judith Anderson: Reading the Book of Judith/Claire Bloom: Reading the Book of Ruth, Caedmon, 1957.

Victorian Poetry, by Max Adrian and Alan Howard, HarperAudio, 1972.

Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank, Caedmon, 1978.

(Contributor) The 100 Greatest Books Ever Written on Audio Cassette, eight volumes, Easton Press, 1978.

Dick Whittington and His Cat and Other English Fairy Tales, Caedmon, 1983.

Little Red Riding Hood and the Dancing Princesses, Caedmon, 1983.

The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, by Beatrix Potter, HarperAudio, 1984.

The Tale of Jeremy Fisher, HarperAudio, 1984.

The Tale of the Two Bad Mice, HarperAudio, 1984.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Other Stories, by Beatrix Potter, Caedmon, 1985.

The Tailor of Gloucester and the Pie and the Patty Pan, by Beatrix Potter, Caedmon, 1985.

The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies and Five Other Stories, by Beatrix Potter, Caedmon, 1985.

The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin and Other Stories, by Beatrix Potter, Caedmon, 1985.

School for Scandal, by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, DH Audio, 1985.

Under the Greenwood Tree: Shakespeare for Young People, Stemmer House, 1986.

Childe Rowland and Other British Fairy Tales, Harper-Audio, 1986.

The Borrowers, HarperAudio, 1988.

Daughter of the House, Chivers Audio Books, 1988.

The Tale of Mr. Toad and the Tale of Timmy Tiptoes, by Beatrix Potter, Caedmon, 1988.

Vanity Fair: A Portrait of Becky Sharp, by William Makepeace Thackeray, Caedmon, 1988.

The Story of Swan Lake, by Piotr Tchaikovsky, HarperAudio, 1988.

A Room of One's Own, by Virginia Woolf, Caedmon, 1988.

All's Well that Ends Well, by William Shakespeare, HarperAudio, 1990.

Prince Caspian, by C. S. Lewis, HarperAudio, 1990.

Goldilocks and Other Stories, HarperCollins, 1990.

The Book of J Set, HarperAudio, 1991.

Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert, Highbridge Audio, 1992.

Hansel and Gretel: 40th Anniversary Edition, by the Brothers Grimm, Caedmon, 1992.

The Secret Garden: 40th Anniversary Edition, Caedmon, 1992.

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, Caedmon, 1992.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Complete Collection, by C. S. Lewis, HarperAudio, 1993.

Tales by Beatrix Potter, HarperAudio, 1993.

Waiting for Willa, Chivers North America, 1993.

Hansel and Gretel, by the Brothers Grimm, HarperCollins, 1994.

The Magician's Nephew, by C. S. Lewis, Caedmon, 1995.

The Story of the Nutcracker, Adapted by Janet Schulman, Caedmon, 1995.

"The Shawl," Jewish Short Stories from Eastern Europe and Beyond, National Yiddish Book Center, 1995.

The Story of Sleeping Beauty, Caedmon, 1995.

The Jane Austen Sampler: Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice, HarperAudio, 1996.

Jane Eyre, HarperAudio, 1996.

Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, Caedmon, 1996.

The Portrait of a Lady, by Henry James, Penguin Audio, 1996.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Four Other Stories, by Beatrix Potter, Caedmon, 1996.

Rabin: Our Life, His Legacy, by Leah Rabin, Simon & Schuster Audio, 1997.

Cousin Bette, by Honore de Balzac, Penguin Audio-books, 1998.

The Gift of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels, by Thomas Cahill, Simon & Schuster Audio, 1998.

Also reader for Adventures of Coneli, Golden Bird and Great Short Stories from around the World, Blackstone.



Limelight and After: The Education of an Actress, Harper, 1982.

Leaving a Doll's House: A Memoir, Little, Brown, 1996.

Contributor to books, including Celebrity Needlepoint, by John Scobey and Lee Parr McGrath, Dial, 1972.



Bloom, Claire, Limelight and After: The Education of an Actress, Harper, 1982.

Bloom, Claire, Leaving a Doll's House: A Memoir, Little, Brown, 1996.

International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, Volume 3: Actors and Actresses, 4th edition, St. James Press, 2000.

International Dictionary of Theatre, Volume 3: Actors, Directors, and Designers, St. James Press, 1996.


Booklist, March 15, 1997, p. 1252.

New Statesman, December 20, 1996, pp. 82-83.

People Weekly, October 28, 1996, pp. 63-65.

PR Newswire, May 9, 2000, p. 7929.

Publishers Weekly, November 1, 1991; October 5, 1992.

Bloom, Claire

views updated May 17 2018

BLOOM, Claire

Nationality: British. Born: Patricia Claire Bloom in North Finchley, London, England, 15 February 1931. Education: Attended school in Cardiff; Badminton School; Fern Hill Manor School New Milton; Dora Russel's School, London; Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, 1944–45; Central School of Speech and Drama, London, 1945–46. Family: Married 1) the actor Rod Steiger, 1959 (divorced 1969), daughter: Anna; 2) Hillard Elkins, 1969 (divorced 1976); 3) the writer Philip Roth, 1990. Career: 1940–43—in the United States as evacuee: child singer and actress on radio; 1946—radio debut in England in dramatization of Confessions of an Opium Eater; stage debut at Oxford Playhouse; 1947—West End debut in The White Devil; short film contract with J. Arthur Rank; 1948—with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon; 1951—cast by Charlie Chaplin in Limelight; 1952—debut at Old Vic in Romeo and Juliet; toured with the same play in the United States, 1956; later stage appearances include The Trojan Women in Spoleto, 1963, A Doll's House in New York, 1970, and A Streetcar Named Desire in London, 1974; work for TV includes the mini-series Backstairs at the White House, 1979, Brideshead Revisited, 1981, Ellis Island, 1984, Queenie, 1988, and Camomile Lawn, 1992. Awards: Most Promising Newcomer, British Academy, for Limelight, 1952. Agent: Marion Rosenberg Agency, 8428 Melrose Place, Suite C, Los Angeles, CA 90069, U.S.A.

Films as Actress:


The Blind Goddess (French) (as Mary Dearing)


Limelight (Chaplin) (as Terry)


Innocents in Paris (Parry) (as Susan Robbins); The ManBetween (Reed) (as Susanne Mallinson)


Richard III (Olivier) (as Lady Anne)


Alexander the Great (Rossen) (as Barsine)


The Brothers Karamazov (Richard Brooks) (as Katya); The Buccaneer (Quinn)


Look Back in Anger (Richardson) (as Helena Charles)


Die Schachnovelle (Brainwashed; The Royal Game; ThreeMoves to Freedom) (Oswald) (as Irene Andreny)


The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Levin) (as Dorothea Grimm); The Chapman Report (Cukor) (as Naomi Shields)


The Haunting (Wise) (as Theodosia); Il maestro di Vigevano (Petri); 80,000 Suspects (Guest) (as Julie Monks)


"Peccato nel pommeriggio" ("Sin in the Afternoon") ep. of Alta infideltà (High Infidelity) (Petri) (as Laura); The Outrage (Ritt) (as Wife)


The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (Ritt) (as Nan Perry)


Soldier in Love (Schaefer—for TV)


Charly (Nelson) (as Alice Kinian)


Three into Two Won't Go (Hall) (as Frances Howard); TheIllustrated Man (Smight) (as Felicia)


A Severed Head (Dick Clement) (as Honor Klein)


Red Sky at Morning (Goldstone) (as Ann Arnold); The GoingUp of David Lev (Collier—for TV)


A Doll's House (Garland) (as Nora Helmer)


Islands in the Stream (Schaffner) (as Audrey)


Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (Rodney Bennett—for TV) (as Gertrude)


Clash of the Titans (Desmond Davis) (as Hera)


Cymbeline (Moshinsky—for TV) (as Queen)


Separate Tables (Schlesinger—for TV) (as Miss Cooper)


Memories of Monet (Martindale) (as narrator); Oedipus the King (Don Taylor—for TV) (as Jocasta); The Ghost Writer(Tristam Powell—for TV)


Déjà Vu (Richmond) (as Eleanor Harvey); Florence Nightingale (Duke—for TV) (as Fanny Nightingale); Promises toKeep (Black) (as Sally); Shadowlands (Norman Stone—for TV) (as Joy Gresham); This Lightning Always StrikesTwice (for TV)


Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna (Chomsky—for TV) (as Czarina Alexandra); Hold the Dream (Don Sharp—for TV) (as Edwina); Liberty (Sarafian—for TV)


Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (Frears) (as Alice); Intimate Contact (Hussein—for TV) (as Ruth)


Beryl Markham: A Shadow on the Sun (Shadow on the Sun)(Richardson—for TV) (as Lady Florence Delamere)


Crimes and Misdemeanors (Woody Allen) (as Miriam Rosenthal); The Lady and the Highwayman (Hough—for TV) (as Lady Emma Darlington)


A Hercegnoe es a Kobold (The Princess and the Goblin) (Gemes—animation) (as voice of Fairy Godmother); The Age of Innocence (Scorsese) (uncredited role); Miss Marple:The Mirror Crack'd (The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side) (Norman Stone—for TV) (as Marina Gregg); It'sNothing Personal (Bradford May—for TV) (as Evelyn Whitloff); Barbara Taylor Bradford's Remember (Herzfeld—for TV) (as Anne)


Mighty Aphrodite (Woody Allen) (as Amanda's mother); Mad Dogs and Englishmen (Henry Cole) (as Stringer's wife)


Daylight (Cohen) (as Eleanor Trilling)


Family Money (Rye for TV) (as Frances Pye); What the DeafMan Heard (Harrison) (as Mrs. Tynan)


Wrestling with Aligators (Weltz) (Lulu Fraker); Imogen'sFace (Wheatley for TV) (as Elinor); The Irish in America: Long Journey Home (Lennon II, Zwonitzer for TV)


By BLOOM: book—

Limelight and After: The Education of an Actress, London, 1982.

Leaving a Doll's House: A Memoir, New York, 1998.

By BLOOM: articles—

"A Star without the Limelight," interview with P. Baker, in Films and Filming (London), March 1956.

"The Year of the Steigers," interview in Cinema (Beverly Hills), March 1966.

"Charles the Great" (remembering Charles Chaplin), in Vogue (New York), December 1992.

On BLOOM: articles—

Cover story in Time (New York), 17 November 1952.

Current Biography 1956, New York, 1956.

Films and Filming (London), February 1956.

Ciné Revue (Paris), 20 December 1979.

Photoplay (London), January 1982.

Bohlen, C., "New Voices for Two Silenced Russian Poets," in New York Times, 24 January 1993.

* * *

The screen persona of Claire Bloom has most often emerged as a blend of regality and vulnerability. This combination of traits manifested itself in the role of Terry, the ballerina heroine of Charles Chaplin's Limelight. Although the 1952 film did not mark her film debut (she had appeared in The Blind Goddess four years earlier), Limelight earned Bloom an international reputation. That she perceives this film as the real beginning of her career is evident from the title of her autobiography published in 1982, Limelight and After: The Education of an Actress.

Bloom's regality has characterized her performances in films ranging from Richard III, in which she played opposite Laurence Olivier, to Clash of the Titans, a Ray Harryhausen fantasy in which, as the goddess Hera, she again appeared opposite Olivier as Zeus. Vulnerability is the dominant trait of Bloom's parts in such films as The Outrage, Martin Ritt's Old West remake of Rashomon, Akira Kurosawa's study of shared guilt in feudal Japan. Perhaps Bloom has been at her most effective when a role allows her to merge the two traits. The Limelight part benefited from such an amalgam as did her characterization of Theodosia, the lesbian psychic in The Haunting. Based on a horror novel by Shirley Jackson, Robert Wise's film required Bloom to dominate such characters as Julie Harris's neurotic spinster while maintaining a somewhat subservient stance in relation to the mysterious—and, at times, frustratingly unseen—force that pervades the film's Val Lewton-ish milieu.

Bloom's continuing appearance in classical stage roles has definitely contributed to her screen presence. She has acted such Shakespearean parts as Juliet and Ophelia as well as modern roles such as Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire.

Still in demand for screen work by important contemporary directors, she has appeared recently for Stephen Frears in Sammy and Rose Get Laid and for Woody Allen in the ensemble cast of the seriocomic Crimes and Misdemeanors, as well as in Allen's Mighty Aphrodite. Earlier, she essayed the role of the American divorcée who captures the heart of British writer C. S. Lewis (Joss Ackland) in a television version of William Nicholson's stage drama Shadowlands— but for Richard Attenborough's 1993 film of the play, the role was taken by Debra Winger.

Bloom's most memorable on-screen partner, however, was Richard Burton, with whom she made three films: Alexander the Great, Look Back in Anger, and, most enduringly, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, based on John Le Carré's gloomy tale of love doomed by the duplicities of East-West espionage.

—William M. Clements, updated by John McCarty

Bloom, Claire

views updated May 29 2018


BLOOM, CLAIRE (1931– ), British actress. Claire Bloom won acclaim in The Lady's Not for Burning (1949) and as Juliet in the 1952 Old Vic production of Romeo and Juliet. Later plays include Duel of Angels (London, 1958) and Rashomon (Broadway, 1959). She gained screen fame as the ballerina in Charlie Chaplin's Limelight (1951). Other films include Richard iii (1956), Alexander the Great (1956), The Brothers Karamazov (1958), The Pawnbroker (1965), The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1966), Charlie (1968), A Doll's House (1973), Islandsin the Stream (1977), Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987), and Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989). She has continued to make films and tv dramas into the 21st century. Claire Bloom has been married three times; her third husband (from 1990 to 1995) was Philip *Roth, the American writer. She is the author of several autobiographical works, including Limelightand After: Education of an Actress (1982) and Leaving a Doll's House: A Memoir (1998).

[Jonathan Licht and

Willian D. Rubinstein (2nd ed)]