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Jill Esmond

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Jill Esmond (26 January 1908 – 28 July 1990) was an English actress and first wife of Sir Laurence Olivier. In 1928 Esmond (billed as Jill Esmond Moore) appeared in the production of Bird in the Hand, where she met fellow cast member Laurence Olivier for the first time. Three weeks later, he proposed to her. In his autobiography Olivier later wrote that he was smitten with Esmond, and that her cool indifference to him did nothing but further his ardour. When Bird in the Hand was being staged on Broadway, Esmond was chosen to join the American production – but Olivier was not. Determined to be near Esmond, Olivier travelled to New York City where he found work as an actor. Esmond won rave reviews for her performance. Olivier continued to follow Esmond, and after proposing to her several times, she agreed and the couple were married on 25 July 1930 at All Saints', Margaret Street; within weeks, the couple regretted their marriage. They had one son, Tarquin Olivier (born 21 August 1936). Returning to the United Kingdom, Esmond made her film debut with a starring role in an early Alfred Hitchcock film The Skin Game (1931), and over the next few years appeared in several British and (pre-Code) Hollywood films, including Thirteen Women (1932). She also appeared in two Broadway productions with Olivier, Private Lives in 1931 with Noël Coward and Gertrude Lawrence and The Green Bay Tree in 1933. Esmond's career continued to ascend while Olivier's own career languished, but after a couple of years, when his career began to show promise, she began to refuse roles. Esmond had been promised a role by David O. Selznick in A Bill of Divorcement (1932) but at only half-salary. Olivier had discovered that Katharine Hepburn had been offered a much greater salary, and convinced Esmond to turn down the role. Description above from the Wikipedia article Jill Esmond, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.

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Jan 26, 1908 In London, England, UK
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie The Chinese Bungalow 1930-09-26
Latest Project:
Series Alfred Hitchcock Presents 1955-10-02
Known For
Poster of Escape
Poster of Random Harvest
Poster of The Pied Piper
Poster of Eagle Squadron
Movie A Man Called Peter Mrs. Findlay 1955-03-31
Series Alfred Hitchcock Presents Jill Hillcrist (archive footage) (uncredited) 1955-10-02
Movie Night People Frau Schindler / Rachel Cameron 1954-03-11
Movie Private Information Mrs. Charlotte Carson 1952-05-01
Movie Escape Grace Winton 1948-03-01
Movie The Bandit of Sherwood Forest The Queen Mother 1946-02-21
Movie Bedelia Nurse Harris 1946-07-08
Movie Casanova Brown Dr. Zernerke 1944-08-23
Movie The White Cliffs of Dover Rosamund 1944-05-11
Movie My Pal Wolf Elizabeth Munn 1944-09-25
Movie This Above All Nurse Emily Harvey 1942-05-12
Movie On the Sunny Side Mrs. Aylesworth 1942-02-13
Movie Eagle Squadron Phyllis 1942-06-16
Movie The Pied Piper Mrs. Cavanaugh 1942-08-21
Movie Journey for Margaret Susan Fleming 1942-12-17
Movie Random Harvest Lydia 1942-12-17
Movie Prison Without Bars Unknown 1939-07-29
Movie F.P.1 Claire Lennartz 1933-04-02
Movie State's Attorney Lillian Ulrich 1932-05-20
Movie Ladies of the Jury Yvette Gordon 1932-02-02
Movie Is My Face Red? Mildred Huntington 1932-06-17
Movie Thirteen Women Jo Turner 1932-09-16
Movie The Eternal Feminine Claire Lee 1931-02-01
Movie The Skin Game Jill Hillcrist 1931-02-26
Movie Once a Lady Faith Penwick 1931-11-07
Movie The Chinese Bungalow Jean 1930-09-26