Renee Asherson (Renee Asherson)

Renee Asherson

Actress. A prolific and versatile artist over a career spanning eight decades, she shall be remembered for her Shakespearean performances on both stage and screen. Born Dorothy Renee Ascherson to a well-off family, she was raised in London, Switzerland, and France, was well educated, studied at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts, and made her October 17, 1935 professional bow with a small role in a production of “Romeo and Juliet”. Renee spent the years from 1937 to 1939 refining her craft at the Birmingham Repertory Theater and made her debut at the Old Vic in 1940 as Iris in “The Tempest”, her other assignments there including Maria in “Twelfth Night” and Nerissa from “The Merchant of Venice”. Her initial screen appearance came in 1939’s “Smiling at Grief”; after a few minor cinematic roles she landed her first starring turn in 1944’s “The Way Ahead” and later that year had her best known film role as Princess Katherine opposite Sir Laurence Olivier in “Henry V”. Seen the 1945 war movie “The Way to the Stars”, she later became a West End regular, her credits included Stella in “A Streetcar Named Desire”, Irina in “The Three Sisters”, and 1949’s “The Cure for Love”, a venture in which co-starred with her future husband Robert Donat in both the play and the subsequent film adaptation. Begining in the early 1950s, television provided her a decades-long succession of appearances, among them “Happy and Glorious”, “Rheingold Theatre”, “Clayhanger”, “Armchair Thriller”, “Goodbye Darling”, “Flesh and Blood”, “Tenko”, and the made-for-TV Miss Marple mystery “A Murder Is Announced”. While continuing her television and Shakespearean career, beginning in the 1960s Renee appeared in a number of horror flicks including “The Day the Earth Caught Fire” (1961) and the 1973 Vincent Price all-time classic “Theatre of Blood”. She kept busy well into advanced years, was last seen on screen as an old medium in 2001’s horror thriller “The Others”, lived out her days in London, and died of the infirmities of age. A number of her performances are preserved on DVD. (bio by: Bob Hufford)  Family links:  Spouse:  Robert Donat (1905 – 1958)


  • May, 19, 1915
  • England


  • October, 10, 2014
  • England


  • East Finchley Cemetery and Crematorium
  • England

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