2006-06-30 18:24:31 UTC
Lives in Brief
June 28, 2006
Vickery Turner, actress and writer, was born on April 3, 1940.
She died on April 4, 2006, aged 66.
Vickery Turner appeared in some of the more controversial
television dramas of the 1960s, was an award-winning fixture in
the West End, creating the role of Sandy in The Prime of Miss
Jean Brodie opposite Vanessa Redgrave, and was also a writer.
She was born Christine Hazel Turner in Sunbury, Surrey. After
attending schools in Surrey and the US, she worked briefly as a
reporter on the Croydon Advertiser.
Her theatrical career began at RADA and working in repertory with
the Sheffield Playhouse and in Tunbridge Wells. She made her
London stage debut in 1963 in The Crucible at the National
Theatre, directed by Laurence Olivier. In 1965 she took her first
major TV role as Eileen in the Ken Loach production of Up the
Junction for the BBC’s Wednesday Play.
Turner’s television play, Keep On Running (1965), dealing with
youthful romance and sexual prejudice, appeared as part of the
BBC Television Thirty-Minute Theatre series.
In 1969 she met the screen actor Warren Oates on the Pinewood set
of Crooks and Coronets and after their marriage they moved to
Hollywood. There she starred opposite Richard Chamberlain in
Richard II and later in The Day After the Fair at the Schubert,
opposite Deborah Kerr.
Her marriage ended in 1974 and she returned to England, where she
met and married the American actor and writer Michael J. Shannon,
with whom she had a daughter. While she continued with her acting
work, playing Charlotte in the Yorkshire Television series The
Brontës of Haworth (1973) and Florence Dowell in the Granada film
The Good Soldier (1981), she increasingly focused on writing. Her
first novel, Focusing, was published in 1984 and two subsequent
novels, Lovers of Africa (1987) and Delicate Matters (1995), were
serialised on BBC Radio 4.
Turner was active to her last, recently producing and directing
two award-winning plays in Los Angeles: Everyone’s Friend — The
Scandalous Life and Times of US President Warren G. Harding, and
JFK on JFK, in which she directed her husband as Kennedy. She had
also just completed her fifth novel, Lost Heir, due for publication.