Anne Heywood

Anne Heywood

Anne Heywood was born in 1932 in Birmingham.   Her real name is Violet Pretty.   She made her movie debut in 1951 in “Lady Godiva Rides Again” which has some of the future leading ladies of British films in the cast, Joan Collins, Diana Dors, Kay Kendall and Dana Wynter.   As the 1950’s progressed, she graduated from featured roles to leading lady status.   By 1959 she was the leading lady to Howard Keel in “Floods of Fear” and to Robert Mitchum in “A Terrible Beauty”.   In 1968 she won terrific critical plaudits for her performance in an adaltation of D.H. Lawerence’s “The Fox”.   She then was leading lady to Gregory Peck in “The Chairman”.   She moved to the U.S. where she continued her career.   Her last acting part was in an episode of Edward Woodward’s “The Equaliser”.

Her IMDB entry:

Befitting her original name (Violet Pretty), the knockout English brunette Anne Heywood won the coveted “Miss Great Britain” beauty title in 1950 at the young age of 17. Born on December 11, 1932, the daughter of a violinist, she originally trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She gained early experience on the stage with the Highbury Players in Birmingham and moved on to some TV work. The Rank Organization caught sight of her and offered the former beauty queen a seven-year contract. During that time, however, she was pretty much relegated to playing ‘nice girl’ types in the 50s and 60s.

In later career, her film appearances courted controversy and she seemed drawn toward highly troubled, flawed characters. Very popular with Italian audiences, Anne never endeared herself to American filmgoers although she did stir up some curiosity with one of her more noteworthy films, the pioneer lesbian drama The Fox (1967). Starring Anne with Sandy Dennis, the two were quite believable as an unhappy, isolated couple whose relationship is irreparably shattered by the appearance of a handsome stranger (Keir Dullea). At the height of the movie’s publicity, Playboy magazine revealed a “pictorial essay” just prior to its 1967 release with Anne in a nude and auto-erotic spread. The film won a “Best Foreign Film” Golden Globe Award (it was made in Canada) and Anne herself earned a “Best Actress” nod.

Despite being aggressively promoted in its aftermath by husband/producer Raymond Stross, who was instrumental in reshaping her image with such sexy, offbeat dramas asThe Night Fighters (1960), The Very Edge (1963), Ninety Degrees in the Shade (1965),Midas Run (1969), I Want What I Want (1972) and Good Luck, Miss Wyckoff (1979), Anne has remained a distinct European film product. Following her husband’s death in 1988, Anne remarried (to a former New York Assistant Attorney General) and begged away from the camera. The couple settled in Beverly Hills.

– IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh /

Her IMDB entry can also be accessed on line here.

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