Elizabeth Sellars

Pencil Portrait by Antonio Bosano.

Elizabeth Sellars Pencil Portrait
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The quality of the prints are at a much higher level compared to the image shown on the left.


A3 Pencil Print-Price £20.00-Purchase

A4 Pencil Print-Price £15.00-Purchase

*Limited edition run of 250 prints only*

All Pencil Prints are printed on the finest Bockingford Somerset Velvet 255 gsm paper.

P&P is not included in the above prices.


Last update : 3/6/21

Elizabeth Sellars passed away in December 2019 at the age of 98. For those of you unfamiliar with her screen work, some concentrated time spent watching “Talking Pictures” will soon highlight the Glaswegian born leading lady’s sheer industriousness. Her performances were always “intense” and her characterisations often less than wholly sympathetic, but she was always interesting and I rather liked her.

In her formative years, she was rebellious and refused to “play the fame game.” Even before going to ­Hollywood she had shown her free spirit – or awkwardness depending on your ­perspective – by taking time out from acting to study law and then going off on a gap year to Ceylon (Sri Lanka), where she developed a ­passion for curries and sitar music long before chicken tikka masala became Britain’s national dish.

A stage actress from the age of 15, Sellars trained for adult roles at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. She spent most of the war touring military bases, and when peacetime resumed appeared on the London stage in 1946 in “The Brothers Karamazov.” Her first film “ Floodtide,” followed in 1948.

In the 50’s, she appeared in the films Madeleine and Guilt Is My Shadow in 1950, Cloudburst (1951), Night Was Our Friend (1951), Hunted (1952), The Gentle Gunman (1952), The Long Memory (1953), The Broken Horseshoe (1953), Recoil (1953), Three’s Company (1953), Forbidden Cargo (1954), The Barefoot Contessa (1954), Désirée (1954), Prince of Players (1955), Three Cases of Murder (1955), The Last Man to Hang (1956), The Man in the Sky (1957), The Shiralee (1957), Law and Disorder (1958), Jet Storm (1959), The Day They Robbed the Bank of England (1960), and Never Let Go (1960). She appeared on television in the TV series Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Presents, The DuPont Show of the Month, BBC Sunday-Night Theatre, Armchair Theatre, Suspense, and ITV Playhouse.

While her British filmwork in the 1950s was generally rewarding, she was saddled with thankless secondary parts in such Hollywood productions as Sabrina (1954), The Barefoot Contessa (1954) and Prince of Players (1956).

In the 60’s, Sellars appeared in the movies The Webster Boy (1962), 55 Days at Peking (1963), The Chalk Garden (1964), and The Mummy’s Shroud (1967). She had a regular role on the British TV series R3. She guest starred on the shows One Step Beyond, BBC Su nday-Night Play, Drama 61-67, First Night, Love Story, Thirty-Minute Theatre, This Man Craig, The Power Game, The Wednesday Play, ITV Play of the Week, The Avengers, and W. Somerset Maugham.

After co-starring in 1973’s The Hireling, she would remain busy with several excellent television productions such as “ Voyage Round My Father”(1984) and “The Ghost in Monte Carlo” (1990), as well as the weekly British series “Shades of Greene” and “Beasts.”

If ever an aspiring film star confounded expectations, it was Elizabeth Sellars. Born and brought up in Glasgow, she read for the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn in London before moving to Beverly Hills in the 1950s. There, despite the entreaties of the studios that tried to put her under contract, she refused to play the publicity game.

Not only did she eschew the red carpet, the popping flashbulbs and the glitzy poolside parties, she would only talk to the press on her terms, explaining to them her preference for the theatre over the cinema or her lack of interest in wasting time finding a husband, despite receiving no fewer than five marriage proposals. Early in her career the actress could be heard to say – “The stage comes first, the law second, and marriage a very bad third.” The ­English director Charles Crichton reckoned she was “a cross between the early allure of Ingrid Bergman and the power of Bette Davis,” but many ­producers and journalists considered her “intellectual” – a negative quality in an actress in those days – and “confusing.”

She did marry eventually in 1960, to a Harley Street ­doctor, and she cut down on acting after that.

Accordingly therefore, she would not marry until her late 30’s and sadly had no children of her own, but by all accounts the union was a rewarding one. She would be preceded in death by her husband of 49 years Frank Henley, who died in 2009. She is survived by her stepson Raymond.

Recommended viewing

Guilt Is My Shadow (1950)

The Long Memory (1953)

Recoil (1953)

The Man in the Sky (1957)

The Chalk Garden (1964)

A Voyage round my Father (ITV) 1982