The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), 62-64 Gower St, London WC1E 6ED, UK
Fieldhead (now Kingfishers Nursing Home)
Beatrix Alice Lehmann (1 July 1903 – 31 July 1979) was a British actress, theatre director, writer and novelist.
Lehmann was born in Bourne End, Buckinghamshire. She trained at the RADA and made her stage debut as Peggy in a 1924 production The Way of the World at the Lyric Hammersmith. She also appeared in films and on television. She wrote short stories and two novels, including Rumour of Heaven, first published in 1934. In 1946 Lehmann became director and producer of the Arts Council Midland Theatre Company.
She was awarded Britain's Radio Actress of the Year in 1977. In 1978 she appeared in the Doctor Who serial The Stones of Blood as Professor Emilia Rumford. Although no one knew it at the time of recording this would be her final Television appearance. She played Susan Calvin in "The Prophet", an episode of the British science fiction series Out of the Unknown. In 1979 she played Mrs Pleasant in a film version of The Cat and The Canary. Other roles include parts in Z-Cars, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, War and Peace, Love for Lydia, Staircase, and Crime and Punishment.
She came from a family of notable achievers: the third of four children of author and publisher Rudolph Chambers Lehmann. Her great-uncle was Henri Lehmann the artist. Her brother was publisher John Lehmann and one of her two older sisters was the novelist Rosamond Lehmann.
When Henrietta Bingham's relationship with John Houseman ended, Mina Kirstein and Ernest Jones encouraged her to find another heterosexual male partner but, unfortunately, she was being deluged with letters from Beatrix Lehmann, whom she had met in Britain and who she had invited to join the Bingham family's 1927 holiday in Scotland where they had been "more than just friends". When her family returned home Henrietta stayed with Beatrix at the home of Rosamond Lehmann, and wrote syndicated articles for US newspapers about the English social scene, later turning to more serious topics such as the treatment of prisoners in European countries. By the end of the 1920s her father had come to realize, and even tolerate, her sexuality provided that, when in Kentucky, she wore a skirt.
On the spur of the moment in 1930, Henrietta bought a Bentley Speed Six Mulliner drophead coupé and she and Beatrix set off on a tour of Europe going via Stockholm to Berlin, Munich and Paris, enjoying the Roaring Twenties night life.
Beatrix Lehmann died in Camden, London, aged 76. There are 12 portraits of Beatrix Lehmann in the British National Portrait Gallery Collection.
My published books:
BACK TO HOME PAGE