Photo of Joan Plowright Joan Plowright

Born Oct. 28, 1929, in North Lincolnshire, England, Joan Plowright trained at the Old Vic Theatre School and began a distinguished British stage career in 1951. Although she made her movie debut in the 1956 version of Moby Dick, it would be decades before she would become a recognized film star.

Plowright re-created her acclaimed stage role for the 1960 film version of The Entertainer, playing the daughter of Laurence Olivier; one year later, the two were married. That same year, she won Broadway's Tony Award for "A Taste of Honey."

After some little-seen British film roles in the 1980s, Plowright impressed American critics in I Love You to Death, Avalon, Enchanted April (1992 Oscar nomination) and The Summer House. Her broad range of movie roles has since included Dennis the Menace, Dinosaur (animation voice), Bringing Down the House, Tea with Mussolini and Curious George (2006).

Joan Plowright in The Grass Harp

The Grass Harp

1996 PG

Following the death of his mother, young Collin (Edward Furlong) goes to live with his two eccentric aunts, whose double-crossing antics make for a lively upbringing for Collin as he grows up in the Deep South of the 1940s. This witty coming-of-age drama, based on a novel by Truman Capote, includes an ensemble of four Academy Award winners (Sissy Spacek, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau and Mary Steenburgen) and one nominee (Piper Laurie).

  • Joan Plowright in 101 Dalmatians 101 Dalmatians
  • Joan Plowright in Tea with Mussolini Tea with Mussolini
  • Joan Plowright in Enchanted April Enchanted April
  • Joan Plowright in Last Action Hero Last Action Hero
  • Joan Plowright in Dinosaur Dinosaur
  • Joan Plowright in Widows' Peak Widows' Peak
  • Joan Plowright in Bringing Down the House Bringing Down the House
  • Joan Plowright in I Love You to Death I Love You to Death
  • Joan Plowright in The Spiderwick Chronicles The Spiderwick Chronicles
  • Joan Plowright in Importance of Being Earnes / Dorian Gray Importance of Being Earnes / Dorian Gray
  • Joan Plowright in Equus Equus
  • Joan Plowright in I Am David I Am David
  • Joan Plowright in Curious George Curious George
  • Joan Plowright in Three Sisters Three Sisters
  • Joan Plowright in Revolution Revisited Revolution Revisited
  • Joan Plowright in Dennis the Menace Dennis the Menace
  • Joan Plowright in Dance with Me Dance with Me
  • Joan Plowright in Rock My World Rock My World
  • Joan Plowright in Callas Forever Callas Forever
  • Joan Plowright in George and the Dragon George and the Dragon
  • Joan Plowright in Daphne Laureola Daphne Laureola
  • Joan Plowright in Frankie and Hazel Frankie and Hazel
  • Joan Plowright in Back to the Secret Garden Back to the Secret Garden
  • Joan Plowright in Knife Edge Knife Edge