Search

Tributes paid as Harry Potter star and renowned actress dies at home in Swiss Cottage

17:23 14 February 2014

Margery Mason at her 100th birthday in September 2013. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Margery Mason at her 100th birthday in September 2013. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

A familiar face on our TV and cinema screens for more than 70 years and a long-time resident of Swiss Cottage has died just months after celebrating her 100th birthday.

Margery Mason, who passed away peacefully at her home in the early hours of January 26, had one of the longest-running careers ever achieved by an actress.

Her body of work included starring in the award-winning 1960s BBC drama Talking to a Stranger, 1980s Hollywood hit The Princess Bride and the Harry Potter films.

She was also a writer of six plays and former artistic director of the Repertory Theatre in Bangor, Northern Ireland.

She lived in College Crescent for the past 30 years, having been born in Hackney the year before the First World War broke out.

Though she never received formal training, she started her acting career when she was just 14, performing in shows at working men’s clubs with her mother.

She spent much of the Second World War entertaining “sex-starved troops” stationed in the Middle East, but it was in the years after that her acting talent gained wider recognition.

Her big break came working alongside Judi Dench and Michael Bryant in the 1966 series Talking to a Stranger, hailed as one of the most important television dramas of the decade.

A nine-year stint as Alice North in Peak Practice made her a regular on British daytime TV while a diverse film career saw her appear in blockbusters such as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 101 Dalmatians and Love Actually.

But it was her “instinctive” and “mesmerising” talent as a Shakespearean actress that close acting colleagues fondly remember.

Vivian Rochester, who was one of the last to act with her as part of the Women In Spring show at the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm, said her gift on stage was “irreplaceable”.

“She was always a huge hit with the crowd,” she said. “There’s no doubt she was feisty and opinionated but her humour and warmth would always shine through.

“She adored Shakespeare and would be able to recite sonnets with amazing accuracy. Her ability, even during the later years of her life, was a real inspiration for me and other actors.”

Those who knew her best remember well the “determined” and “sometimes quite opinionated” character that saw her into her old age.

As testament to her resilience, she continued acting until 2012.

Swimming five times a week well into her nineties and gaining a scuba diving certificate aged 81, she retained the same active determination in her later years as she had shown in her youth.

Although she had no children of her own, Margery Mason is survived by three generations of family members.

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 17:55

Police are appealing for witnesses after the death of a woman who was hit by a coach in Camden.

Yesterday, 16:38

A City boss from Hampstead likened to the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ has been jailed for a year after sexually assaulting two women.

Yesterday, 16:34

A pedestrian was hit by a car in South Grove in a road traffic collision this afternoon.

Yesterday, 13:27

Welcome, hope and tolerance have been the three key messages for students learning about refugees.

Thu, 17:30

Camden Council has claimed a “major victory” after Airbnb announced today that it will limit entire home listings to 90 days a year in London.

Thu, 16:53

Haringey has the third-highest proportion of homeless residents in England, new figures have revealed.

Thu, 16:31

In the first of a series written from the Greek town of Thessaloniki, currently home to more than 20,000 refugees, a trainee journalist from Kentish Town writes about her life as a volunteer

Thu, 15:24

A pair of Barnet schools believe the future is bright after announcing a “strategic partnership” on Monday.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now