Vivian Pickles is widely regarded as one of the country’s finest actresses, who started early in the theatre acting opposite the likes of Charles Hawtrey. She began her career as a child star for a series of Saturday morning films. Playing the lead in 1944 in Jean’s Plan. In 1945, she appeared in the serial, The Adventures Of Peter Poe, and at the 14, she played Alice in the BBC’s Alice in Wonderland, which was George More O’Ferrall and broadcast live from Alexandra Palace in London.
She made her West End debut as Wee Willie Winkie in Land Of The Christmas Stocking at The Duke of York’s Theatre.
After completing her education at Le College Feminin de Bouffement in Paris, she started her adult acting career in repertory and progressed to featured roles in West End revues. She starred opposite Roger Moore in I Capture The Castle at The Aldwych Theatre. Sabrina Fair at The Palace Theatre, and toured the UK in Expresso Bongo. Her other stage appearances include Intamacy At 8.30 at The Criterion Theatre and toured Ireland with Frankie Howerd in Tons Of Money. Vivian’s other major stage work include Baal opposite Peter O’Toole and Harry Andrews at The Phoenix Theatre.
She enjoyed her first venture into panto with Vanessa Redgrave in Mother Goose, playing the eponymous bird. She also appeared in Glimpses By The Sea by Willis Hall, and Pool’s Paradise with Henry Kendall at The Phoenix Theatre.
At The Royal Court Theatre, she appeared in the first ever performances of Kafka’s Dick by Alan Bennett, and Plays For England and by John Osborne.
Her extensive audio work for BBC Radio include The World Of Jeeves And Wooster with Richard Briers and Sir Michael Horden.
Her many television credits include one of the very best episodes of Midsomer Murders, Death’s Shadow – again with Richard Briers. She also made memorable appearances in Emergency Ward 10, The Arthur Haynes Show, The Avengers, Pride and Prejudice, and also played Mary, Queen of Scots opposite Glenda Jackson in Elizabeth R.
Additional roles on television include, Z Cars, Churchill’s People, Jackanory, Rebecca, Love In A Cold Climate opposite Judy Dench, Bergerac, Sheriden’s The Critic with Sir John Gielgud, and Stop The World I Want To Get Off. She also made unforgettable appearances in Trelawny Of The Wells, Desmond’s, Jamaica Inn with Partrick McGoohan, Jeeves and Wooster with Steven Fry and Hugh Laurie, Birds Of A Feather, The Insurance Man with Daniel Day-Lewis, Mis Morrison’s Ghost, Evelyn Waugh’s Sword Of Honour, and Ken Russell’s Diary of a Nobody with Murray Melvin.
Her many feature films titles include the cult classic, Harold and Maud directed by Hal Ashby, Ken Russell’s Isadora, in which she played Isadora Duncan, Play Dirty with Michael Caine, The Looking Glass War, with Anthony Hopkins. Also, Franklin J. Schaffner’s epic, Nicholas and Alexandra, Disney’s Candleshoe with Jody Foster and David Niven, John Schlesinger’s seminal classic, Sunday Bloody Sunday, the Lindsey Anderson directed O Lucky Man! Britannia Hospital, and Hello – Goodbye, directed by Ronald Neame.
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