Bernadette O'Farrell    Maid Marian (Seasons 1 and 2)

 

     

Born: 30th January 1924, Birr, Co. Offaly, Ireland.  Died: 26th September 1999, Monaco.

Bernadette O’Farrell was the daughter of a bank clerk and an amateur actress. She was working as a lawyer’s secretary when Sir Carol Reed invited her to an audition, through whom she met her future husband. He was film scriptwriter, producer and director Frank Launder (of the famous film-making duo Launder and Gilliat). He gave her a small part in his 1947 film ‘Captain Boycott’, opposite Stewart Granger. They married in 1950, and she became a stepmother to his 2 children. They later had 2 children of their own. In addition to her role as Maid Marian, Bernadette also starred in several movies including The St Trinian's series (co-written by her husband). Bernadette left the ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood’ in 1957, despite receiving thousands of letters asking that she stay. She made what would have been her final film, 'The Bridal Path', in 1959, when she retired to look after her family on their farm in Buckinghamshire. The Launder family later moved to Monaco, where they became involved in stage productions and local charities. Bernardette made one more film appearance, in her husband’s ‘Wildcats of St. Trinian’s’, in 1980. Frank Launder died in 1997 of heart failure following a series of strokes, and Bernadette died of cancer 2 years later in 1999, at the age of 75.

 

Film Roles: -

Captain Boycott (1947) ... Mrs. Fagan

Macbeth (1949) (TV) ... Lady Macbeth

The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950) ... Miss Harper

Life in Her Hands (1951) ... Mary Gordon

Lady Godiva Rides Again (aka Bikini Baby) (1951) ... Janie

Lady in the Fog (aka Scotland Yard Inspector) (1952) ... Heather McMara

The Story of Gilbert and Sullivan (1953) ... Jessie Bond

The Genie (aka ‘Emerald Green’) (1953) ... Molly

The Square Ring (1953) ... Peg Curtis

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1955-57) ... Maid Marian - 47 episodes (seasons 1 and 2)

The Bridal Path (1959) ... Siona

The Wildcats of St. Trinian's (1980) ... Miss Carfax

 

Thank you to Kirsty Blake (nee Launder) for additional information.  

 

From 'Queen Eleanor'

 

From 'Mystery of Ireland's Eye'

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