Virginia McKenna Biography
Virginia McKenna Biography
Virginia McKenna Biography
Virginia McKenna Biography
Virginia McKenna Biography
Virginia McKenna Biography

Virginia McKenna Biography

Influential Animal Right Activist

Virginia McKenna

Full Name: Virginia Anne McKenna

Occupation: Stage and Screen Actress | Author

Nationality: Marylebone, County of London

Birth Date: 7 June 1931

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Who is Virginia McKenna?

Virginia Anne McKenna, OBE (born 7 June 1931) is a British stage and screen actress, author and wildlife campaigner. She is best known for the films A Town Like Alice (1956), Carve Her Name with Pride (1958), Born Free (1966), and Ring of Bright Water (1969), as well as her work with The Born Free Foundation. McKenna was born in Marylebone to a theatrical family and was educated at Heron's Ghyll School, a former independent boarding school near the market town of Horsham in Sussex. She spent six years in South Africa before returning to the school at the age of fourteen, after which she attended the Central School of Speech and Drama, at that time based at the Royal Albert Hall, London.

How she begin her career?

Aged 19, McKenna spent six months at Dundee Repertory Theatre. She worked on stage in London's West End theatre, making her debut in Penny for a Song. She attracted attention on TV appearing in Winter's Tale with John Gielgud and Shout Aloud Salvation.

McKenna's first film was The Second Mrs Tanqueray (1952), followed by a comedy, Father's Doing Fine (1952). She had a small role in the popular war film The Cruel Sea (1953) and a better part in the low budget comedy The Oracle (1953). She received excellent reviews for her stage performance in The River Line.

From 1954 to 1955 she was a member of the Old Vic theatre company, appearing in Henry IV and Richard II, and was married for a few months in 1954 to actor Denholm Elliott, whom she met on the set of The Cruel Sea. Their marriage ended owing to his affairs with men. In 1957, she married actor Bill Travers, with whom she had four children and to whom she remained married until his death in 1994. McKenna returned to films with Simba (1955), a drama about the Mau Mau, playing Dirk Bogarde's love interest. Rank signed her to a long term contract and director Brian Desmond Hurst said "She has a terrific future, properly handled. She has all the qualities of a young Bergman and a young Katharine Hepburn. McKenna was also in The Ship That Died of Shame (1955).

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