Irene Handl

Irene Handl (27 December 1901 – 29 November 1987) was an English actress. Irene Handl was born in Maida Vale, London, the daughter of an Austrian banker father and French mother. She took to acting at the relatively advanced age of 36, and studied at the acting school run by the sister of Dame Sybil Thorndike. She made her London stage debut in February 1937 and appeared in over a hundred British films in supporting roles, mostly comedy character parts such as slightly eccentric mothers, grannies, landladies and servants. Among many stage appearances, she played Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest in 1975, directed by Jonathan Miller. She died in Kensington in 1987 and is buried at the Golders Green Crematorium. Handl had very minor roles in such landmark films as Night Train to Munich, Spellbound and Brief Encounter. Her notable appearances included I'm All Right Jack as the wife of Peter Sellers' union leader Fred Kite, Tony Hancock's landlady in The Rebel and Sherlock Holmes' housekeeper Mrs. Hudson in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. She had small roles in two of the Carry On series (Nurse and Constable).


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