Carol White: The Bardot of Battersea

Sprio, Margherita 2020. Carol White: The Bardot of Battersea. in: Petrie, D., Williams, M. and Mayne, L. (ed.) Sixties British Cinema Reconsidered Edinburgh University Press. pp. 47-62

Chapter titleCarol White: The Bardot of Battersea
AuthorsSprio, Margherita
EditorsPetrie, D., Williams, M. and Mayne, L.
Abstract

Largely forgotten by audiences both at home and abroad, Carol White, the ‘Bardot of Battersea’ was for a short period, one of the most well known actresses of her generation in the 1960s. Early film roles (Carry on Teacher, 1959 and Never Let Go, 1960) led to her debut in the television adaptation of Nell Dunn’s Up the Junction in 1965, directed by Ken Loach. This gave rise to her starring in her second of the iconic television Wednesday Plays, where she played the main lead in Cathy Come Home (1966) and then in the film Poor Cow (Ken Loach, 1967).
This essay will explore how both her success in Britain and her subsequent attempts to work in Hollywood sowed the seeds of her ultimate demise at the age of forty-eight in 1991. Born in London in 1943, White’s life too often mirrored the roles that she went on to play in her television and film work and the naturalism that she gave to her performances came at a high price for a women whose vulnerabilities were central to her casting. The dark, thorny qualities, which manifested in the roles that White, played, together with the sexualized versions of her that she came to embody on the screen will be investigated. Whilst addressing the specific difficulties that working class women were and continue to be subjected to in the film world, this essay will also reconsider her position in contemporary British film history and the history of British women actresses in particular.

KeywordsCarol White, British, 1960s, Realism, Feminist, History
Book titleSixties British Cinema Reconsidered
Page range47-62
Year2020
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Publication dates
Published18 Mar 2020
ISBN9781474443883

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