Jessie Alice “Jessica” Tandy was an English stage and film actress.
She first appeared on the London stage in 1926 at the age of 16, playing, among others, Katherine opposite Laurence Olivier’s Henry V, and Cordelia opposite John Gielgud’s King Lear. She also worked in British films. Following the end of her marriage to Jack Hawkins, she moved to New York, where she met Canadian actor Hume Cronyn. He became her second husband and frequent partner on stage and screen.
She was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance as Blanche Dubois in the original Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire in 1948, sharing the prize with Katherine Cornell and Judith Anderson in her portrayal of Medea. Over the following three decades, her career continued sporadically and included a substantial role in Alfred Hitchcock’s film, The Birds, and a Tony Award winning performance in The Gin Game in 1977. She, along with Cronyn was a member of the original acting company of The Guthrie Theater.
In the mid 1980s she enjoyed a career revival. She appeared opposite Hume Cronyn in the Broadway production of Foxfire in 1983 and its television adaptation four years later, winning both a Tony Award and an Emmy Award for her portrayal of Annie Nations. During these years, she appeared in films such as Cocoon, also with Cronyn.