Mary Ure (1933 - 1975)

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Birthplace: Glasgow, Glasgow City, UK
Death: Died in London, England
Occupation: Actress
Managed by: Benjamin Fitt
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

    • John
    • Robert
    • Colin
    • Elizabeth
    • Hannah
    • Ian
    • father
    • mother
    • Alan
    • John

About Mary Ure

<The Times, April 4, 1975>


A developing acting talent

Mary Ure, who died yesterday, aged 42, immediately after her return on Wednesday to the London stage in "The Exorcism", will first be remembered as the original Alison in John Osborne's "Look Back in Anger."

This was not her best performance. But that image of the exquisite debutante slaving over an ironing board, famously reflected the theatrical climate of the late 1950s, and it also does something to suggest her range.

From the time of her 1954 London debut as Amanda in Anouilh's "Time Remembered", she was apt to figure as the beauteous victim. She radiated a type of virgin innocence that invited corruption.

Alison, Abigail Williams in "The Crucible", Beatrice, "The Changeling", and other parts she played at the Royal Court, amount to several variations on this pattern.

And when she joined the Stratford Memorial Theatre, it was again in roles like Desdemona and Ophelia is Peter Brook's Moscow "Hamlet". At that time, the ultimate Ure role (although she never played it) would have been Lavinia in "Titus Andronicus".

After hwer marriage to John Osborne was dissolved, she married Robert Shaw and was not seen on the London stage from 1961 until a brief return in Tennessee Williams's "Two Character Play" in 1967. In spite of her film and television work it was an interrupted career.

Wednesday's performance, again in a submissive and intuitive role, led up to a climax of passionate assertion frankly drawing its power from her Scottish origins. This lay well outside her past range, and it suggests that her delicate talent was developing into something altogether more robust.

She was born in Glasgow and was educated at the Mount School, York, and the Central School of Speech Training adn Dramatic Art. Her first stage appearance was in "Simon and Laura" in 1954 at the Opera House, Manchester.

Her films included "Windom's Way", "Sons and Lovers", "The Mindbenders", "Where Eagles Dare" and "Reflections of Fear". She also appeared on television in Britain and the United States.

Miss Ure had two sons and two daughters by Mr. Shaw.


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Mary Ure's Timeline

February 18, 1933
Glasgow, Glasgow City, UK
Age 23
April 13, 1963
Age 30
April 3, 1975
Age 42
London, England