Yvonne Mitchell – Theatre and Film

BRITISH ACTRESS YVONNE MITCHELL  was first and foremost a stage actress who began her career quite early as a teenager. By the time of her death in 1979 , she had performed in the theatre for over four decades. Her work in films and TV was much less, but what she did do was unusually of high quality.

This dark-haired actress made her film debut in a key role in The Queen of Spades (1949) and proceeded to become a moving, thoughtful, often anguished presence throughout the 1950s, winning the British Film Award for her touching  performance as the biological mother of a foster child in The Divided Heart (1954).

A year before that, she appeared with PETER CUSHING in the BBC production of ‘1984’ as Julia. The broadcast gained much publicity for both her and Peter Cushing,  in it’s two live performances and this was after she had played Cathy in a live Television version of Wuthering Heights with Richard Todd as Heathcliffe – a play I remember seeing as a child and very good it was. It was performed twice live during one week on the BBC

YVONNE MITCHELL, changed her name legally in 1946 from Yvonne Frances Joseph to Yvonne Mitchell (Mitchell was her mother’s maiden name). She also deducted a decade from her age, which is why many sources have listed 1925 as her birth year.

She married author and critic Derek Monsey in 1952.  They had a daughter Cordelia born in 1956.  The couple would later divorce, only to be reconciled.

In the mid to late fifties they lived in their Mayfair maisonette with their daughter and bulldog Burbage. They later lived in a village in the South of France.

Yvonne Mitchell at Home

Yvonne Mitchell at Home 2

Here she is ABOVE – Reading to her Daughter Cordelia and looking at her Art Collection

Their daughter  Cordelia Monsey is a theatre director and a long-term associate of both Sir Peter Hall and Sir Trevor Nunn.

Derek Monsey and Yvonne Mitchell had parted but re-married  in late 1978, just months before Derek Monsey died of a heart attack on 13 February 1979.  Yvonne Mitchell died of cancer just over a month later. That would have been a cruel blow for their Daughter who at that time would only be 22 years old – with her parents dying within a few short weeks of each other.


Derek Monsey – BELOW

Derek Monsey


Yvonne Mitchell 2

Yvonne Mitchell ABOVE – Leaves for the USA to appeared in the Broadway Play ‘The Wall’ which opened on 11 October 1960 and ran through until 4 March of 1961

Yvonne Mitchell 3

Above: YVONNE MITCHELL with Painter PIETRO ANNIGONI – the Italian portrait and fresco painter, best known for his portrait of Queen Elizabeth II

Yvonne Mitchell 4

Yvonne Mitchell

Yvonne Mitchell with Bernie Winters

Yvonne Mitchell ABOVE with Bernie Winters doing a Television play.


posted by Movieman in Uncategorized and have Comment (1)

One Response to “Yvonne Mitchell – Theatre and Film”

  1. Stuart says:

    The last photograph of Yvonne Mitchell with Bernie Winters is actually a behind the scenes still from the film Johnny Nobody (1961) not a television play.

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