Skip to main content
BFI logo











Screenonline banner
Brown, Pamela (1917-1975)


Main image of Brown, Pamela (1917-1975)

Pamela Brown (born in London on 8 July 1917) made her debut as Juliet at Stratford-on-Avon in 1936, after gaining a gold medal from RADA. Her numerous appearances for the Old Vic, and Broadway triumphs (e.g., opposite John Gielgud in Wilde's The Importance of Being Ernest, 1947), were the more remarkable by reason of the debilitating arthritis which she suffered from the age of sixteen.

While her work remained predominantly in the theatre, she also made notable screen appearances, commencing with the part of the Dutch school mistress in Michael Powell's One of Our Aircraft is Missing (1942). Her hauntingly enigmatic face, with the great golden eyes which Powell likened to those of a cat, ensured that she was noticed even in secondary roles such as Nicklaus in The Tales of Hoffman (d. Powell & Pressburger, 1951) and Jane Shore in Olivier's Richard III (1955). She and Powell became lovers, and were living together at the time of her death from cancer in 1975. She was married to Peter Copley.

Brian McFarlane, Encyclopedia of British Film

More information


From the BFI's filmographic database

Related media

Selected credits

Thumbnail image of 'I Know Where I'm Going!' (1945)'I Know Where I'm Going!' (1945)

Metaphysical love story, beautifully filmed in the Scottish Hebrides

Thumbnail image of ...One of Our Aircraft is Missing (1942)...One of Our Aircraft is Missing (1942)

Documentary-style WWII drama about an air crew stranded in Holland

Thumbnail image of Richard III (1955)Richard III (1955)

Laurence Olivier's definitive version of Shakespeare's great history play

Thumbnail image of Tales of Hoffmann, The (1951)Tales of Hoffmann, The (1951)

Visually ravishing Powell & Pressburger film of the Offenbach opera

Related collections

Related people and organisations