Googie Withers, best known for her role in Alfred Hitchcock’s railway thriller The Lady Vanishes, has died in Australia, aged 94.
Her unusual name was an affectionate childhood nickname meaning “dove” given to her by an Indian nanny. She moved to Australia in 1958 after marrying Australian actor John McCallum, one of the creators of Skippy The Bush Kangaroo.
With her role as Blanche in Hitchcock’s 1938 classic, she starred opposite Mary Lockwood and Michael Redgrave for the story of a woman who suddenly disappears on a train. Television appearances included roles in the BBC’s adaptations of Northanger Abbey and that of a prison governor in Within These Walls.
Her final film appearance was in the 1996 film Shine. She was awarded a CBE in 2002 and was the first non-Australian to be made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1980. She died at her home in Sydney on Friday.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.