Billie Whitelaw


I was sad to hear of Billie Whitelaws passing. As I was making my way through drama school I discovered various actors and actresses that were different to the norm and so had quite an influence on me . Billie Whitelaw was one of those people. When I moved to London and got one of my first jobs in about 1987 shooting production photographs at the Young Vic of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolff” I was completely entranced by the fact that I was going to be able to photograph Billie Whitelaw. Not to mention Saskia Reeves and Patrick Stewart.
It’s been said that she stopped performing in the theatre because she couldn’t overcome her stage fright. I saw some of that insecurity when I arrived to photograph her. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to be photographed and was quite worried about it. Eventually she agreed and once the dress rehearsal started all the insecurity vanished.
She was a truly marvellous actress and I’m glad to have met her.
Samuel Becket called her the perfect actress. There is nothing else to add after a compliment like that.
Rest in peace Billie.

Billie Whitelaw in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolff" at The Young Vic. © Patrick Baldwin 1987. All rights reserved.

Billie Whitelaw in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolff” at The Young Vic. © Patrick Baldwin 1987. All rights reserved.

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