Pamela Franklin (born February 3, 1950 in Yokohama, Japan) is a retired British actress who was active from the 1960s until the early 80s. During her relatively short but sweet career, she racked up an impressive list of credits. Many of them are among the most acclaimed British films of the time, or else Cult Classics.
She debuted as a child actress in The Innocents, alongside veteran actress Deborah Kerr, playing Creepy Child extraordinaire. Her unsettling performance of a Victorian girl who's either being possessed by a ghost or traumatised by the death of her governess instantly won her lots of attention - and a notable part in The Lion alongside William Holden and Trevor Howard. She also made a couple of television films for Disney at this time. As her teens progressed, she got the chance to act alongside top talent like Bette Davis (in The Nanny), Dirk Bogarde (in Our Mother's House) and Marlon Brando (in The Night of the Following Day).
At the end of the 60s came the role for perhaps she is best remembered - Sandy, the Wise Beyond Her Years student in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, who discovers that her Cool Teacher is ruining the lives of her charges. This put her alongside another top tier talent (Maggie Smith as the titular Jean Brodie). In this time, she also made appearances on American television shows such as Green Acres and Bonanza. She soon graduated towards roles in horror films, starring in Hell House, And Soon the Darkness, Necromancy and Satan's School for Girls. Her final film appearance was in the Exploitation Movie The Food of the Gods, though she made appearances on television until 1981.
She retired from acting at the tender age of thirty-one to focus on raising a family. These days she owns a bookstore in Los Angeles that specialises in rare first editions.
- The Innocents (1961) - Flora
- The Lion (1962) - Tina
- The Magical World Of Disney (1963)
- "The Horse Without a Head" - Marian
- The Nanny (1965) - Bobbie Medman
- Quick Before They Catch Us (1966) - Kate
- Our Mother's House (1967) - Diana
- The Night of the Following Day (1968) - Girl
- The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969) - Sandy
- And Soon the Darkness (1971) - Jane
- The Legend of Hell House (1973) - Florence Tanner
Tropes associated with her work:
- Acting in the Dark: She was only given the script page of The Innocents the day before her scenes were to be filmed - as Jack Clayton wanted to hide the darkness of the story from her and Martin Stephens. She has said she didn't understand the full context of the film until she was sixteen.
- Contractual Purity: Despite some Disney appearances in her early days, she leaned more towards darker roles even as a child actress.
- Dawson Casting:
- Fake American: In a lot of her television roles in the US.
- Fake Scot: In The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (though Sandy is in the book said to be half-English and there is mention of her "English vowels").
- Former Child Star: While she still worked regularly in her adult days, she appeared in more critically acclaimed films as a child and teen actress. As an adult, it was more television appearances and Made For TV Movies.
- Ms. Fanservice: While she had the talent to be significantly more than that, she wasn't shy about appearing nude in the films The Night of the Following Day, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Necromancy. She had Toplessness from the Back in Hell House but in that context, it's Fan Disservice.
- Never Work with Children or Animals: In her second film The Lion, she helped avert both cases (she was the child) by bonding with the on-set lion Kampa. She even wrestled the lion on camera!
- Production Posse: She was directed by Jack Clayton in The Innocents, The Lion and Our Mother's House. Both The Innocents and Our Mother's House are considered part of his 'occult trilogy'.
- Reclusive Artist: She rarely gave interviews after her retirement, so it was a surprise to see her being featured on a 2006 documentary about The Innocents.
- Romance on the Set: She and Harvey Jason met while making Necromancy and married shortly after.
- What Could Have Been:
- The role of Jenny on Doctor Who was intended for her, but was played by Ann Davies.
- There was a sex scene planned between her and Marlon Brando in The Night of the Following Day, but he refused to film it.