Jenny Agutter

Jenny Agutter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jenny Agutter
Born Jennifer Ann Agutter
(1952-12-20) 20 December 1952 (age 63)
Taunton, United Kingdom
Years active 1964–present
Spouse(s) Johan Tham (1990–present)
Children Jonathan Tham (b. 1990)
Website Official website

Jennifer Ann “Jenny” Agutter OBE (born 20 December 1952) is an English film and television actress. She began her career as a child actress in the mid-1960s, appearing in television and film adaptations of The Railway Children and the film Walkabout, before taking adult roles and moving to Hollywood.

She played Jessica 6 in Logan’s Run, Jill Mason in Equus, Alex Price in An American Werewolf in London and Joanne Simpson in Child’s Play 2. Since the 1990s she has worked in sound recording and is a patron of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. After a break from acting she has appeared in several television series since 2000, including the British series Spooks.[1][2] Since 2012, she has starred in the popular BBC drama Call the Midwife.

Early life[edit]

Agutter was born in Taunton, England. She is the daughter of Catherine (née Lynam) and Derek Brodie Agutter, a former British Army officer and entertainment organiser.[3] As a child, she lived in Singapore,[4] Dhekelia (Cyprus) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaya). She was discovered at Elmhurst Ballet School, a boarding school she attended aged 8–16,[4] when a casting agent looked for a young English-speaking girl for a film. She did not get the part but he recommended her to the producers of East of Sudan (1964).


Television and film[edit]

Agutter came to television audiences as Kirsty in the twice-weekly BBC series The Newcomers. The character Kirsty was the daughter of the new managing director of Eden Brothers, the fictional firm that was at the centre of the series. Agutter could appear only during school holidays. At this stage of her career she was listed in credits as Jennifer. In 1968, she was featured in the lavish big-budget 20th Century Fox film musical Star! with Julie Andrews as Gertrude Lawrence. In that motion picture, Agutter played Lawrence’s neglected daughter Pamela.

Later she played Roberta in a BBC adaptation of The Railway Children (1968) and played the same part in Lionel Jeffries‘s 1970 film of the book. She followed this with a more serious role in the thriller I Start Counting (1969). She also won an Emmy as supporting actress for her television role as Fritha, in a British television film of The Snow Goose (1971).

Agutter moved into adult roles, beginning with Walkabout (1971), playing a teenage schoolgirl lost with her younger brother in the Australian outback. She auditioned for the role in 1967 but funding problems delayed filming until 1969. The delay meant Agutter was 16 at the time of filming, which allowed the director to include nude scenes.[5] Among them was a five-minute skinny-dipping scene, which was cut from the original US release.[6] She said at the 2005 Bradford Film Festival at the National Media Museum that she was shocked by the film’s explicitness but remains on good terms with director Nicolas Roeg.[7]

Agutter moved to Hollywood at 21 and appeared in a number of films over the next decade, including The Eagle Has Landed (1976), Logan’s Run (1976), Equus (1977, for which she won a BAFTA as Best Supporting Actress), Sweet William (1980) and An American Werewolf in London (1981).

Since 1990, Agutter has brought up her son and her work has been largely in sound recordings. She has also worked in support of charities, in particular the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, of which she is a patron (she is also a carrier of the genetic mutation).[8] She was a guest in series 6 of Red Dwarf and appeared in the TV series TECX, The All New Alexei Sayle Show and And the Beat Goes On.[9] In 1995, she played the scandalous Idina Hatton in the BBC miniseries The Buccaneers inspired by Edith Wharton‘s unfinished 1938 book. In 2000, she made her third appearance in The Railway Children, produced by Carlton TV, this time playing the mother.[10][11] In 2002, Agutter featured in the BBC television series Spooks and in 2007, she starred in the first episode of the new series of David Jason‘s ITV television series Diamond Geezer. In 2008 she also guest-starred in the Doctor Who audio drama The Bride of Peladon.[12] She appears as Sister Julienne in the 2012 television series Call the Midwife. Also in 2012, Agutter appeared as a member of the World Security Council in the hit film Avengers Assemble and reprised her role in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Agutter has stated that the innocence of the characters she played in early films, combined with the costumes and nudity in later adult roles such as Logan’s Run (1976), Equus (1977) and An American Werewolf in London (1981), are “perfect fantasy fodder”.[13][14]


Agutter has appeared in numerous theatre productions since her stage debut in 1970, including stints at the National Theatre in 1972–73, the title role in a derivation of Hedda Gabler at the Roundhouse in 1980 and with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1982–83. In 1987–88, Agutter played the role of Pat Green in the Broadway production of the Hugh Whitemore play Breaking the Code, about computer pioneer Alan Turing.[15] In 1995 she was in an RSC production of Love’s Labour’s Lost staged in Tokyo.[16] She is also a patron of the Shakespeare Schools Festival, a charity that enables school children in the UK to perform Shakespeare in professional theatres.[17]


She has appeared as a guest star character (“Fiona Templeton”) in the Radio 4 comedy Ed Reardon’s Week and played an outlawed scientist in The Minister of Chance.[18][19]


Agutter appears on the 1990 Prefab Sprout song “Wild Horses”, speaking the words “I want to have you”.[20]

Personal life[edit]

At an arts festival in Bath, Somerset, Agutter met Johan Tham, a Swedish hotelier who was a director of Cliveden Hotel in Buckinghamshire. They married on 4 August 1990.[21] Their son Jonathan was born on 25 December 1990. They live in London. Agutter has a keen interest in Cornwall and once owned a second home in the county at The Lizard.

She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2012 Birthday Honours for charitable services.[22]

In August 2014, Agutter was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to the Scottish independence referendum, 2014.[23]

Selected TV and filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1964 East of Sudan Asua
1966 Man Could Get Killed, AA Man Could Get Killed Linda Frazier
1968 Gates to Paradise Maud
1968 Star! Pamela Roper
1968 Railway Children, TheThe Railway Children Roberta “Bobbie” Waterbury BBC series
1969 I Start Counting Wynne
1970 Railway Children, TheThe Railway Children Roberta “Bobbie” Waterbury
1970 Great Inimitable Mr. Dickens, TheThe Great Inimitable Mr. Dickens TV film
1971 Walkabout Girl
1971 Snow Goose, TheThe Snow Goose Fritha Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Film
1972 Shelley Mary Shelley BBC series
1972 A War of Children Maureen Tomelty American (CBS) TV film set in Northern Ireland during The Troubles
1976 Logan’s Run Jessica 6
1976 Eagle Has Landed, TheThe Eagle Has Landed Molly Prior
1977 Equus Jill Mason BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
1977 The Man in the Iron Mask Louise de la Vallière TV film
1977 Six Million Dollar Man, TheThe Six Million Dollar Man Dr. Leah Russell (“Deadly Countdown” episode, Parts 1 & 2)
1978 China 9, Liberty 37 Catherine Sebanek
1979 Riddle of the Sands, TheThe Riddle of the Sands Clara
1980 Sweet William Ann Walton
1981 Othello Desdemona
1981 Survivor, TheThe Survivor Hobbs Nominated—Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
1981 American Werewolf in London, AnAn American Werewolf in London Nurse Alex Price Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Actress
1984 Secret Places Miss Lowrie
1985 Love’s Labour’s Lost Rosaline Television
1985 Magnum, P.I. Krista Villeroch “Little Games” Season 5, Episode #96 TV Series
1986 Murder, She Wrote Margo Claymore “One White Rose For Death” Season 3, Episode #4 TV Series
1987 Dark Tower Carolyn Page
1989 King of the Wind Hannah Coke
1990 Child’s Play 2 Joanne Simpson
1990 Darkman Burn Doctor uncredited cameo
1992 Freddie as F.R.O.7 Daffers
1993 Red Dwarf (“Psirens” episode) Professor Mamet Television
1995 The Buccaneers Idina Hatton Television
2000 Railway Children, TheThe Railway Children Mother ITV
2001 Parole Officer, TheThe Parole Officer Victor’s Wife
2002 At Dawning Escaping woman
2002 Spooks Tessa Phillips Television
2004 Number One Longing, Number Two Regret Kenosha
2004 Alan Clark Diaries, TheThe Alan Clark Diaries Jane Clark BBC TV series
2004 The Inspector Lynley Mysteries (Series 3, episode 3) Jemma Sanderson BBC TV Series
2005 New Tricks (Series 2, episode 1) Yvonne Barrie BBC TV Series
2006 Agatha Christie’s Poirot Adela Marchmont Season 10, Episode 4 – Taken at the Flood
2006 Heroes and Villains[24] June
2007 Diamond Geezer Vanessa ITV series
2007 Irina Palm Jane
2008 Invisibles, TheThe Invisibles Barbara Riley BBC TV series
2009 Monday Monday Jenny Mountfield ITV1 TV series
2009 Glorious 39 Maud Keyes
2010 Midsomer Murders Isobel Chettham episode No. 72, ‘The Creeper’, ITV1 TV series
2010 Burke and Hare Lucy
2011 Outside Bet Shirley Baxter
2012–present Call the Midwife Sister Julienne BBC TV series
2012 The Avengers Councilwoman Hawley
2014 Captain America: The Winter Soldier Councilwoman Hawley
2015 Queen of the Desert[25] Florence Bell

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s