in The Clouded Yellow (1950)
5 May 1909|
Hornsea, Yorkshire, England
18 January 1976 (aged 66)|
Canterbury, Kent, England
|Occupation||Actress, theatre director|
Her performance in the lead role of Ibsen's Hedda Gabler at the Westminster Theatre in 1942 "was legendary. It was the performance on which her reputation was founded. James Agate was ecstatic..." For a decade Dresdel was regarded as one of England's foremost stage actresses. Her leading role in the 1947 film While I Live also gained her a great deal of acclaim. In the film she plays Julia Trevelyan, a spinster living in a lonely cliff top house in Cornwall and haunted by the death of her sister 25 years earlier.
Her best remembered role is as Mrs. Baines in the film version of Graham Greene's The Fallen Idol (1948), which starred Ralph Richardson, Michèle Morgan and Bobby Henrey. The film received Academy Awards nominations for Best Director (Sir Carol Reed) and Best Screenplay.
in the 1950s, as well as appearing increasingly on television, Dresdel moved more to the management side of things, becoming a theatre director under the aegis of the New White Rose Players, directing plays including the thriller Night of the Shoot.
She died of undisclosed causes, aged 66. According to the critic Philip Hope-Wallace, Dresdel was "an actress of high definition with a real power to take an audience by the wrist and give them the works. She had terrific personality and was terribly underused and misused. She would have been the Lady Macbeth of all Lady Macbeths."
- The World Owes Me a Living (1945) as Eve Heatherley
- While I Live (1947) as Julia Trevelyan
- This Was a Woman (1948) as Sylvia Russell
- The Fallen Idol (1948) as Mrs. Baines
- The Clouded Yellow (1951) as Jess Fenton
- The Third Visitor (1951) as Steffy Millington
- The Secret Tent (1956) as Miss Mitchum-Browne
- Now and Forever (1956) as Miss Fox
- The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960) as Lady Wilde
- George and the Dragon (TV, 1967–1968) as Priscilla
- Public Eye (1968) as Mrs. Briggs
- Dixon of Dock Green (1968) as Mrs. Dewar
- The Caesars (1968) as Livia
- The Man in the Iron Mask (1968) as Duchesse de Chevreuse
- Last of the Long-haired Boys (1968) as Miss Dearborn
- Bachelor Father (1970–1971) as Mother
- Paul Temple (1971) as Agnes Armadyne
- Wives and Daughters (1971) as Lady Cumnor
- The Onedin Line (1972) as Lady Lazenby
- The Strauss Family (1972) as Lucari
- Lady Caroline Lamb (1972) as Lady Pont
- Lizzie Dripping (1973) as The Witch
- The Pallisers (1974) as the Marchioness of Auld Reekie
- "Sonia Dresdel". BFI.
- "A Historical Dictionary of British Women". google.co.uk.
- N. de J., 'Obituary: Sonia Dresdel', The Guardian, 19 January 1976
- Bruce Eder. "Sonia Dresdel - Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos - AllMovie". AllMovie.
- David Parkinson. "While I Live". RadioTimes.
- "Women in British Cinema". google.co.uk.
- "While I Live (1947)". BFI.
- "Answers - The Most Trusted Place for Answering Life's Questions". Answers.com.
- "The Fallen Idol (1948)". BFI.
- "The Fallen Idol (1948) - Carol Reed - Awards - AllMovie". AllMovie.