Profile: Anna Massey, actress

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The Independent Online

Who's that?

Showing your age there, youngster. That's Anna Massey, the award-winning actress famed for her performances on television, stage and film from the 1960s to the 1990s. She died yesterday aged 73 after fighting cancer.

What kind of an actress was she?

Well, she said she always wanted to look like Audrey Hepburn, but her less conventional beauty meant she was often cast as spinsterly or repressed women. She played innocent victims for Alfred Hitchcock and Michael Powell, appeared as Mrs Danvers in a celebrated adaptation of Rebecca and won a Bafta for her performance in a 1986 TV adaptation of Hotel du Lac. In 2004 she was awarded a CBE for services to drama.

How did she describe herself?

Self-deprecatingly. "I find acting incredibly difficult," she once said. "It demands much more of my time than it does for some people. I'm not instinctive. It takes enormous discipline and bravery to get me there."