Oscar winner Jessica Tandy dies of cancer

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The Independent Online
NEW YORK - Jessica Tandy, the British-born actress who played the original Blanche DuBois and who, aged 80, won an Oscar for her portrayal of a spirited Southern matriarch in Driving Miss Daisy, died yesterday at her Connecticut home after a long battle with ovarian cancer, writes Peter Pringle. She was 85.

Tandy began her acting career on the London stage in 1929. She made her name in America and won the first of her three Tony Awards as a shrill and terrified Blanche DuBois in the 1947 Broadway version of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire. She appeared opposite the young Marlon Brando, who in his autobiography says he and Tandy were miscast. 'We threw the play out of balance', he wrote. The critics raved about them.

When she won the Academy Award in 1990, Time magazine called her 'one of show business's longest 'overnight success' stories'. Her early years in America, where she emigrated in 1940, were so hard that she considered giving up the stage. There was a big gap between her first and second Tony Award, which was for The Gin Game in 1978. Her third was for Foxfire in 1983. Besides Miss Daisy, Tandy's other films included The Seventh Cross (1944), Forever Amber (1947), Walt Disney's Light in the Forest (1958), Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1963), and The World According to Garp (1982).

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