Frances Hyland


Born: Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, Canada


Frances Hyland (April 25, 1927 – July 11, 2004) was a Canadian stage, film and television actress. In 1964, Hyland was in the CBC's drama series, "Festival," and she was one of the first actresses in Canada to achieve this career objective.  She starred in many movies, television shows, and famous plays, which in turn, was a major accomplishment for a Canadian woman during this time. Not only did Hyland act in a variety of media, her roles were also vastly different. While acting in film, she played a farmer's wife who aged from 30 to 60 over the course of the movie. In "Festival" she played a Salvation Army officer whose life became complicated by love, and on the stage she played the queen of Egypt. Hyland studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, making her professional debut in London as Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire, opposite John Gielgud. In 1954, she returned to Canada, becoming a regular at the Stratford Festival in Ontario. Her roles there included Isabella (in Measure for Measure), Portia (in The Merchant of Venice), Olivia (in Twelfth Night), Perdita (in The Winter's Tale), Desdemona (in Othello) and Ophelia in (in Hamlet). She appeared in movies such as The Changeling (1980), The Hounds of Notre Dame (1980), Happy Birthday to Me (1981), The Lotus Eaters (1993) and Never Talk to Strangers (1995), and on television, including a role on Road to Avonlea. Hyland was considered to be one of the highest-ranked Shakespearean actresses of her time. In Canada, she and her close friend, Kate Reid, were acknowledged to be two of the greatest actresses, as stated by Weekend Magazine. Along with being a well-established actress, Hyland has also co-starred with many actors who have gone on to find fame in the USA, such as Christopher Plummer and Robert Goulet. However, as stated earlier, Hyland remained in Canada, even though it was harder for actresses to succeed. She was often questioned as to why she decided to stay in Canada, because other countries held greater career opportunities for her.

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