Archive, performing arts, Enid Lorimer, Australia/England, 1913-1983
Enid Lorimer (1887-1982) was a distinguished actor in radio plays, stage productions, film and television. Born in London, she became an actor against her parents' wishes and in 1913 joined Herbert Tree's theatre. At one point she worked as understudy for Phyllis Neilson Terry, which brought her to the attention of Lawrence Irving, who invited her to join his theatre company. It was here that she met her husband who was killed in World War I. Lorimer worked with Ellen Terry in silent film during World War I.
Lorimer developed an interest in the theosophical teachings of Madame Blatavsky and Annie Besant. Forsaking a promising career in the West End, she visited India and Australia to lecture on theosophy and decided to remain here, teaching drama and elocution while performing in radio and theatre. Her pupils included Peter Finch and the singer Joan Hammond. She returned to professional acting on radio, in the days when the dramatic serial was a staple entertainmant on the 'wireless'.
She also worked as a director, short story writer and scriptwriter. She was a founder of Actors' Equity in Australia and served on its Ethics Committee.
Returning to England in the 1950s to become involved in television acting, she starred in several BBC television productions, and made a number of stage appearances before joining Laurence Olivier's National Theatre at the Old Vic for two years. She returned to Australia in 1964 to concentrate on film and television, appearing in several epsiodes of 'Homicide' for Crawford Productions. 'Her face became very familiar to viewers of television as she appeared in grandmotherly roles in many dramas and series.' (Susan Hogan in 'Two Hundred Australian Women', ed. H.Radi, Women's Redress Press, 1989, p162-163). She became an author of children's literature in her later years and her first novel was published in 1972.
In 1981 she received the Chips Rafferty memorial award (the statuette is part of this acquisition) at the Australian Film and Television Awards. It was her last public appearance. The Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) was awarded in the Queen's Birthday honours list of in June 1982. She died on 15 July 1982 at the age of 94.
The archive was compiled by Enid Lorimer. Posthumous items such as the printed sheets from her funeral service were compiled by the donor's parents.
Kept by the donor's parents after Lorimer's death. Donated to the museum in 1998.