A REMARKABLE WOMAN: ZOE CALDWELL, INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED AUSTRALIAN ACTRESS
SHERRYN DANIHER & CHARLIE WHITEHEAD
18 SEPTEMBER 2021
A tour de force!
Yesterday’s Saturday seminar, Zoe Caldwell a remarkable woman and acclaimed Australian actress was riveting.
It was a conversation between U3APP member, Sherryn Danaher, Zoe’s niece and Charlie Whitehead, Zoe’s son, a producer, and director based in New York. The technical connection between Melbourne Saturday afternoon and New York in the early hours of the morning was achieved by our self-confessed stage-struck, technical guru Helen Vorrath, who was also the facilitator.
The webinar started with a recording of a youthful 13-year-old Zoe conducting an interview with Sir Thomas Blamey.
We then went on to learn much about Zoe’s stellar career beginning with Melbourne theatre companies. In these she played opposite local luminaries such as Frank Thring, Barry Humphries, Freddie Parslow and John Sumner. As Sherryn pointed out Zoe left Australia “in a time of cultural cringe”. Zoe became an acclaimed international actress. She gained fame in the theatres of Stratford-Upon-Avon, London, and New York. She acted with acting royalty. Her skill and virtuosity were recognised with the award of four Tonys.
While Sherryn provided the overview of her career, Charlie gave us wonderful insights into Zoe Caldwell’s craft as one of the great dramatic actresses of her time: her scholarship, her discipline, and her capacity to identify the essence of her characters. Her recognition was such that she was even featured in a Disney animated film as the authoritative grand dame ruler of the universe.
Zoe was of course more than the grand dame of stage to Sherryn and Charlie. As aunt and mother, she was to them warm, lovable, and playful.
How fortunate we were to be taken into Zoe’s private world as well as her public one.
Zoe Caldwell, a remarkable woman!
To listen to a recording of the seminar, click HERE.
by Pam Caven, U3APP CoM, COVID-19 Working Group