Mona Washbourne

Mona Washbourne

Mona Washbourne (27 November 1903 15 November 1988) was an English actress of stage, film and television.

Early life

Mona Washbourne was born in Birmingham, Warwickshire, and began her entertaining career training as a concert pianist. Her sister Katherine Washbourne was a violinist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Sir Adrian Boult.


Washbourne was performing professionally from the early 1920s. She married the actor Basil Dignam. Her brother-in-law Mark Dignam was also a stage and film actor. In 1948, after numerous stage musical performances, Washbourne began appearing in films. Her film credits include Billy Liar (1963) and The Collector (1965). She played Mrs. Pearce in My Fair Lady (1964), the stern and caustic Mrs. Bramson in the remake of Night Must Fall (also 1964), and the Matron in the film, If.... (1968).

She appeared at both the Royal Court Theatre in London and on Broadway in 1970 in David Storey's Home. She was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play. In 1975 she appeared on the West End stage with James Stewart in a revival of Mary Chase's play Harvey, in the role originally taken by Josephine Hull. Washbourne won the 1981 New York Film Critics' Circle Awards for Best Supporting Actress in Stevie (1978).

Later life

In 1981, Washbourne appeared in Granada Television's TV miniseries adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's novel Brideshead Revisited as Nanny Hawkins. One of her last television appearances was in Where's the Key? (1983),[1] a BBC play about Alzheimer's disease. She died, aged 84, in London.

Selected filmography


  1. "BBC Active: Video for Learning". 14 September 2010. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
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