Actress Googie Withers passes away, aged 94A movie star of the 30s and 40s, Googie Withers shot to fame after being discovered by Michael Powell, before going on to work with Alfred Hitchcock and Geoffrey Rush.
Googie Withers, best known for her cinema roles in the 30s and 40s, including Hitchcock’s ‘The Lady Vanishes’, and more recently, on television in a 1987 adaptation of ‘Northanger Abbey’, has died in Australia, aged 94.
Withers was born Georgette Lizette Withers in India in 1917, to a British sailor and Dutch mother. Her stage name “Googie”, which means “pigeon” in Hindi, was a nickname given to her by her Indian nanny.
She was first discovered as an actress by Michael Powell, on her first day of work as an extra on ‘The Girl in the Crowd’. When one of the female leads was fired by Powell, he spotted Withers and cast her then and there.
Withers went on to star in four more movies for Powell, including ‘One of Our Aircraft is Missing’, as well as other British films of the era, including a part in Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Lady Vanishes’ .
Her last screen appearance was in 1996, in the Oscar winning biopic ‘Shine’, in which she played author Katharine Susannah Prichard.
In 1958, Withers emigrated to Australia with her husband, the late Australian actor John McCallum, who died last year, aged 91.
Withers was the first non-Australian to be awarded Officer Of The Order Of Australia, as well as receiving a CBE in 2002.