Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pam Ferris- Actor of the Week

Pam Ferris has been in so many period dramas! Most recently cast as Sister Evangelina in Call the Midwife, now showing on PBS, she has worn many a bonnet over the years.

Pam Ferris as Ma Larkin in Darling Buds of May

Possibly best known as the warm beloved mother Ma Larkin in The Darling Buds of May. Catherine Zeta-Jones may have been the sex appeal in this show, but Ma Larkin was the character who made you want to join the Larkin family for dinner.

Pam Ferris as Mrs. General in Little Dorrit

As the horrid Mrs. General in Little Dorrit, hired to accompany the Dorrit sisters on their trip to Europe and educate them, she is wonderful and terrible all at the same time. Poor little Amy Dorrit!

Mr. Dorrit: Mrs General and I have been in conversation about you, and we agree that you scarcely feel at home here in Venice. How is this?
Amy Dorrit: I think I need a little time. Father.
Mrs. General: [sighing] "Papa" is a preferable form of address. "Father" is rather vulgar. Besides, the word "papa" gives a pretty form to the lips. "Papa", "potatoes", "poultry", "prunes" and "prism" are all very good words for the lips - especially "prunes" and "prism".

Pam Ferris as Grace Poole in Jane Eyre 2006

Perfectly horrible again as Grace Poole in Jane Eyre 2006, the alcoholic minder of the crazy woman in the attic. Wonderful role to play but not a warm fuzzy role.

Pam Ferris as Mrs Boffin in Our Mutual Friend

As the friendly Mrs. Boffin in the Dickens adaptation Our Mutual Friend 1998, she gets to play a working woman who, with her husband, comes into a fortune. She retains her heart of gold while she tries to negotiate the world of the monied upper classes.

Pam Ferris as Miss Trunchbull in Matilda

As one of the most horrible characters in literature, Pam Ferris plays Headmistress Miss Trunchbull from the film based on the book Matilda by Roald Dahl. Evil, evil, evil...but at least Matilda gets revenge in the end!

Pam Ferris as Aunt Marge in Harry Potter

As the nasty Aunt Marge Dursley in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Pam Ferris gets "blown up" by Harry who accidentally uses his magical powers after being enraged by the things that Marge says.

Aunt Marge: I still don't like your tone, boy. If you can speak of your beatings in that casual way, they clearly aren't hitting you hard enough. Petunia, I'd write to them if I were you. Make it clear that you approve the use of extreme force in this boy's case.

Pam Ferris as Mrs Dollop in Middlemarch
In a small part in the 1994 BBC production of Middlemarch Pam Ferris plays Mrs. Dollop, the opinionated landlady of The Tankard in Slaughter Lane.

Pam Ferris as Sister Evangelina in Call the Midwife

But my favourite role for Pam Ferris so far is Sister Evangelina in Call the Midwife. This character (and the entire miniseries) has a wonderful balance of humour and heart. Sister Evangelina makes me laugh and cry all in the same episode. She is mostly a fun, no nonsense character who is likely drawn from a real person as the miniseries is based on the memoirs of midwife Jennifer Worth. I can't wait for more Call the Midwife. Apparently there is a Christmas special and another series coming next year. Yay!!!

Sister Evangelina:  Ah, Camilla Fortescue-Cholmeley-Browne?
Chummy Browne:  I generally answer to "Chummy". My pa used to say "Long dogs need short names".
Sister Evangelina:  Follow me. And mind your head. I understand you qualified by a whisker, Nurse Fortescue-Cholmeley-Browne.
Chummy Browne:  I did pass. It was a bit of a scrape.


  1. She was horrid (in a good way) in Little Dorrit! I've yet to see Call the must rectify that asap.

    Nice profile of a marvelous character actress.

    1. Hi Jane! Yes Pam Ferris was a perfect Mrs. General in Little Dorrit. Horridly good. You'll love Call the Midwife.

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  3. I've only seen her in 3 things. It's Jane eyre, Middlemarch and Our Mutual Friend. I wouldn't have even dreamed all these were the same person.

  4. love to love) she plays them sooo well. not to mention the lovely stories her characters play in.

    there are no characters in 'Call the Midwife' to dislike - i guess the antagonist there is the lifestyle of most of the community that they work in. a new addiction for sure.

  5. I also really like her in "Rosemary and Thyme," the mystery TV show co-starring Felicity Kendall.

  6. Margaret, mommbsta and Suzan- Pam Ferris truly is a wonderful and versatile actress. I had to leave out so many of her roles!

  7. Seen her in everything but Call The Midwife and Middelmarch. She is a great actress!

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