British Actress Sarah Marshall Dies at 80

Sarah Marshall 1979 - P 2014
Courtesy Everett Collection

Sarah Marshall 1979 - P 2014

The Tony-nominated star also appeared on TV’s “Star Trek” and “The Twilight Zone” and in the films “The Long, Hot Summer” and “Dave.”

British actress Sarah Marshall, a Tony-nominated veteran who later appeared in memorable episodes of TV’s Star Trek and The Twilight Zone, has died. She was 80.

Marshall died Saturday in Los Angeles following a long battle with cancer, said her daughter-in-law, Trixie Flynn.

Marshall was the daughter of noted British actors Herbert Marshall (The Letter, Foreign Correspondent) and Edna Best (The Man Who Knew Too Much, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir).

She made her feature film debut opposite Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward in the adaptation of William Faulkner’s The Long, Hot Summer (1958), but her most notable work came on Broadway.

Marshall toured nationally with Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne and received a best supporting actress Tony Award nomination for playing Rusty Mayerling in Goodbye, Charlie and a New York Drama Critics Award for her work as Bonnie Dee Ponder in The Ponder Heart, both of which opened in 1959.

Born in London on May 25, 1933, Marshall also appeared on Broadway in Dream Girl (1951), Idiot’s Delight (1951), Charley’s Aunt (1953) and The World of Suzie Wong (1958).

In Jane (1952), directed by Cyril Ritchard, she worked opposite her mother, and in Come Blow Your Horn (1961), she met actor Karl Held, her future husband of 50 years. He survives her.

Ritchard also cast her in Gore Vidal’s A Visit to a Small Planet (1957), and she began a lifelong friendship with the writer as a result. 

In 1972, Marshall and Held moved to London, where she appeared in A.R. Gurney’s Children with Constance Cummings, Applause with Lauren Bacall and Neil Simon’s The Gingerbread Lady with Elaine Stritch. Also while abroad, she worked in the CBS telefilm The Bunker with Anthony Hopkins (as Adolf Hitler), Michael Kitchen, Julian Fellowes and Held. 

Returning to Los Angeles in 1979, Marshall starred opposite Roscoe Lee Browne in the short-lived CBS series Miss Winslow and Son.

In the 1962 Twilight Zone episode “Little Girl Lost,” Marshall played the mother of an unseen girl who disappears behind her bedroom wall into a fourth dimension. And in the 1967 Star Trek installment “The Deadly Years,” Marshall portrayed Dr. Janet Wallace, a former love interest of Captain Kirk (William Shatner) who helps cure an illness that rapidly ages its victims.

Marshall also appeared on such TV series as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, 77 Sunset Strip, The Fugitive, Daniel Boone, Get Smart, F Troop and Ironside and in such films as Embassy (1972), Dave (1993) and Dangerous Minds (1995).

For more than 20 years, Marshall and Held served on the Western Council of the Actors Fund of America.

Marshall also was married to three-time Oscar-nominated set decorator and regular Woody Allen collaborator Mel Bourne from 1952-57.

In addition to Flynn and Held, Marshall is survived by son Timothy, grandchildren Seamus, Sarah, Timothy and Eliza and half-sister Ann.

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