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Jill Craigie (7 March 1911 – 13 December 1999) was an Englishmarker documentary film director, actor and writer, feminist and wife of the Labour Party politician, Michael Foot, whom she met during the making of her film The Way We Live.

Biography

Born Noreen Jean Craigie to a Russian mother and a Scottish father in Fulhammarker, Londonmarker in 1911 (not 1914 as reported in obituaries), Jill Craigie started her career in film as an actress, but the events of the 1930s politicised her and she turned to filmmaking. Her films depicted her socialist leanings and dealt with left-wing topics such as child refugees, working conditions for miners, and gender equality. After directing five films and writing two others, Craigie retired from the film business for almost forty years, returning to make a single film for BBC television.

In latter years Craigie became an authority on the suffragette movement, holding a large collection of feminist literature in Britain, with pamphlets dating back to John Stuart Mill.

Craigie had a daughter, Julie, from her first marriage. She and Foot had no children together, but enjoyed family life with Julie and, later, her four children. They lived in a flat in Hampsteadmarker, north London, and in a cottage in Ebbw Vale, South Walesmarker.

In 1998, a biography of the late Hungarianmarker-born writer Arthur Koestler by David Cesarani alleged Koestler had been a serial rapist and that Craigie had been one of his victims in 1951. Craigie confirmed the allegations.

Craigie died in 1999 of heart failure at the Royal Free Hospital in Camden Townmarker, Londonmarker, aged 88.

Filmography

  • The Flemish Farm (1943), screenwriter (credited as "Jill Dell")
  • Out of Chaos (1944)
  • The Way We Live (1946)
  • Children of the Ruins (1948)
  • Blue Scar (1949)
  • To Be a Woman (1951)
  • The Million Pound Note (1953), screenwriter
  • Trouble in Store (1953), uncredited screenwriter
  • Windom's Way (1957), screenwriter
  • Two Hours from London (1995)


Bibliography



Further reading



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