BiographyBirr, County Offaly, Ireland
Although often seen in the St. Trinian's movies, written by Sidney Gilliat and her husband, Frank Launder, it was her role as Maid Marian in the long-running Robin Hood series that catapulted her to stardom. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1955) became one of the first British Television programs to succeed in the United States, having over 30 million viewers. O'Farrell left the series in 1957 despite receiving thousands of letters asking her to stay. She was born in Birr, County Offaly, Ireland, in 1926. Her father was a bank teller, and her mother was an amateur actress. Read more... a local convent, she was working as a secretary when she was invited to an audition by Sir Carol Reed. Through Reed, she met Frank Launder, who gave her a small part in Captain Boycott (1947) opposite Stewart Granger. After several movies, including Launder's St. Trinian's series, some stage work and Robin Hood, she starred in her last movie, The Bridal Path (1959) in 1959. She retired from acting to spend time with her family on their farm in Buckinghamshire, England, UK. She and Launder were married in 1950 and had two daughters. They would later move to Monaco and become active in local charities and stage productions. While living in Monaco, Frank suffered a serious stroke in 1989 and, finally, a fatal heart attack in 1997. Bernadette O'Farrell died on September 29, 1999, after battling with cancer.