I wore my white tuxedo and we all really enjoyed talking to Jenny about films and acting. She was so friendly and had lots of interesting things to talk about.
Jennifer Ann Agutter was born in Taunton, Somerset, in 1952. Her father was an officer in the British army which meant that, as a child, she lived in places like Germany, Malasia and Cyprus when he was stationed abroad.
She went to Elmhurst ballet school in Camberley as a child. It was here that she was 'spotted', and when only 12, appeared as Asua in East of Sudan (1964) with Anthony Quayle.
In 1966, Jenny played the dancer Ingrid Jensen in two episodes (called Ballerina) of the series Disneyland, and she has fond memories of meeting Walt Disney.
It was around this time that Jenny successfully auditioned for the part of the
website showing all the locations and other interesting information about this film click here.
Jenny also worked in theatre to gain more experience, even performing Shakespeare alongside Sir John Gielgud at the National Theatre.
In the early 1970s, Jenny Agutter went to Hollywood where she made some outstanding films. In the Golden
Sci-fi drama Logan's Run was Jenny's big success of 1976. She played Jessica alongside Michael York in this frightening drama where your life can only last for 30 years!
That same year, she was seen as the horse-riding Mollie Prior in The Eagle Has Landed (1976) with Michael Caine and Donald Sutherland. The visually attractive Mapledurham in Berkshire is used as the fictional Norfolk village of Studley Constable, in this WWII story about German commandos who attempt to kidnap Winston Churchill. There is also the most surprising twist at the very end! This film and Logan's Run, saw Jenny moving on from her 'child star' image into more adult roles.
Outside of acting, Jenny is closely associated with several charities, particularly the Cystic Fibrosis trust, since she discovered that her family was affected by the condition. She
Since 2000, there appeared yet another version of The Railway Children (2000), this time with Jenny playing the role of Bobbie's mother, alongside Sir Richard Attenborough and Michael Kitchen.
On TV, Jenny's roles have been many and varied. They include Silas Marner (1985), TECX (1990), Red Dwarf (1993), Heartbeat (1994 & 1996) and Bramwell (1998) where she appeared as Mrs Bruce in two feature length episodes for ITV, also starring Jemma Redgrave.
The 80s and 90s saw Jenny less involved with feature films, with much more emphasis on theatre work and TV. On stage, she played Regan in the RSC production of King Lear at Stratford in 1982; Stephen Poliakoff's Breaking the Silence at the Mermaid Theatre in 1985; appeared on Broadway in Hugh Whitemore's Breaking the Code in
1981 saw the release of two films, Walt Disney's Amy, in which Jenny's character, Amy Medford, teaches a deaf boy to communicate, and in complete contrast, An American Werewolf in London (1981) which has become something of a 'cult classic' for afficionados of horror films. Jenny plays Nurse Alex Price who falls in love with David Kessler, little realising that he has become a werewolf about to go on a killing spree!
In 1977 Jenny played stable-girl Jill Mason in Peter Shaffer's Equus, starring Richard Burton as the psychiatrist, and Peter Firth as the troubled Alan Strang. This is a difficult film in many ways - hard to understand and with the added element of animal cruelty. Jenny Agutter has also appeared in the 2007 stage version of Equus in London, but this time in the other female role of Hesther Saloman.
I Start Counting (1969) saw Jenny playing the role of schoolgirl, Wynne Kinch in a tense, atmospheric thriller.
The day I met Jenny Agutter is one that I shall remember for a very long time to come! It was at Autographica in October 2007, held at the Radisson Hotel near Heathrow. In the morning she signed my Railway Children photograph and I told her that I would be on her table for the dinner that evening - in fact I sat next to her!!
In the morning, I went to see Jenny again. It wasn't busy and we had time to chat some more, especially about her new web site that she was setting up. She also said that she had written a screenplay about Edith Nesbit that she hoped would be made into a film. I gave her my red carnation before I left.
Jenny was again seen riding a horse in the strangely titled China 9, Liberty 37 (1978), playing Catherine Sebanek in this sex-driven spaghetti western.
Other appearances in the late 1960s included the part of Roberta Faraday in the TV series The Railway Children (1968), a seven-episode series in black and white. Little did she realise the fame and fortune that this delightful Edith Nesbit story would bring, in the years to come.
'Girl' in Walkabout, but it was to be three more years before this explicit film, set in the Australian outback, was released in 1971.
By then, Jenny had been asked by director Lionel Jeffries to play Roberta again in the 1970 film version of The Railway Children. This superb film has since become a 'children's classic', with many subsequent showings on British TV. There is a
Globe Award-winning The Snow Goose (1971), she played the orphan Frith alongside Richard Harris as the reclusive lighthouse-keeper, and won herself an Emmy Award.
In The Riddle of the Sands (1979), Jenny Agutter teams up again with Michael York from Logan's Run in this adaptation of an Erskine Childers novel. Tw
1988 and went on tour to Japan with the RSC production of Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost in 1995. Another successful stage production was J M Barrie's Peter Pan at the Royal National Theatre in 1998.
.....in 1970 as Bobbie
.....in 2000 as Bobbie's mother
Other highlights include the short film At Dawning (2001) which won a Silver Bear award at the Berlin Film festival; 11 episodes of the long running and highly acclaimed TV thriller Spooks (2003); The Alan Clark Diaries (2004) and two adaptations from Agatha Christie The 4.50 From Paddington (2004) and Taken By the Flood (2006).
Jenny is also an expert photographer, and had a book of her pictures published in 1983 called Snap. It is a very personal look at London & Los Angeles - two cities she came to know well. In 2005, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Bradford University for her contribution to acting.
Jemma Redgrave & Jenny Agutter
Jenny Agutter in Peter Pan
Professor Mamet in Red Dwarf
Margo in Murder She Wrote
Krista in Magnum P.I.
Jill Mason in Equus
Catherine in China 9, Liberty 37
Alex Price in An American Werewolf in London
Amy Medford in Amy
Escaping Woman in At Dawning
Juliette Gruber, Jenny Agutter & Nick Berry in Heartbeat
Johan & Jenny
Jenny Agutter D.Litt
Jenny Agutter raising funds for
Hesther Saloman in Equus
Clara in Riddle of the Sands
Jenny signed my DVD of The Eagle Has Landed
Mollie Prior in The Eagle Has Landed
Michael York, Jenny Agutter & Peter Ustinov
in Logan's Run
Jenny Agutter as Frith in The Snow Goose
Luc Roeg, David Gulpilil & Jenny Agutter
Jenny Agutter as Ingrid Jensen
The Railway Children (1968)
Wynne in I Start Counting
cystic fibrosis research
Our group really enjoyed Jenny's company at dinner!
Jenny married a Swedish hotelier, Johan Tham, in 1990 and they have a son Jonathan. The family now lives in London, although they often retreat to Cornwall where they have a cottage on The Lizard, the most southerly point in Britain.
Two yachtsmen set out to thwart a German plot to invade England in the early years of the 20th Century.
The Railway Children
also supports the work of the children's charity NCH (form
(formerly known as the National Childrens Home).
Click on a name below to take you to that page
Lots of information and images on Jenny's brilliant website.
Click this photo link to take you there.
Jenny and I at Autographica in October 2007