Patricia Hodge

A blonde actress with fine-boned, patrician features and a cool stately presence, Patricia Hodge remains best known outside the British Isles as the straying wife of book editor Ben Kingsley whose dalliance with literary agent Jeremy Irons is told in reverse order in the film version of Harold Pinter's "Betrayal" (1983). Discerning television viewers will recall the stage-trained performer in several memorable productions, many shown in the USA on either PBS or A&E. She portrayed aristocrats in both "Edward and Mrs. Simpson" (1978) and "The Death of the Heart" (1987). Hodge may be best known to mystery buffs for her characterization of barrister Philida Erskine-Brown on the PBS courtroom series, "Rumpole of the Bailey" and as independent TV newscaster/detective Jemima Shore in the TV adaptations of Antonia Fraser's popular novels. In 1987, she delivered a riveting performance as a glamorous novelist in the excellent BBC TV presentation of Fay Weldon's "The Life and Loves of a She Devil" and five years later triumphed in another Weldon adaptation, "The Cloning of Joanna May." More recently, Hodge has been concentrating her energies on the stage, returning to her roots in musical theater with an acclaimed turn as the Countess Charlotte in a 1995 production of the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler show "A Little Night Music."