Ann Todd Dies; Actress Starred in ‘Seventh Veil’


Ann Todd, the British actress who achieved international fame in the 1945 classic “The Seventh Veil,” has died in London. She was 82.

Miss Todd died Thursday at London’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital following a stroke, according to her agent, Bryan Drew.

Although she acted for many years on stage and in some lesser British films, Miss Todd was little known until she starred opposite James Mason in the low-budget psychological thriller involving the use of classical music to restore memory. “The Seventh Veil” brought her to the attention of American filmgoers, and David O. Selznick brought her to Hollywood where she made her American debut in his 1948 film “The Parradine Case.”


In reviewing “The Seventh Veil” when it opened in Los Angeles in 1946, Times film critic Edwin Schallert compared the petite, blond Miss Todd to the reclusive actress Greta Garbo.

“Miss Todd, who definitely carries the film,” he wrote, “is called upon to range from childhood to young womanhood, and appear as a victim of mental derangement. She is a pianist trained in the manner of a Trilby by Mason in his semi-Svengali role. Yet she registers with positiveness.”

Her later films included “The Passionate Friends” in 1949, “Madeleine” in 1950, “The Sound Barrier” in 1952, “The Green Scarf” in 1954, “Time Without Pity” in 1956 and “Taste of Fear” in 1960.

After starring in “90 Degrees in the Shade” in 1966, Miss Todd largely abandoned acting, returning only in occasional small roles to finance her new career--producing, directing and narrating travel documentary films. Exercising her love of travel, she made films in Nepal, Greece, Egypt, Jordan, Australia, Iran and Scotland.

Miss Todd also wrote two novels and, in 1980, her autobiography, “The Eighth Veil.”

“I am too shy to be a typical actress,” she wrote in the book. “I hate curtain calls, and it embarrasses me when people clap. I really prefer solitude.”

In 1946, when she became the first British film star to receive a $1-million contract, Miss Todd continued to do her own grocery shopping. She modestly noted that the contract, on which she paid $880,000 in taxes, did nothing to increase the post-war rationing coupons which limited her to one dress, two pairs of stockings and one pair of shoes each year.

She was married and divorced three times--to Victor Malcolm, to composer and author Nigel Tangye and to British director David Lean.

She is survived by a son, David, and a daughter, Francesca.