Claire Bloom, CBE is an English film and stage actress, famous for leading roles in plays, such as Streetcar Named Desire, A Dollâ€™s House, and Long Day's Journey into Night, along with nearly sixty films, during a career spanning over six decades.
After an uprooted and unstable childhood in war-torn England, Bloom studied drama in school, which became her passion. She had her debut on the London stage when she was sixteen, and soon took roles in various Shakespeare plays. They included Hamlet, where she played Ophelia alongside Richard Burton, with whom she would have a "long and stormy" first love affair. For her Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, critic Kenneth Tynan stated it was â€œthe best Juliet Iâ€™ve ever seen.â€ And after starring as Blanche in Streetcar Named Desire, its playwright, Tennessee Williams, was "exultant," stating, "I declare myself absolutely wild about Claire Bloom."
In 1952, Bloom was discovered by Hollywood film star Charlie Chaplin, who had been searching for months for an actress with "beauty, talent, and a great emotional range," to co-star alongside him in Limelight. It became Bloom's film debut and made her into an international film star. During her lengthy film career, she starred alongside numerous major actors, including Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, Paul Scofield, Ralph Richardson, Yul Brynner, George C. Scott, James Mason, Paul Newman and Rod Steiger, whom she would marry.