ⓘ Doreen Hawkins
Doreen Hawkins appearing as Doreen Lawrence and born Doreen Mary Beadle was a British actor who volunteered to tour during the war to entertain the troops. She appeared in the film Hamlet in 1948 but gave up her career just after she married the film star Jack Hawkins.
Hawkins was born in Southampton in 1919 and by the time she was four she had appeared on the stage. At the age of fifteen she was touring with an acting troupe where she was cast as the flirty teenager. She appeared under the name Doreen Lawrence. This was the start of her time in Repertory theatre where she would learn new parts and get regular work. When she was eighteen she was engaged to fellow actor Peter Cushing, but she decided not to marry him. She said that she broke off the engagement because he would bring his parents on dates and he was too easily moved to tears.
Acting in "rep" occupied her time until war broke out. As war broke out she wanted to help and the best opportunity was to join the Entertainments National Service Association ENSA. She appeared in show to entertain the troops in West Africa, South Africa and Egypt. She was then sent to Bombay in India in 1944.
She belonged to an ENSA unit that was headed by Colonel Jack Hawkins.
The war ended in 1945 and she married Jack Hawkins. He was a leading man who was frequent cast as an army or navy person. Doreen is said to have given up her acting career after she married and devoted her time to her family, but she did appear in the 1948 film Hamlet.
Her husband died in 1973. She wrote an autobiography titled Drury Lane to Dinapur and died in 2013.
2. Personal life
In 1947, she married Jack Hawkins who had a teenage daughter named Susan. Doreen was his second wife as he had married actress Jessica Tandy in 1932, and they divorced in 1940. and they remained married until his death in 1973. Together they had three children, Caroline b. 1955, Andrew, and Nicholas Hawkins.
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