Patricia Claire Blume, (born 15 February 1931), better known by her stage name Claire Bloom, is an English film and stage actress whose career has spanned over six decades. She is known for leading roles in plays such as A Streetcar Named Desire, A Doll’s House, and Long Day’s Journey into Night, and has starred in nearly sixty films.
After a childhood in England and the US, Bloom studied drama. She debuted on the London stage when she was sixteen and soon took roles in various Shakespeare plays. They included Hamlet, in which she played Ophelia alongside Richard Burton. For her Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, critic Kenneth Tynan stated it was “the best Juliet I’ve ever seen”. After she starred as Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, its playwright, Tennessee Williams, stated, “I declare myself absolutely wild about Claire Bloom”.
In 1952, Bloom was discovered by Hollywood film star Charlie Chaplin to co-star alongside him in Limelight. During her film career, she starred alongside numerous major actors, including Richard Burton, Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, Paul Scofield, Ralph Richardson, Yul Brynner, George C. Scott, James Mason, Paul Newman, Cliff Robertson, Anthony Hopkins and Rod Steiger.
In 2010, Bloom played the role of Queen Mary in the British film, The King’s Speech. She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to drama.