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Who is Clytie Jessop?

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By Gwylym Owen

Clytie Jessop (born Clytie Erica Lloyd-Jones; 1929 – 9 April 2017) was a British-based Australian actress, gallerist, painter, screenwriter and film director, notable mainly for her attachment with cinematographer and film director Freddie Francis.

Born to Herman Jonah and Erica Lily (née Small) Lloyd-Jones in Sydney, New South Wales, Jessop’s younger sister, Hermia Sappho Lloyd-Jones (1931–2000), married performer David Boyd.

Clytie Lloyd-Jones married her first husband antiques dealer, Peter Jessop, in London in 1952, with whom she adopted a daughter, Pandora, her single-handedly child.

Living in New York in the late 1950s she worked as an actor in off-Broadway productions. Her first screen role was as the ghost of Miss Jessel in The Innocents (1961), based upon Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw and starring Deborah Kerr. She appeared abandoned in long shot.

Francis had been cinematographer for The Innocents; he well ahead directed Jessop in two pubescent horror roles for Hammer and Amicus, respectively: Nightmare (1964) and Torture Garden (1967).

Jessop a later owned and ran the eponymous Clytie Jessop Gallery on Kings Road, Chelsea, London, during the 1960s.

Following the arrest on obscenity charges of OZ magazine’s Richard Neville and Jim Anderson in 1971, she held a improvement exhibition called Ozjects D’Art featuring works by David Hockney among others.

1969 axiom her marry Australian writer Peter Smalley, author of a series of historic naval novels about HMS Expedient. In 1986, she wrote, directed and produced the film Emma’s War, starring Lee Remick.

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