Jean Fennell was a British actress and much loved Sanford Meisner acting teacher.After leaving Drama Centre, London, Jean made a successful start to her career as a stage actress. In 1984 she was chosen to act in the then new BBC series called EastEnders. She had rehearsed and started shooting when Julia Smith (the creator-producer) took her into her office one lunchtime and suddenly dismissed her. Jean, shocked and completely devastated, was driven away to her home. Matthew Robinson (the director) pleaded with Julia to reconsider but her mind was made up. Julia later explained that Anita Dobson had just become available to play the role and she fitted Julia's image of the part she was creating. The 'dismissal affair' was taken up by the media and Jean, to her dismay, found herself catapulted into the public's awareness for all the wrong reasons. She resisted media attempts to make a sour story, and upheld her dignity. She went on to work in film including the 1988 Channel 4 production “Further Particular” directed by Steven Dwoskin.
In 1994 Jean discovered the Meisner Acting technique. Her teacher Tom Radcliffe, Meisner's protégé in the UK, asked her to take over his class when he left in 1997. Coaching Meisner actors became Jean's passion and her students say that she inspired and nurtured them both in their talent and as human beings.
For the last ten years of her life Jean battled with chronic pain and finally cancer. Against... Read More