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Dilys Powell

(1901-1995), Film critic and writer

(Elizabeth) Dilys Powell

Sitter in 11 portraits
A key contributor to British film culture and a critic famed for her perceptive reviews, Powell was often the first to acknowledge new talent, such as that of Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood. She received a first-class degree from Oxford, where she met her first husband, the archaeologist Humfry Payne. After graduating, she was employed as Lady Ottoline Morrell's literary assistant, before joining the staff of The Sunday Times. There she became the film critic from 1939 to 1976 and later wrote for Punch and Sight & Sound. The author of several memoirs on Greece, including An Affair of the Heart (1957), her collected reviews, The Golden Screen: Fifty Years at the Films, were published in 1989. She was awarded the CBE in 1974 and a BFI Fellowship in 1983.

Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below

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Dilys Powell, by Fred Daniels - NPG P394

Dilys Powell

by Fred Daniels
vintage bromide print, 1947
NPG P394

Dilys Powell and two others, by Lady Ottoline Morrell - NPG Ax143676

Dilys Powell and two others

by Lady Ottoline Morrell
vintage snapshot print, 1934
NPG Ax143676

Dilys Powell, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x19477

Dilys Powell

by Bassano Ltd
half-plate film negative, 14 January 1941
NPG x19477

Dilys Powell, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x19478

Dilys Powell

by Bassano Ltd
half-plate film negative, 14 January 1941
NPG x19478

Dilys Powell, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x19479

Dilys Powell

by Bassano Ltd
half-plate film negative, 14 January 1941
NPG x19479

Dilys Powell, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x19480

Dilys Powell

by Bassano Ltd
half-plate film negative, 14 January 1941
NPG x19480

Dilys Powell, by J.S. Lewinski - NPG x13741

Dilys Powell

by J.S. Lewinski
bromide print on card mount, 1967
NPG x13741

Dilys Powell, by Godfrey Argent - NPG x165837

Dilys Powell

by Godfrey Argent
bromide print, 23 October 1969
NPG x165837

Dilys Powell, by Mayotte Magnus - NPG x18635

Dilys Powell

by Mayotte Magnus
bromide print, June 1976
NPG x18635

Dilys Powell, by Lucinda Douglas-Menzies - NPG x29766

Dilys Powell

by Lucinda Douglas-Menzies
selenium-toned bromide fibre print, 1984
NPG x29766

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