Charles Laughton as Henry VIII and Jean Simmons as Elizabeth I in 'Young Bess'

1 portrait matching 'x199015'

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Charles Laughton as Henry VIII and Jean Simmons as Elizabeth I in 'Young Bess'

by Unknown photographer
film publicity still, 1953
10 1/8 in. x 8 in. (257 mm x 203 mm) overall
Given by Tracy Granger, 2014
Photographs Collection
NPG x199015

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Laughton and Simmons await their next scenes on the set of MGM's Young Bess. This was her first Hollywood film after her contract with RKO, Howard Hughes’s company, ended

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Current affairs

A combination of low pressure in the North Sea, hurricane force winds, and high tides result in the Great Flood of 1953. With no warning system many were trapped in their homes as 20-foot waves crashed on the coast; hundreds were killed at sea and on the east coast.
John Hunt's British Expedition conquers Everest. News of the achievement reached Britain on the day of Elizabeth's coronation.

Art and science

Frances Crick and James Watson discover the double helix structure of DNA. Uncovering DNA's chemical make-up revolutionised our understanding of the building blocks of life.
Ian Fleming publishes his first James Bond novel, Casino Royal.
Chad Varah founds 'The Samaritans' helpline.

International

Joseph Stalin dies four days after suffering a stroke. It has been suggested that Stalin was assassinated, as he was denied medical assistance for over a day after he was found; many suspect that he was poisoned. On his death Georgy Malenkov became leader of the Soviet Union.

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