AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) _ Davina Whitehouse, one of New Zealand's most respected actors who performed alongside John Gielgud and Clark Gable, died on Christmas Day after a series of strokes, her son said. She was 90.

British-born Whitehouse was a star of London theater and film. As a child she met Charlie Chaplin and performed with actors including Gielgud.

In 1931, she featured in the film ``Night Nurse'' with Clark Gable and Barbara Stanwyck.

In 1952, Whitehouse moved to New Zealand with her husband Archie, a businessman, and their two sons Quentin and Steve.

She continued her acting career, appearing in a number of plays and films, including ``Sleeping Dogs'' with Sam Neil and ``Braindead,'' directed by ``Lord of the Rings'' director Peter Jackson.

Whitehouse also appeared in a string of New Zealand television shows into the 1980s.

Quentin Whitehouse described his mother as a ``wonderful, golden person'' who loved acting.

``I have a 1920s video of her acting away as a teenager,'' he said. ``She's never been anything else. One moment she could be a family person, the next she could walk on stage and do an absolute straight part.''

A funeral service for family and close friends was planned for later this week and a memorial event in February.

Whitehouse is survived by both sons, four grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.