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Oscar Winner Learns of Award on Radio With PM-Oscars, Bjt

March 26, 1985

LONDON (AP) _ Dame Peggy Ashcroft, down with the flu, spent the night at home in bed with the phone off the hook and didn’t hear about her Oscar for best supporting actress until today.

″I didn’t hear about the award until I switched on the radio this morning,″ said the 77-year-old British stage actress. ″It is not a thing I ever imagined would happen to me. I have, after all, not had a lot to do with films.″

Miss Ashcroft said he was celebrating her award wrapped up in bed with a mug of hot honey and lemon drink.

She missed Monday’s Academy Award ceremony in Los Angeles because she was in London for the funeral of Sir Michael Redgrave, a long-time friend and colleague.

However, she said in a telephone interview today that she could not have been in Los Angeles anyway because she came down with a ″wretched flu.″

She was awarded the Oscar for her role as Mrs. Moore in Sir David Lean’s ″A Passage to India,″ but she said she was so sick Monday night she took the telephone off the hook.

″I was terribly disappointed that I was not able to travel,″ Miss Ashcroft said her home in the Hampstead district of north London. ″I’m afraid I’m housebound at the moment.″

Her role in ″A Passage to India″ is not the only performance involving India for which she is being hailed this year.

Her role as the strong-minded missionary Barbie Bachelor in the 14-week TV series ″The Jewel in the Crown″ also is drawing enthusiastic notices.

Miss Ashcroft was born in Croydon, near London, and made her acting debut at the age of 18 in 1926. Her first role: Margret in ″Dear Brutus″ with the late Ralph Richardson - also an Oscar nominee this year - as her father.

Over the years, the actress played virtually every female role in the classic theater. She also appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film, ″The 39 Steps″ as well as ″The Nun’s Story,″ ″Sunday Bloody Sunday″ and ″Secret Ceremony.″

On television she has had parts in ″The Tempest″ and ″Twelfth Night.″

In 1956, Queen Elizabeth named Miss Ashcroft a Dame of the British Empire, equivalent to knighthood for a British man.

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