Read more about Jean Rogers
Although born in London Jean was raised in Worthing, between the sea and the lovely Sussex downs.
In Television she is best known for her eleven years as Dolly Skilbeck in the Yorkshire soap drama EMMERDALE but amongst her many other roles she presented a BBC Schools’ Television programme for 7 and 8 year olds called WATCH.
In theatre she appeared in repertory companies and also tours nationwide and she was a founder member of the Royal National Theatre under the direction of Sir Laurence Olivier.
In Radio she notched up around 1500 broadcasts specialising in playing little boys and girls and also presented LISTEN WITH MOTHER and POETRY CORNER for small children.
In film her most interesting role was as a CNN reporter in the George Clooney/Nicole Kidman film THE PEACEMAKER. Alas she was with the second unit and did not meet gorgeous George!
In recent years she has found herself caught up in the Actors’ Union Equity as an elected member of the Council and is now into her 3rd term as Vice President.
She fights for a number of issues including legible television credits and for freedom of artistic expression.
A Seaside Postcard
The war ended, Jean’s parents scraped the money together and realised her mother’s dream of running a seaside guesthouse. But the dream quickly became a nightmare with seaweed piling up on the beaches and frequent visits to the bank manager. For Jean and her brother Pip, however, it was an idyllic childhood played out on the Sussex coast in the early fifties, with the dawning of rock and roll and the motor car.
Don’t Put your Daughter on the Stage Mrs. Rogers!
Perhaps Jean’s mother had secretly wished to be on the stage and that was why she enrolled Jean for ballet lessons at the Worthing Ballet School. However, Miss Muirhead was a tartar and put the fear of God into her, and eventually Jean persuaded her mother to let her give it up.
Then along came elocution lessons and Jean’s life changed. That, and after school visits to “the Pictures” opened the door to the magical world of drama. Once through, Jean never looked back. She was going to be an actress and her mother was her biggest fan. Sadly, she died of leukaemia just as Jean got her biggest break, stepping into the shoes of another actress, as Dolly in Emmerdale Farm. Her father even changed the funeral day so she could attend the re-call and once again Jean accepted the challenge for her Mum.
To Botox or Not to Botox – is that the question?
Anne Robinson did it, Cliff Richards did it, Lynn Perry and Leslie Ash did it disastrously, but why? What pressures are there on women these days to look young, to cut their bodies and mess about with their faces? Is it commercialism that shames us into doing it because we rarely see 45-plus role models on the screen? Are wrinkles a badge to wear with pride or something that must be eradicated or hidden away?
In Jean’s profession older actresses rarely work once they reach their forties so what can be done to turn things round? Jean looks to the European Union where she hopes the results of a recent questionnaire will bring about awareness and change. Hear the shocking things some people say and pause for thought and ponder whether you see yourself portrayed on screen.
Early in her career Jean was lucky to work with Alan Ayckbourn at York’s Theatre Royal in a production of “The Wizard of Oz”. “Relatively Speaking” was a smash in the West End at the time. It wasn’t until some years later that she had the opportunity to play one of his female characters – Fay Hubbard in “Chorus of Disapproval”- and she discovered the power of his comedy writing.
Jean explores the truth behind his characters, the clever structures of his dialogue and the wonderful observations he makes of human foibles. Jean has confronted a number of challenges by jumping at every chance of doing an Ayckbourn play whatever the inadequacies of pay or rehearsal time. An Ayckbourn play, well done, is a fantastic night out as well as a fantastic play to be in. Jean is a great Ayckbourn fan.
Drama in Church
Create inspiring pieces of music and drama to underline themes in church services without falling into the trap of producing embarrassing dramas that neither make the point nor entertain.
Kept simple and with clear instructions so all involved know what they are doing is a winning formula. Cutting your coat according to the material on offer, shorter rather than longer and playing to people’s strengths are the golden rules. Jean has written and produced simple pieces for Easter, Christmas and the Patronal Festival of her church St. Paul’s, East Molesey. She uses poetry, prose, scriptures, music in all its forms, and gets her ideas from the world around her. If you love the arts and the scriptures, so can you.