Acclaimed actress Rosalie Crutchley originally trained at the Royal Academy of Music. She made her acting debut in repertory in 1938 at the Liverpool Playhouse. She made her Broadway debut in 1950. The Guild of Television named her best actress of the year in 1956 for Armchair Theatre: Black Limelight (1956). Her darkly Mediterranean complexion and gaunt, severe facial features caused her to be frequently cast as Spanish (eg. Queen Katherine in The Sword and the Rose (1953)), French or Italian women. Her screen persona tended to be either sinister or villainous, or downtrodden and tragic. She played the role of Madame Defarge in both the 1958 film of A Tale of Two Cities (1958) and a later BBC television version, A Tale of Two Cities (1965). She also played in two different BBC television versions of "The Franchise Affair", in the first, The Franchise Affair (1962), playing the daughter and in the second, The Franchise Affair (1988), playing the mother. She played Catherine Parr both in The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1970), for which she won an International Television Award, and in the sequel Elizabeth R (1971).