racechanging: Queenie


This TV movie tells this story of Anglo-Indian Queenie Kelly (Mia Sara) who becomes movie star Dawn Avalon. It was loosely – very loosely – based on the life of Merle Oberon: (known as Queenie Thompson up until 1939): the points of congruence being that both were once known as Queenie; born in India; came to London; made movies; and each tried to hide her Anglo-Indian parentage by introducing her mother as a maid.

Vicky Kelly (Claire Bloom) is Queenie’s Indian mother. At first she is seen wearing European style clothing and hairstyles but when she comes to London as her daughter’s ‘maid’ she wears Indian clothing.

The makeup

Paul Engelen was makeup supervisor; Lynda Armstrong was makeup artist.