(aka Joan Winfield)
She was born in Melbourne, Australia, and both she and her
sister Mauricette (later Dale Melbourne) were musical prodigies. At the age of
13, with her sister accompanying her on piano, Joan defeated challengers more
than three times her age to be awarded "Best Violinist of Australia."
Two years later, the MacGillicuddy family moved to London,
where at fourteen Joan auditioned and was accepted for the prestigious Royal Academy
of Dramatic Art with a monologue from Romeo and Juliet. She always said that the
highlight of her time at RADA was being directed by George Bernard Shaw in his
play Back to Methuselah.
On a trip to New York, Joan was approached at a cocktail
party by a talent scout from Warner Brothers Studio, and a screen test landed
her a seven-year contract. When Joan was introduced to her new boss Jack Warner,
he said that her last name would not fit on a marquee, and gave her the character
name from a recent Bette Davis film. Thus she became Joan Winfield.
In her time at the studio Joan worked in several of Bette
Davis' films, her favorite role being that of Lucy, the maid who knows too much
in A Stolen Life. On a forgettable film called Gorilla Man she met
John Meredyth Lucas, then working on the show as a script supervisor. They married
in 1951, and had three children, Elizabeth, Victoria and Michael.
After her marriage she acted in fewer films, and devoted
her time to charity work. For many years she was on the Board of Directors of
SHARE, an organization that works to assist children with developmental disabilities.
Joan died in 1978.