Yvonne Mitchell was born Yvonne Joseph in London to an Anglo-Jewish family. She became a stage actress as a teenager and continued to work in the theatre for 40 years. She married journalist/film and theatre critic/novelist Derek Monsey, with whom she had a daughter. She made her film debut in The Queen of Spades (1949) and had several leading roles over the next three decades, winning a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in The Divided Heart in 1954. Other important films included Escapade (1955), Sapphire (1959), The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960) and Johnny Nobody (1961). On television, she played Cathy in an adaptation of Wuthering Heights, Julia in Nineteen Eighty-Four, and Lea in Cheri. Her final screen role was in the BBC-TV's science fiction series 1990 (1977). Away from acting, she also became an established author, writing several books for children and adults as well as award-winning plays, including The Same Sky (1953). She wrote the acclaimed biography Colette: A Taste for Life (1975), and her own autobiography, Actress, published in 1957.