Helen Morse (born 24 January 1947) is an English-born Australian actress who has appeared in films, on television and on stage. She won the AFI (AACTA) Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for the 1976 film Caddie, and starred in the 1981 miniseries A Town Like Alice. Her other film appearances include Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), Agatha (1979), Far East (1982) and The Eye of the Storm (2011).
Early lifeMorse was born in Harrow on the Hill, Middlesex, England in 1947. She was the oldest of four children; her parents were a doctor and nurse. She moved to Australia in 1950 with her family. She attended school at Presbyterian Ladies' College in Burwood, Victoria, and graduated from at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in 1965, and trained with Brian Syron in Sydney.
Career overviewMorse won the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in the 1976 film Caddie. Her notable screen performances also include roles in the film Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) and the television miniseries A Town Like Alice. Since her early work with Jim Sharman in the 1960s and 70s – A Taste of Honey, Terror Australis, As You Like It. Morse has worked in over ninety theatre productions. Morse had roles on many television productions, including three episodes of The Doctor Blake Mysteries in 2014 (Series 2), 2015 (Series 3), and 2016 (Series 4).
Personal lifeMorse was married from 1967 until 1976 to Australian actor and director Sandy Harbutt, with whom she starred in Stone.
TheatreMorse has worked with many companies including Melbourne Theatre Company, The Ensemble, The Independent, Nimrod Theatre Company, Marian Street, Sydney Theatre Company, Hunter Valley Theatre Company, Queensland Theatre Company, Harvest Theatre Company (South Australia) and the State Theatre Company of South Australia.
In 2002 and again in 2008, Morse played the role of Theodora Goodman in Adam Cook's adaptation of Patrick White's The Aunt's Story. Her 2004 performance as Nancy in Bryony Lavery's Frozen for the Melbourne Theatre Company earned her a Helpmann Award for Best Female Actor in a Play nomination. She has since been nominated for productions of John by Annie Baker (Melbourne Theatre Company), and Memorial by Alice Oswald (Brink Productions). In 2020, she won a Green Room Award for her performance in 33 Variations by Moises Kaufman (Cameron Lukey and Neil Gooding Productions).
Other theatre credits include