Dame Judith Anderson, AC, DBE (10 February 1897 – 3 January 1992) was an Australian Tony award- and Emmy-winning actress of stage and screen, who was also nominated for a Grammy and an Oscar. She is generally regarded by theatre critics as the greatest classical actress produced by Australia.
Anderson was born Frances Margaret Anderson-Anderson in Adelaide, South Australia to Jessie Margaret and James Anderson-Anderson. She attended Norwood High School, and began acting in Australia before moving to New York in 1918. She established herself as a dramatic actress of note making several appearances in the plays of William Shakespeare.
Anderson made her professional debut as Francee Anderson in 1915 at the age of 17. She played the role of Stephanie at the Theatre Royal, Sydney, in A Royal Divorce. Leading the company was the very popular Scottish actor, Julius Knight whom Anderson later credited with laying the foundations of her acting skills. In the company were some American actors who influenced Francee to try her luck in America. Francee went to California but was unsuccessful, so she tried New York, with equal lack of success. After a period of poverty and illness, she found work with the Emma Bunting Stock Company at the 14th Street Theatre in 1918-19. She toured with other stock companies until 1922 when she made her Broadway debut in On the stairs using the name Frances Anderson. Twelve months later, she had changed her name to Judith and had her first triumph with the play Cobra co-starring Louis Calhern. She toured Australia in 1927 with three plays - Tea for Three, The Green Hat and Cobra.