- Mary C. Kalfatovic
Tandy, Jessica (07 June 1909–11 September 1994), actress, was born Jessie Alice Tandy in London, England, the daughter of Harry Tandy, a commercial traveler for a rope manufacturing firm, and Jessie Helen Horspool, headmistress of a school for mentally handicapped children. Tandy’s mother encouraged her children’s interest in art and literature and took them to the theater and to museums from an early age. When Tandy was twelve years old, her father died and her mother began supplementing the family income by teaching at an evening school for adults. To avoid being left at home alone, Tandy accompanied her mother to the evening school and attended classes in Shakespeare, poetry, and dance while her mother taught. By day, Tandy attended Dame Alice Owen’s Girls’ School, but bouts with tuberculosis had caused her to fall behind in her studies. The Shakespeare classes furthered Tandy’s interest in the theater. She began studying with a private drama coach and, from 1924 to 1927, attended London’s prestigious Ben Greet Academy of Acting....