Possessing an almost hypnotic earthy beauty that perfectly compliments her effectively understated acting style, Jenny Agutter made a lasting impression on cinema lovers worldwide with appearances in such films as The Railway Children (1970), Walkabout (1971), and Logan’s Run (1976). Although she continued to appear in features in the ensuing decades, the actress also made a notable name for herself as both a high-profile philanthropist and photographer. Born in Taunton, Somerset, England, in the winter of 1952 of military parents, Agutter had seen most of the world by the age of 11, when she was enrolled in the Elmhurst Ballet School in Cambury, Surrey. She made her film debut in East of Sudan (1964) when only 12, and, after utilizing her dance skills in Ballerina the following year, she made her biggest impression to date in the feature version of The Railway Children (1970). (She had previously appeared in a television series based on the story.) Entering drama school at the age of 17 while living in London, the demands of her studies frequently conflicted with an increasingly busy film schedule. Around the time of her appearance in Nicolas Roeg’s surreal outback drama Walkabout, Agutter decided to move to Hollywood. There, she quickly gained a reputation as a formidable talent, and her 1971 performance in a made-for-TV production of The Snow Goose (opposite Richard Harris) earned the actress her first Emmy award. Frequently alternating between television and film during the following few years, Agutter once again turned heads as the heroine of Logan’s Run (1976). A fugitive of a system that terminates all citizens over the age of 30, the futuristic movie proved to be a hit and the actress became well known to stateside science fiction aficionados.
Agutter was appeared on-stage frequently during this period, and her love for the theater was clearly on display in such efforts as The Man in the Iron Mask (1976) and Othello (1981). Following her high-profile role as a nurse who falls for a lycanthrope in John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London, Agutter kept things low-key through the remainder of the ’80s, although eagle-eyed fans could catch a quick glimpse of her in such features as Amazon Women on the Moon (1987) and King of the Wind (1988). In the late ’80s, she met Swedish hotelier Johan Tham while attending an arts festival in Bath, and the two were married the following year; a son following shortly thereafter. Moving back to England following their marriage, the couple made a home in Cornwall. Although her film roles would become increasingly sporadic over the next decade, Agutter did appear in small capacities in such features as Darkman (1990), Child’s Play 2 (1990), and Blue Juice (1995). More frequent during this period were television roles, which included The Buccaneers (1995), Bramwell (1998), and a small-screen remake of The Railway Children in 2000 (this time playing the mother). Drawn back into films at the dawn of the new millennium, Agutter appeared in The Parole Officer (2001) and Number One Longing, Number Two Regret (2002). In addition to her acting career, Agutter published a book of photography in 1984, Snap: Observations of London and Los Angeles, and, over the years, became increasingly involved with such charitable causes as The Cystic Fibrosis Trust and Action for Children, an organization which provides shelter and resources for homeless children.