Harold and Maude, a quintessential dark comedy and arthouse favorite, did not gain its cult following until over ten years after the film’s 1971 release. The film stars Bud Cort as a disillusioned, privileged 20-something who is obsessed with death, and Ruth Gordon as a lively octogenarian Holocaust survivor with an eccentric outlook on living life to the fullest. After meeting at a funeral, the unlikely pair develop a relationship that is both intimate and life-affirming.
On January 5, 2023 FOLCS was joined by actress Gabrielle Anwar for a Conversation on this movie classic. Memorable for her iconic tango with Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman, audiences on both sides of the pond might also recognize Anwar from Showtime’s The Tudors or the popular network series Burn Notice. When she is not lighting up the screen herself, Anwar is leading advocate for adolescent mental health care, so it is no surprise that Harold and Maude speaks to Gabrielle as one of her favorite films–a black comedy with an optimistic message.
Born in Berkshire, England, attending the Italia Conti Performing Arts Academy in London, the accomplished Gabrielle Anwar has over 45 film and television performances to her credit in both Europe and the States, including her breakout film Scent of a Woman, where she was whisked off her feet into an acclaimed tango with Al Pacino.
Anwar has taken on the roles of a vast array of characters: from the blind diving horse circus performer in Disney’s biopic Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken to the risqué royal in Showtime’s The Tudors, to the supercilious counterpart to Noah Wyle in TNT’s The Librarian II. And from the fatal object of desire in Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead to the regal Queen Anne in The Three Musketeers. She has also shown her versatility as an expat party girl in BBC’s adaptation of Mortimer’s Summer’s Lease and as the coquette-pursuing Dermott Mulroney and Hope Davis in the independent feature The Family Tree. She is widely known as the gun toting Fiona on the hit show Burn Notice and Wicked Lady Tremaine in ABC’s Once Upon A Time.
On the board of Pikler USA, Anwar speaks frequently on early childhood care and its direct relation to mental health, most recently to congress in Washington D.C. Active in funding and bringing awareness to the life-changing work with the firm belief that educating parents and care-givers on infant interaction prevents future developmental issues, addictions, violence and general teen-adult malaise.
On the board of Young Musicians Unite as Gala Chair. YMU affords all strokes of Miami’s socio-economic children the opportunity to be educated in the joy of music.
Supporting an array of animal and childcare charities, Anwar continues to host the southern Florida Make A Wish Ball for her twelfth consecutive year, raising more than $25,000,000 in wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses.
Gabrielle and husband, Shareef Malnik are recently empty nesting with their animal menagerie. Anwar continues her lifelong passion for the written word with an exciting pilot in development.
Anwar’s directorial debut, Sexology is available on iTunes.