One of the leading British film-maker
s, a socialist
, a maker of important documentaries
, and also the wife of Labour Party
leader Michael Foot
Among her main features were Blue Scar and The Way We Live (1948) and Out of Chaos (1955), studies of working-class Britain in the post-War years. She was Britain's first significant female director and these films made her famous. She also directed the Gregory Peck film The Million Pound Note.
She also spent early years acting and writing. She was born in 1914 in Derbyshire, with some Russian ancestry. She married the Labour politician Michael Foot in 1949, and their marriage was rock solid and an enormous source of strength to them both.
In 1951 she was raped by the writer Arthur Koestler. Because he was already a prominent figure in those days, she did not publicly admit it, until towards the end of her life, after a biography of Koestler came out revealing him as a serial rapist and abuser. Jill Craigie died on 13 December 1999.
On her 1949 marriage she had a 13-year-old daughter Julie by an earlier marriage. She and Michael Foot did not have any children together.
Jill Craigie was charming, beautiful, an icon of the left, a pillar of strength, a role model. She made herself an expert on the Suffragettes, and at the time of her death was still working on a definitive history to be called Daughters of Dissent.