Have You Seen This Show? Female Character with Cleft Lip (See inside for further details)

I was flipping through channels the other night, and happened upon The Man From Snowy River, a favorite of mine mostly for the beautiful countryside onscreen. Seeing Sigrid Thornton on the screen, however, jogged my memory vaguely about something else I’d seen on TV many, many years ago. Having no luck trying to find what I was thinking of, I thought I’d turn to the Dopers for help. Forgive me, but the details I can recall will be rather vague and disjointed. Here’s what I think I remember:

I think it was on one of the American channels that are generally paid for, such as HBO or Showtime, but possibly not.

I also think it may have been on a channel that aired “classic” series or mini-series (like PBS); I want to say that I saw “I, Claudius”, about a stuttering Caeser, around the same time, which would be about the mid-80s (no real help if it was a re-broadcast of a British show, but it very likely wasn’t later than that). It might have been part of a mini-series, a movie in and of itself, or something else, such as an ongoing original series (as opposed to a classic play).

I vaguely recall the time period the show was (probably) set in: the 18th century, perhaps earlier. It might have been set in England, the old American West, anywhere really.

Sigrid Thornton reminded me of the character I’m picturing right now, but it may well not have been her at all.

The character in question was a female with (I believe) a cleft lip. I don’t think she was the star of the show/series, but she may well have been, or at least a major character.

The scene I’m recalling was one in which a friend of the woman with the cleft lip was supposed to dance (nude or partially nude) for an audience of men, which very possibly included a man whom the cleft lip woman either had a crush on or was secretly in love with (had to be secret, you know, as she considered herself too ugly for him to return her feelings, or somesuch). Or possibly the audience included people who would have known her, and so she needed to conceal her identity in some manner. At any rate, the friend becomes sick or otherwise unable to perform, so the cleft lip woman somehow ends up taking her place.

Here’s where I’m thinking it was a pay channel or one of the “classic” public channels: cleft lip woman is seen dancing in a dimly-lit room, possibly Colonial and definitely pre-electricity, to the appreciation of the men who think she is actually her friend. She is nude from at least the waist up for at least part of the scene. To hide her cleft lip, she holds the ends of her (long) hair in front of her lower face, leaving her piercing eyes and other, uhm, assets in full view. The eyes are what jogged my memory; it seems this actress had (has?) the same eyes as Sigrid Thornton. Maybe not, though, but I do remember the eyes as quite striking.

And that’s pretty much all I’ve got. It’s a shot in a million, I know; you’d probably have to have seen the show/scene in question in order to have a chance to remember it at all. If any of you fantabulous Dopers recall anything like this, I’d be grateful for having my mental itch scratched. Thanks!

I believe that was from the BBC drama Precious Bane… imdb link

The very one! Good show, old bean! I see now it was the eyes that matched up, at least the heavy eyeliner; the sight of Sigrid Thornton’s eyes in The Man From Snowy River triggered a dim memory of similar eyes. specifically the eyes from the scene in question.

And to think it was Janet McTeer, who just the year before had been in Hawks, with Timothy Dalton and Anthony Edwards. One of my favorite films, in part because of poor Hazel. (Side note: if you haven’t seen Hawks, it’s one of those sleeper films that never made a big splash (is that redundant?), but Dalton is excellent in it, and it’s well worth looking up!)

Life will do you funny sometimes. :wink:

Thank you very much, RedDevil! I’m rewatching Precious Bane even now.

Seems to be available on YouTube - is that where you’re watching it?

You would be correct. And there’s a whole lot more movie there than the brief nude scene that my (much) younger and less sophisticated self vaguely remembered. Glad I watched it again.