Joan Hickson was born on 5 August 1906 in Northamptonshire and during her career acted both on stage and in films - and naturally also in TV series.
She first appeared in an Agatha Christie film in 1937, Love from a Stranger, which was based on the story Philomel Cottage. In 1961 she had a role in the Marple movie Murder She Said (based on 4:50 from Paddington), but in those days Margaret Rutherford played Marple. Hickson also had a role in the TV-series Why Didn't They Ask Evans in 1981.
Joan Hickson became world famous as the one and only Miss Marple, but she played Marple in twelve TV-movies (1984-1992) based on all of Christie's books about the sleuth: The Murder at the Vicarage, The Body in the Library, The Moving Finger, A Murder is Announced, They Do it with Mirrors, A Pocketful of Rye, 4.50 from Paddington, The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side, A Caribbean Mystery, At Bertram’s Hotel, Nemesis and Sleeping Murder.
In the Agatha Christie Society's newsletter "Christie Chronicle" (issue 24) Mathew Prichard, Christie's grandson, describes Joan Hickson:
"You will perhaps not be surprised if I tell you that Joan in person was very like Miss Marple not only in appearance but in behaviour."
In the same issue of "Christie Chronicle" there is an interview with Joan Hickson (from 1993) where she talks about her first meeting wih Agatha Christie (while playing in the film Murder She Said):
"She said to me, 'Some day, I would like you to play my Miss Marple.' I was quite taken aback, as I was young at the time."
Joan Hickson married Eric Butler in 1932 and they had two children. She, along with David Suchet, was the vice president of the Agatha Christie Society.
Joan Hickson passed away on 18 October 1998, at the age of 92.