Kathleen Byron (born 11 January 1923 in London) is a British actress of stage, screen and television.
She trained at Bristol's Old Vic Drama School before making her film debut in Carol Reed's The Young Mr Pitt (1942), in which she had two lines as a maid opposite Robert Donat.
She remains best known for her roles in the films of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger: as an angel in A Matter of Life and Death (1946), as leading lady opposite David Farrar in The Small Back Room (1949), and, most memorably of all, as the disturbed Sister Ruth in Black Narcissus (1947). Romantically linked with Michael Powell around the time the film was made.
Her success in Black Narcissus led her to Hollywood, which resulted with a supporting role in Young Bess (1953). She found the experience an unrewarding one and soon returned to Britain. Her subsequent roles of the time were mostly in B pictures. In the 60s and 70s she did mostly television work, including a brief stint on the soap opera Emmerdale Farm in 1979.
Byron has continued to act into the 1980s, 1990s and the new millennium, her film/TV work having included David Lynch's The Elephant Man (1980), the 1996 adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma, Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan (1998) and Stephen Poliakoff's series, Perfect Strangers (2001).