Adrienne Corri is a British actress born Adrienne Riccoboni, the daughter of Olive Smethurst and an Italian father Luigi Riccoboni. Her distinctive auburn hair came from her mother's Lancastrian Mancunian Smethurst family. In the 1930s her father Luigi ran the Crown Hotel, Callander, Perthshire. She had one brother.
Despite having significant roles in many films, Adrienne Corri is likely to be remembered for one of her smaller parts, that of Mrs. Alexander, the wife of the writer Frank Alexander, in the 1971 Stanley Kubrick dystopian film A Clockwork Orange. Though not originally cast for this role, she was brought in after the first actress left. Clad in an eye-catching bright red pajama suit, she answers the door to the main character of the film, Alex de Large, and in a scene redolent with black humour and violence is forcibly stripped and gang raped, Corri being thrust centre stage in an exuberant quasi-theatrical spectacle, as Alex accompanies the stripping with a joyful rendition of "Singing in the Rain". Though the scene lasts barely three minutes and Corri's dialogue is confined to some initial preliminaries, the nature of the scene and the manner of its presentation make it perhaps the most memorable scene in the entire film. Corri was offered the role after two actresses had already withdrawn from the film, one of them, according to Malcolm McDowell, because she found it "too humiliating -– because it involved having to be perched, naked, on Warren Clarke’s shoulders for weeks on end while Stanley decided which shot he liked the best." Adrienne Corri had no such qualms about appearing naked, joking to McDowell, "Well Malcolm, you’re about to find out that I’m a real redhead." Corri appeared in many excellent films, notably as Valerie in Jean Renoir's The River, as Lara's mother in David Lean's Dr. Zhivago and in the Otto Preminger thriller Bunny Lake is Missing. She also appeared in a number of horror and suspense films from the 1950s until the 1970s including Devil Girl from Mars, The Tell-Tale Heart, A Study in Terror and Vampire Circus. She also appeared as Therese Duval in Revenge of the Pink Panther. The range and versatility of her acting is shown by appearances in such diverse productions as the 1969 science fiction movie Moon Zero Two where she played opposite the ever dependable character actor Sam Kydd, and again in 1969, in Twelfth Night, directed by John Sichel, as the Countess Olivia, where she played opposite Alec Guinness.