THE funeral of an acclaimed Oscar winner was held in Golders Green yesterday.

A small congregation of mourners, made up of friends and carers, gathered at Golders Green Crematorium to pay their final tributes to little known, but highly influential, 100-year-old, Joan Bridge.

Not heralded for her acting or directing, Joan was in fact one of the first women to enter Hollywood in the 1940s as a colour consultant, before moving on to costume design.

Working alongside some of the greats of movie history, Joan assisted directors, cameramen, lighting controllers and costume designers in overcoming the colour issues associated with early films that broke away from the black and white era.

She had studied art at Birmingham University but was urged by her father to take a teacher training qualification, claiming she would never be able to make a living out of art.

Earlier this year she told a historian from her native Derbyshire of how her degree thesis on colour had got into the hands of Hollywood company Technicolor, who invited her over to America to begin work on the films.

She worked on no less than 76 films as a technicolour consultant, including the Lady Killers, which starred Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers, the 1952 version of Moulin Rouge starring Zsa Zsa Gabor and Gene Kelly's 1956 film Invitation to the Dance.

It was in her life as a costume designer though that she won her most coveted accolades. She worked on more than 20 films in this role, including classics such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Fiddler on the Roof, and The Day of the Jackal. But it was for her work on A Man for All Seasons that she and close friend Elizabeth Haffenden won an Oscar and a BAFTA film award for best costume design, colour, in 1967.

Joan was nominated for a BAFTA a total of four times before retiring in 1980.

Not one to gloat about her achievements, she revealed in an interview with that she used her Oscar as a doorstop and would not even credit the award as the highlight of her career. She was quoted as saying: “I had a very good career and worked with some incredible people. But I couldn’t say what my favourite film was or favourite actor because I worked with so many.”

In her retirement she moved to Totteridge where she became a prominent member of South Herts Golf Club, where she played into her 90s.

Many of the friends at the funeral had accompanied Joan around the course over the years, and been party to her stories of the silver screen.

Audrey Barritt, who used to play a round with her on Sunday mornings, said Joan never lost her eye for art, and said in her later years she would lay in her bed planning the redecoration of her room.

“She was such a character and really a great person, she will be missed,” said Mrs Barritt.

“She always had plenty to tell you and little bits would come out about her life in the films.

“We knew she had done all those things, and it was so much for a woman in those days.”

Others described her as a “strong lady who knew her own mind”, and as the most “optimistic person” they had ever known.

Friend and club mate Marion Archibald, who also led the service, said: “She was full of stories and it was clear she loved her work.

“She was someone who was just so full of vitality.”

Joan, who turned 100 in March, died in Totteridge last week. She never married and leaves no children.