Edward Rigby

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Edward Rigby
Actor Edward Rigby.jpg
Edward Coke

(1879-02-05)5 February 1879
Ashford, Kent, England
Died5 April 1951(1951-04-05) (aged 72)
Richmond, Surrey, England
Years active1910–1951
SpousePhyllis Austin (1888–1979)

Edward Coke MC (5 February 1879 – 5 April 1951), known professionally as Edward Rigby, was a British character actor. [1]


Early life

Rigby was born at Ashford, Kent, England, the second son of Dr William Harriott Coke and his wife, Mary Elizabeth. [2] [3] He was educated at Haileybury, and Wye Agricultural College. Under his real name, Edward Coke (Rigby was his mother's maiden name), [3] he served in the Artists' Rifles and the Royal Field Artillery in World War I and was awarded the Military Cross, cited on 17 September 1917 "for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty as artillery liaison officer. At a time when all communication with his artillery group was severed, he made repeated attempts to restore the connection, and personally crossed a river under heavy fire in his efforts to mend the cable and to lay fresh ones. He showed the greatest gallantry and disregard of danger throughout the operation, and only desisted from his efforts on receiving the direct order from his headquarters to do so." [4]

In 1912, Rigby married Phyllis Muriel Mary Austin, [2] [3] a novelist (1888-1979). Their son, Cyril Edward Rigby Coke, [2] a television director, married Muriel Young (1923–2001), an ITV announcer and TV presenter. [5]

Stage and screen career

He made his first stage appearance in 1900 at the Grand Theatre in Fulham and later toured Australia, United States and Canada. He followed his first film appearance, the 1910 silent The Blue Bird , with roles in more than 150 films from 1933 to 1951.


He collapsed after a heart attack in the street at Richmond and when taken to Richmond Hospital was found to be dead. He was cremated at Mortlake Crematorium on 11 April 1951.[ citation needed ]

Selected filmography

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  1. "Edward Rigby". BFI. Archived from the original on 11 July 2012.
  2. 1 2 3 "Life story: Edward Coke | Lives of the First World War". Livesofthefirstworldwar.iwm.org.uk.
  3. 1 2 3 Who's Who in the Theatre, ed. John Parker, Pitman, 1952, p. 1226
  4. "9566 SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE" (PDF). Thegazette.co.uk. 17 September 1917. Retrieved 5 June 2022.
  5. "Muriel Young - Obituaries, News - The Independent". Independent.co.uk . 17 April 2010. Archived from the original on 17 April 2010. Retrieved 5 June 2022.