Greta Gynt

Last updated
Greta Gynt
Greta Gynt 1940.jpg
Gynt in 1940
Margrethe Thoresen

(1916-11-15)15 November 1916
Oslo, Norway
Died2 April 2000(2000-04-02) (aged 83)
London, England, UK
Years active1934–1963
Spouse(s)Christopher Mann (1936 – divorced)
Wilfred Anthony John Orchard (1942 – divorced)
Noel James Trevenen Holland (1948–1957)
Frederick Moore (1957–1983; his death)
ChildrenCharles J T Thoresen Holland (born 1952)

Greta Gynt (born Margrethe Woxholt; 15 November 1916 – 2 April 2000) was a Norwegian singer, dancer and actress. [1] She is remembered for her starring roles in the British classic films The Dark Eyes of London , Mr. Emmanuel , Take My Life , Dear Murderer and The Ringer . [2] [3]


She played lead roles in minor British films in the 1930s and early 40s, and by the late 40s she appeared in major films. The Rank Organisation tried to market her as the British Jean Harlow. [4] She also attempted a career in the US, absurdly miscast in MGM's Soldiers Three as a platinum blonde with made-up bosom, and went back to Britain afterwards.

Her most famous films are the 1939 Bela Lugosi film The Dark Eyes of London as the tough heroine, heroic as an underground leader in Tomorrow We Live , touching as Jewish Elsie Silver in Mr. Emmanuel (1944), forceful as loyal wife proving her husband's innocence in the thriller Take My Life , a promiscuous murderess in Dear Murderer , both in 1947, and as a nightclub singer singing "The Shady Lady Spiv" in Easy Money (1948).


Early life

Greta Gynt was born Margrethe Woxholt in Oslo, Norway. As a child, she moved with her parents to Britain and started dancing lessons at the age of 5. Eventually, they moved back to Norway. At age 12, she started as a dancer at the Chat Noir shows in Oslo.

After the Swedish film Sången till henne (1934), her mother, costume designer Kirsten Woxholt, felt Gynt would have better luck in Britain. [5] She got a letter of recommendation from Fox Film and moved back to the UK.

Move to the UK

Gynt had a minor role in It Happened in Paris (1935) and a larger one in Boys Will Be Girls (1937) and The Last Curtain (1938). She was in Second Best Bed (1938), a Tom Walls farce; The Last Barricade (1938); Sexton Blake and the Hooded Terror (1938) with Tod Slaughter; Too Dangerous to Live (1939); and She Couldn't Say No (1939).

Gynt had the female lead in The Arsenal Stadium Mystery (1939); The Dark Eyes of London (1939) with Bela Lugosi; Bulldog Sees It Through (1940) and The Middle Watch (1940) with Jack Buchanan; Two for Danger (1940) with Barry K. Barnes; Room for Two (1940) with Vic Oliver; and Crook's Tour (1940) with Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne.

She continued with leading roles in The Common Touch (1941); Tomorrow We Live (1943); It's That Man Again (1944) with Tommy Handley; and Mr. Emmanuel (1944) with Felix Aylmer. [6]

Gynt supported Sid Field in London Town (1946), a notorious big budget flop.


Gynt was given star parts in the crime films Dear Murderer (1947), and Take My Life (1947). She was top billed in the comedy Easy Money (1948), and in the drama The Calendar (1948).

For a time she was under personal contract to Robert Siodmak. [7]

Gynt was also in Mr. Perrin and Mr. Traill (1949) and Shadow of the Eagle (1950); she later successfully sued the makers of the latter for money owed. [8] She supported George Raft in I'll Get You for This (1951), partly shot in Italy.

Her British films started to be regularly played on American television. This led to her receiving an offer from MGM to star in Soldiers Three . [9]

Back in Britain, Gynt returned to "B" movies: Whispering Smith Hits London (1952), The Ringer (1952), I'm a Stranger (1953), Three Steps in the Dark (1954), Forbidden Cargo (1954), Devil's Point (1954), See How They Run (1955), The Blue Peter (1955) and My Wife's Family (1956).

She had a support part in Fortune Is a Woman (1957) and the lead in Morning Call (1957), and The Crowning Touch (1959).

Gynt had a support role in Bluebeard's Ten Honeymoons (1959). She also appeared as a glamorous Saxon aristocrat in the episode 'The Friar's Pilgrimage' in the British The Adventures of Robin Hood (TV series).

Her last film was a Columbia Pictures release, The Runaway 1963 (released 1966) in which she played the lead. [10] [11]

Personal life

Reportedly, she adopted the name Gynt after she heard a pianist playing Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite in a hotel in London in the late 1930s. In her 1938 radio interview with NRK she states her husband exclaimed "What's this?" and her name was born.

Gynt was married four times. Her last husband was Frederick Moore, a plastic surgeon, who died in 1983. [4] She semi-retired after marrying him and was out of the public spotlight by the mid-1960s. She was the sister of second unit photographer Egil "Gil" Woxholt (1926–1991), who photographed scenes in the 1965 film The Heroes of Telemark , On Her Majesty's Secret Service , A View to a Kill , and many others.

A September 19. 2014 article, in 'Rewind', Online, states her cause of death to have been "Natural causes".


Related Research Articles

Cecil Parker English actor

Cecil Parker was an English character and comedy actor with a distinctively husky voice, who usually played supporting roles, often characters with a supercilious demeanour, in his 91 films made between 1928 and 1969.

Irene Handl British actress

Irene Handl was a British character actress who appeared in more than 100 British films.

London Films

London Films Productions is a British film and television production company founded in 1932 by Alexander Korda and from 1936 based at Denham Film Studios in Buckinghamshire, near London. The company's productions included The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933), Things to Come (1936), Rembrandt (1936), and The Four Feathers (1939). The facility at Denham was taken over in 1939 by Rank and merged with Pinewood to form D & P Studios. The outbreak of war necessitated that The Thief of Bagdad (1940) be completed in California, although Korda's handful of American-made films still displayed Big Ben as their opening corporate logo.

Rita Johnson American actress

Rita Ann Johnson was an American actress.

Joseph Ruttenberg

Joseph Ruttenberg, A.S.C. was a Russian-born American photojournalist and cinematographer.

Norbert Brodine

Nobert Brodine, also credited as Norbert F. Brodin and Norbert Brodin, was a film cinematographer. The Saint Joseph, Missouri-born cameraman worked on over 100 films in his career before retiring from film making in 1953, at which time he worked exclusively in television until 1960.

Milton Krasner

Milton R. Krasner, A.S.C. was an American cinematographer who won an Academy Award for Three Coins in the Fountain (1954).

Leonard Mudie English actor

Leonard Mudie was an English character actor whose career lasted for nearly fifty years. After a successful start as a stage actor in England, he appeared regularly in the US, and made his home there from 1932. He appeared in character roles on Broadway and in Hollywood films.

Ben Welden

Ben Welden was an American character actor who played a wide variety of Damon Runyon-type gangsters in various movies and television shows. He appeared in over 200 films between 1930 and 1966. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

Arthur Crabtree was a British cinematographer and film director. He directed several of the Gainsborough Melodramas.

John Longden English actor

John Longden was a West Indian-born English film actor. He appeared in 84 films between 1926 and 1964, including five films directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Jack Mower American actor

Jack Mower was an American film actor. He appeared in 526 films between 1914 and 1965. He was born in Honolulu and died in Hollywood.

Charles Victor British actor

Charles Victor was a British actor who appeared in many film and television roles between 1931 and 1965. He was born Charles Victor Harvey.

Eliot Makeham English actor

Harold Elliott Makeham was an English film and television actor.

Mary Field American film actress

Mary Field was an American film actress who primarily appeared in supporting roles.

Brock Williams was a prolific English screenwriter with over 100 films to his credit between 1930 and 1962. He also had a brief directorial career, and later also worked in television.

Irene Swatridge, née Irene Maude Mossop was a British writer of over 175 children's and romance novels.

Alice Nina Hoysradt, née Conarain was an Irish writer of over 70 romance novels as her maiden name Nina Conarain and under the pseudonym of Elizabeth Hoy from 1933 to 1980.

Norman G. Arnold was a British art director who designed the sets for over a hundred and twenty films.

Edward Curtiss was an American film editor who worked in Hollywood from the 1920s through the 1960s.


  1. NRK. "Greta Gynt".
  2. "Greta Gynt".
  3. III, Harris M. Lentz (1 June 2001). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2000: Film, Television, Radio, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cartoons and Pop Culture. McFarland. ISBN   9780786410248 via Google Books.
  4. 1 2 Bergan, Ronald (4 April 2000). "Greta Gynt". The Guardian.
  5. "Greta Gynt – Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos". AllMovie.
  6. "Well Known Novel Comes to Screen". The Advocate . Tasmania, Australia. 14 February 1947. p. 6. Retrieved 27 October 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  7. "Greta Gynt slimmed in Hollywood". The Sun (11, 996) (LATE FINAL EXTRA ed.). Sydney. 8 July 1948. p. 17. Retrieved 27 October 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  8. "FILM STAR GETS £4,704 DAMAGES". The Barrier Miner . LXIV (17, 608). New South Wales, Australia. 8 November 1951. p. 3. Retrieved 27 October 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  9. Scheuer, Philip K. (12 November 1950). "TV Helps 'B' Queen Scale Movie Heights: Britain's Greta Gynt Has Hollywood Agog Over Her Video Popularity Quickie Star Quickly Wins TV Audience". Los Angeles Times. p. E1.
  10. "Greta Gynt – Movies and Filmography". AllMovie.
  11. "The Runaway (1964)".