Irene Browne (29 June 1896 – 24 July 1965) was an English stage and film actress and singer who appeared in plays and musicals including No, No, Nanette . Later in her career, she became particularly associated with the works of Noël Coward and acted in films.
Irene Browne was born in London, England. She began her theatrical career in 1910 as a dancer in H.B. Irving's companyand soon graduated to dramatic roles, appearing in J. Comyns Carr's dramatisation of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde the following year. For three years, she acted in Australia ( The Times mistook her for Australian in 1915).
After returning to London, Browne played in musical comedy, in the title role of My Lady Frayle with Courtice Pounds in 1916.She appeared in revue alongside Beatrice Lillie in 1922, where she was spotted by Basil Dean and cast in his revival of Arthur Wing Pinero's 1899 play The Gay Lord Quex at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane starring with George Grossmith Jr., in which "she took the house by storm". In 1925, she appeared in the first London production of No, No, Nanette ("Miss Irene Browne glitters most dangerously"). She soon toured for two years in America.
On her return to Britain, Browne played in Noël Coward's Cavalcade (1931) at Drury Lane and in the Hollywood film adaptation two years later. She continued to be associated with Coward, creating roles in his musicals Conversation Piece (1934), After the Ball (1954) and The Girl Who Came to Supper (1963), and appeared in Blithe Spirit and Relative Values during their long West End runs.
Browne also performed in N.C. Hunter's long-running Waters of the Moon (playing the role created by Edith Evans), co-starring with Sybil Thorndike.She also appeared in plays by Ivor Novello, Dodie Smith, William Wycherley and St. John Hankin. Browne also played roles in a number of Hollywood films.
Browne died in London of cancer in 1965 at the age of 69.
|1919||After Many Days||Connie|
|1929||The Letter||Mrs. Joyce|
|1933||Christopher Strong||Carrie Valentine|
|1933||Peg o' My Heart||Mrs. Chichester|
|1933||Berkeley Square||Lady Ann Pettigrew|
|1933||My Lips Betray||Queen Mother Therese|
|1936||The Amateur Gentleman||Lady Huntstanton|
|1941||The Prime Minister||Lady Londonderry|
|1947||Meet Me at Dawn||Mme. Renault|
|1948||The Red Shoes||Lady Neston|
|1948||Quartet||Lady Bland||(segment "The Alien Corn")|
|1949||The Bad Lord Byron||Lady Melbourne|
|1951||The House in the Square||Lady Anne Pettigrew|
|1957||Barnacle Bill||Mrs. Barrington|
|1958||Rooney||Mrs. Manning ffrench|
|1959||Serious Charge||Mrs. Phillips|
|1963||The Wrong Arm of the Law||Dowager||(final film role)|
Cavalcade is a play by Noël Coward with songs by Coward and others. It focuses on three decades in the life of the Marryots, an upper-middle-class British family, and their servants, beginning in 1900 and ending in 1930, a year before the premiere. It is set against major historical events of the period, including the Relief of Mafeking; the death of Queen Victoria; the sinking of the RMS Titanic; and the First World War. The popular songs at the time of each event were interwoven into the score.
Ivor Novello was a Welsh actor, dramatist, singer and composer who became one of the most popular British entertainers of the first half of the 20th century.
Lynn Fontanne was an English actress. After early success in supporting roles in the West End, she met the American actor Alfred Lunt, whom she married in 1922 and with whom she co-starred in Broadway and West End productions over the next four decades. They became known as "The Lunts", and were celebrated on both sides of the Atlantic.
Dame Edith Mary Evans, was an English actress. She was best known for her work on the stage, but also appeared in films at the beginning and towards the end of her career. Between 1964 and 1968, she was nominated for three Academy Awards.
Mary Ellis was an American actress and singer appearing on stage, radio, television and film, best known for her musical theatre roles, particularly in Ivor Novello works. After appearing with the Metropolitan Opera beginning in 1918, she acted on Broadway, creating the title role in Rose-Marie. In 1930, she emigrated to England, where she gained additional fame and continued to perform into the 1990s. She also became known for film roles, including in The 3 Worlds of Gulliver in 1960.
Blithe Spirit is a comic play by Noël Coward. The play concerns the socialite and novelist Charles Condomine, who invites the eccentric medium and clairvoyant, Madame Arcati, to his house to conduct a séance, hoping to gather material for his next book. The scheme backfires when he is haunted by the ghost of his annoying and temperamental first wife, Elvira, after the séance. Elvira makes continual attempts to disrupt Charles's marriage to his second wife, Ruth, who cannot see or hear the ghost.
Beatrice Gladys Lillie, Lady Peel, known as Bea Lillie, was a Canadian-born British actress, singer and comedic performer.
Dame Esmerelda Cicely Courtneidge, was an Australian-born British actress, comedian and singer. The daughter of the producer and playwright Robert Courtneidge, she was appearing in his productions in the West End by the age of 16, and was quickly promoted from minor to major roles in his Edwardian musical comedies.
Dame Mary Susan Etherington,, known professionally as Marie Tempest, was an English singer and actress.
Edith Day was an American actress and singer best known for her roles in Edwardian musical comedies and operettas, first on Broadway and then in London's West End.
Beatrice "Binnie" Mary Hale-Monro was an English actress, singer and dancer. She was one of the most successful musical theatre stars in London in the 1920s and 1930s, able to sing leading roles in operetta as well as musicals, and she was popular as a principal boy in pantomime. Her best-remembered roles were in the musicals No, No, Nanette (1925) and Mr. Cinders (1929), in which she sang "Spread a Little Happiness".
Sir Noël Peirce Coward was an English playwright, composer, director, actor, and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise".
Pacific 1860 is a musical written by Noël Coward. The story is set in a fictional Pacific British Colony during the reign of Queen Victoria. It involves a romantic and sentimental story about a visiting Prima Donna and her conflict between love and career. There is also the theme of snobbishness from the island's establishment.
Josefina Gabrielle is a British stage and television actress, and a former ballet dancer, best known for her performances in West End musicals and plays.
Harry Welchman was an English star of musical theatre. He made several appearances in non-musical plays, but was remembered as, in the words of The Times, "perhaps the most popular musical comedy hero on the London stage in the years between the wars."
George Windsor Graves was an English comic actor. Although he could neither sing nor dance, he became a leading comedian in musical comedies, adapting the French and Viennese opéra-bouffe style of light comic relief into a broader comedy popular with English audiences of the period. His comic portrayals did much to ensure the West End success of Véronique (1904) The Little Michus, and The Merry Widow (1907).
Alice Henriette Lapize, better known by her stage name, Alice Delysia and sometimes Elise Delisia, was a French actress and singer who made her career in English musical theatre. After performing in the chorus at the Moulin Rouge and other theatres in Paris from the age of 14, she became a chorus girl in Edwardian musical comedies, briefly on Broadway in 1905, then in London for several years and back in Paris in 1912.
Moya Nugent was a British actress and singer. She made a few broadcasts and three silent films but was chiefly known as a stage performer, and was particularly associated with the works of Noël Coward, appearing in twelve of his plays and two of his revues. Before that, she appeared early in her career in Peter Pan, and was cast in other children's plays and pantomimes. She was in the West End casts of revues by Cole Porter and others, and in musical comedies such as Lilac Time.
Maidie Andrews was an English actress and singer who, in career that spanned six decades, was a child actress and later a stage beauty who appeared in musical comedy including the original London productions of No, No, Nanette (1925) and Cavalcade (1931). The latter years of her career saw her taking roles in television and film.
Effie Atherton, was a British singer, dancer, film actress, and musical comedy performer, known initially for her stage appearances in the West End of London and on Broadway in New York, before moving into prime musical shows on British radio in the 1930s, where she captivated her audiences with her sophisticated songs and monologues, many of which were her own compositions.