Squadron Leader Laurence Henry Forster Irving  OBE RDI (11 April 1897 – 23 October 1988) was an artist, book illustrator and Hollywood set designer and art director, the son of actors H. B. Irving and Dorothea Baird, and the biographer of his grandfather, the Victorian era actor Henry Irving.  His sister was the actress and founder of the Keep Britain Tidy Campaign, Elizabeth Irving. He lived and died in Wittersham, Kent in 1988, within walking distance of the house, Smallhythe Place, where Dame Ellen Terry lived, who was his grandfather's leading lady at the Lyceum Theatre in London's West End.
Named after his uncle, Laurence Sydney Brodribb Irving, Laurence Irving was born in London in 1897. He briefly and unhappily attended Wellington College and later trained as a painter at the Byam Shaw School of Art and the Royal Academy School, studying under Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon. On completion of his art training Irving specialised in landscape and marine painting before commencing on his career as a designer for the theatre. He was a pilot in the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) during World War I, ending the War with the rank of Captain.  In 1919 he became engaged to Rosalind Frances Woolner,  the granddaughter of the Pre-Raphaelite sculptor Thomas Woolner.  They married in 1920.
Irving was also a book illustrator, producing artwork for Richard Hakluyt's Voyages & Discoveries of the English (1926) and John Masefield's Philip the King (1927). In 1928 Irving went to Hollywood with Douglas Fairbanks to be his Art Director on The Iron Mask (1929), the last of his full-scale silent films and, later, in collaboration with William Cameron Menzies, to design the production of the film version of The Taming of the Shrew (1929).  He was the Art Director for the films 77 Park Lane (1931) and Colonel Blood (1934).  In his memoirs, Irving vividly recounts working in Hollywood for such figures as Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin. On his return to the United Kingdom in the 1930s, he worked on films such as Moonlight Sonata (1937)  and the Gabriel Pascal films of Shaw's Pygmalion (1938) and Major Barbara (1941).  
Irving was recalled to the R.A.F. in October 1939 at the start of World War II to serve in the Intelligence Department at the Air Ministry. In March 1940 he was posted to H.Q. British Air Forces in France to be responsible for writing official communiqués and persuading accredited war correspondents to abide by the principle of censorship accepted by their editors. After the surrender of France he returned to the Air Ministry convinced that the system of local defence could have brought the German armoured thrust to a halt. A memorandum he wrote to this effect led to his posting as a Staff Officer to H.Q. 12 Corps., then sparsely equipped to repel a German invasion, to help Peter Fleming to recruit and train an underground force of saboteurs to harass the enemy if a bridgehead was established in Kent and Sussex. When South Eastern Command took control of military operations in that area it was allotted an R.A.F. reconnaissance Wing of three Squadrons and an Air Staff to promote Army/Air co-operation. As Senior Intelligence Officer of 35 Wing, Irving studied and furthered the technical and tactical resources of low level photographic and reconnaissance and the prompt distribution of intelligence derived from it. He ended the War as a Squadron Leader.
After the War he was invited by J. Arthur Rank to produce and design the film adaptation of Sheridan Le Fanu's Uncle Silas (1947). Laurence Irving wrote the highly regarded and definitive biographies Henry Irving, the Actor and his World and The Successors, and two volumes of autobiography, Designing for the Movies: the Memoirs of Laurence Irving, and Great Interruption: An Autobiography 1938-45 (1983).
Laurence Irving was the father of John H. B. Irving and Pamela Mary Irving.
George Simon Kaufman was an American playwright, theater director and producer, humorist, and drama critic. In addition to comedies and political satire, he wrote several musicals for the Marx Brothers and others. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the musical Of Thee I Sing in 1932, and won again in 1937 for the play You Can't Take It with You. He also won the Tony Award for Best Director in 1951 for the musical Guys and Dolls.
Thomas Woolner was an English sculptor and poet who was one of the founder-members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. He was the only sculptor among the original members.
Sir Cedric Webster Hardwicke was an English stage and film actor whose career spanned nearly 50 years. His theatre work included notable performances in productions of the plays of Shakespeare and Shaw, and his film work included leading roles in a number of adapted literary classics.
Robert Preston Meservey was an American stage and film actor and singer of Broadway and cinema, best known for his collaboration with composer Meredith Willson and originating the role of Professor Harold Hill in the 1957 musical The Music Man and the 1962 film adaptation; the film earned him his first of two Golden Globe Award nominations. Preston collaborated twice with filmmaker Blake Edwards, first in S.O.B. (1981) and again in Victor/Victoria (1982). For portraying Carroll "Toddy" Todd in the latter, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor at the 55th Academy Awards.
The Dawn Patrol is a 1930 American pre-Code World War I film starring Richard Barthelmess and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. It was directed by Howard Hawks, a former World War I flight instructor, who even flew in the film as a German pilot in an uncredited role. The Dawn Patrol won the Academy Award for Best Story for John Monk Saunders. It was subsequently remade in 1938 with the same title, and the original was then renamed Flight Commander and released later as part of the Warner Bros. film catalog.
Neysa Moran McMein was an American illustrator and portrait painter who studied at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago and Art Students League of New York. She began her career as an illustrator and during World War I, she traveled across France entertaining military troops with Anita P. Wilcox and Jane Bulley and made posters to support the war effort. She was made an honorary non-commissioned officer in the United States Marine Corps for her contributions to the war effort.
In Greek mythology Pygmalion is a legendary figure of Cyprus, who was a king and a sculptor. He is most familiar from Ovid's narrative poem Metamorphoses, in which Pygmalion was a sculptor who fell in love with a statue he had carved.
Henry A. Stradling, A.S.C. was an American cinematographer with more than 130 films to his credit.
Erik Rhodes was an American film and Broadway singer and actor. He is best remembered today for appearing in two classic Hollywood musical films with the popular dancing team of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers: The Gay Divorcee (1934) and Top Hat (1935).
Russell Patterson was an American cartoonist, illustrator and scenic designer. Patterson's art deco magazine illustrations helped develop and promote the idea of the 1920s and 1930s fashion style known as the flapper.
Pygmalion is a 1938 British film based on the 1913 George Bernard Shaw play of the same name, and adapted by him for the screen. It stars Leslie Howard as Professor Henry Higgins and Wendy Hiller as Eliza Doolittle.
Arthur James Johnston was an American composer, conductor, pianist and arranger.
Irving Pichel was an American actor and film director, who won acclaim both as an actor and director in his Hollywood career.
Harry Brodribb Irving, was a British stage actor and actor-manager; the eldest son of Sir Henry Irving and his wife Florence, and father of designer Laurence Irving and actress Elizabeth Irving.
Violet Vanbrugh, born Violet Augusta Mary Barnes, was an English actress who had a career spanning more than 50 years. Despite her many successes, her career was overshadowed by that of her more famous sister Irene Vanbrugh.
Edward Knoblock was a playwright and novelist, originally American and later a naturalised British citizen. He wrote numerous plays, often at the rate of two or three a year, of which the most successful were Kismet (1911) and Milestones. Many of his plays were collaborations, with, among others, Vicki Baum, Beverley Nichols, J. B. Priestley and Vita Sackville-West.
Dangerous Moonlight is a 1941 British film, directed by Brian Desmond Hurst and starring Anton Walbrook. Among the costumes, the gowns were designed by Cecil Beaton. The film is best known for its score written by Richard Addinsell, orchestrated by Roy Douglas, which includes the Warsaw Concerto.
The Irving Family are the descendants of Samuel Brodribb,, a salesman who collected orders for the tailoring department of a local store, and his wife Mary, née Behenna,, the daughter of a Cornish farming family.
Howard Irving Smith was an American character actor with a 50-year career in vaudeville, theatre, radio, films and television. In 1938, he performed in Orson Welles's short-lived stage production and once-lost film, Too Much Johnson, and in the celebrated radio production, "The War of the Worlds". He portrayed Charley in the original Broadway production of Death of a Salesman and recreated the role in the 1951 film version. On television, Smith portrayed the gruff Harvey Griffin in the situation comedy, Hazel.
Lothar Mendes was a German-born screenwriter and film director. His two best known films are Jew Süss (1934) and The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1936), both productions for British studios.