Leonora Corbett

Last updated

Leonora Corbett
Born28 June 1908
London
UK
Died29 July 1960 (1960-07-30) (aged 52)
Vleuten, Utrecht, Netherlands
Years active1932–1948

Leonora Corbett (28 June 1908 – 29 July 1960) was an English actress, noted for her charm and elegance in stage roles, and for a number of films made in the 1930s.

Contents

Life and career

Corbett was born in London, the daughter of Richard Ashwin Corbett, and was educated at Oxford High School. [1] On leaving school she studied dress designing for two years, but decided that she would prefer the stage. She made her debut in a small part at the Everyman Theatre, Hampstead in 1927, and spent a season with the Festival Theatre Company at Cambridge. [1] In 1930–31 she was a member of the repertory company of the Everyman, where she played a dozen roles ranging from the classics to recent works by A. A. Milne and Noël Coward. [2] Her West End debut was in November 1931 in Lady in Waiting by Harry Graham and Jacques Natanson. The Times praised the gaiety and charm of her performance. [3] The film producer Michael Balcon recruited her in 1932 for Gaumont-British, [4] and she appeared in her first film, Love on Wheels , the same year. The critic in The Times was unimpressed by her screen performance: "In the début of Miss Leonora Corbett as a leading lady of the film there is more of promise than achievement. She affects a charm which she has not and neglects the charm which is hers on the stage." [5]

In August 1932 Corbett appeared at the Malvern Festival under the directorship of Sir Barry Jackson, appearing with Cedric Hardwicke and Ralph Richardson in Shaw's Too True to Be Good , which transferred to the West End. [6] Corbett made her Broadway debut in the role of the ghost, Elvira, in the first American production of Coward's comedy Blithe Spirit which ran for 657 performances from 5 November 1941. [7] A later Broadway appearance was as Sybil Bennett in Park Avenue by George S. Kaufman, Nunnally Johnson, Arthur Schwartz and Ira Gershwin in 1947. [8]

Corbett married John Francis Royal, formerly vice-president of the American National Broadcasting Company. [1] She died in Vleuten in the Netherlands, aged 52. [1] The obituarist in The Times wrote of her, "She had a style of her own in elegance and gaiety, well suited to the more sophisticated comedy of the thirties. Her charm and wit were as effectively employed off the stage as on it, and she found and gave much amusement in London society and later in Paris." [1]

Film roles

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Miss Leonora Corbett", The Times, 2 August 1960, p. 10.
  2. "The Theatres", The Times, 19 February 1931, p. 10; 19 March 1931, p. 12; 7 May 1931, p. 12; and 11 June 1931, p. 14.
  3. "St Martin's Theatre", The Times, 4 November 1931, p. 10.
  4. "New British Film Studios", The Times, 24 May 1932, p. 12.
  5. "New Films in London", The Times, 5 September 1932, p. 8.
  6. "The Theatres", The Times, 14 July 1932, p. 10.
  7. Gaye, p. 1543.
  8. "Leonora Corbett", International Broadway Database, retrieved 20 March 2014.
  9. "Leonora Corbett", British Film Institute, retrieved 20 March 2014.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gladys Cooper</span> British actress

Dame Gladys Constance Cooper, was an English actress, theatrical manager and producer, whose career spanned seven decades on stage, in films and on television.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lynn Fontanne</span> English actress

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Edith Evans</span> English actress (1888–1976)

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.

<i>Blithe Spirit</i> (play) Play written by Noël Coward

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yvonne Printemps</span> French singer and actress (1894–1977)

Yvonne Printemps was a French singer and actress who achieved stardom on stage and screen in France and internationally.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ann Todd</span> English actress (1907–1993)

Dorothy Ann Todd was an English film, television and stage actress who achieved international fame when she starred in 1945's The Seventh Veil. From 1949 to 1957 she was married to David Lean who directed her in 1949's The Passionate Friends, 1950's Madeleine and 1952's The Sound Barrier. She was a member of The Old Vic theatre company and in 1957 starred in a Broadway play. In her later years she wrote, produced and directed travel documentaries.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cicely Courtneidge</span> British actor (1893 - 1980)

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joyce Carey</span> English actress (1898–1993)

Joyce Carey, OBE was an English actress, best known for her long professional and personal relationship with Noël Coward. Her stage career lasted from 1916 until 1987, and she was performing on television in her 90s. Although never a star, she was a familiar face both on stage and screen. In addition to light comedy, she had a large repertory of Shakespearean roles.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Edith Day</span> American actress and singer (1896–1971)

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ursula Jeans</span> English actress (1906–1973)

Ursula Jean McMinn, better known as Ursula Jeans, was an English film, stage, and television actress.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lyric Theatre, London</span> Theatre in the West End of London, England

The Lyric Theatre is a West End theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue in the City of Westminster. It was built for the producer Henry Leslie, who financed it from the profits of the light opera hit, Dorothy, which he transferred from its original venue to open the new theatre on 17 December 1888.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nora Swinburne</span> British actress (1902-2000)

Leonora Mary Johnson, known professionally as Nora Swinburne, was an English actress who appeared in many British films.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kate Cutler</span>

Kate Ellen Louisa Cutler was an English singer and actress, known in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as an ingénue in musical comedies, and later as a character actress in comic and dramatic plays. She is possibly best known for walking out of the lead role in Noël Coward's The Vortex in 1924 shortly before opening night.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Winifred Shotter</span> British actress (1904-1996)

Winifred Florence Shotter was an English actress best known for her appearances in the Aldwych farces of the 1920s and early 1930s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Meriel Forbes</span> English actress

Meriel Forbes, Lady Richardson was an English actress. She was a granddaughter of Norman Forbes-Robertson and great-niece of Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson. After making her stage debut with her father's touring company in 1929 she progressed via provincial repertory to the West End, where she appeared continually from the 1930s to the 1970s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Philip Tonge</span>

Philip Asheton Tonge was an English actor. Born into a theatrical family, he was a child actor, making his stage debut at the age of five. Among the stars with whom he performed while he was a boy were Henry Irving, Herbert Beerbohm Tree, Ellen Terry and Johnston Forbes-Robertson. His colleagues as child actors included Hermione Gingold, Mary Glynne, Esmé Wynne-Tyson and Noël Coward.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lydia Bilbrook</span> English actress (1888–1990)

Lydia Bilbrook was an English actress whose career spanned four decades, first as a stage performer in the West End, and later in films.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joyce Barbour</span> English actress (1901–1977)

Joyce Barbour (1901–1977) was an English actress. She was the wife of the actor Richard Bird.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alice Delysia</span>

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Beryl Measor</span> British actress (1908–1965)

Beryl Measor was a British actress. She created roles in plays by Noël Coward and Terence Rattigan. In addition to her stage career she broadcast frequently on BBC radio and television, and appeared in several cinema films.

References