Moira Lister

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Moira Lister
Moira Lister 2 Allan Warren.jpg
Lister in 1973
Born(1923-08-06)6 August 1923
Cape Town, South Africa
Died27 October 2007(2007-10-27) (aged 84)
Cape Town, South Africa
Years active1947–2007
Jacques Gachassin-Lafite, Viscount of Orthez
(m. 1951;died 1989)

Moira Lister Gachassin-Lafite, Viscountess of Orthez (6 August 1923 27 October 2007) was a South African-British film, stage and television actress and writer.


Early life

Born in Cape Town to Major James Lister and Margaret (née Hogan), Lister was educated at the Parktown Convent of the Holy Family, Johannesburg. [1] She was a theatre student of Anna Romain Hoffman, who with her husband Arthur Hoffman founded The Johannesburg Repertory Theatre.


She began her acting career on stage in South Africa and then went on to act in the London theatre at the age of 18. [2] Lister began working in films in 1943, and appeared in a number of films over several decades. The most notable of these being for Ealing Studios, such as Another Shore (1948), A Run for Your Money (1949), Pool of London (1951) and The Cruel Sea (1953). She starred in Peter Ustinov's long-running 1951 play The Love of Four Colonels in the West End.

She had a regular role in the first series of the BBC radio comedy Hancock's Half Hour in 1954–55, [3] and was also one of the girlfriends in A Life of Bliss starring George Cole as David Bliss, a perpetual bachelor. She played Felicty Willow in BBC Radio’s comedy Mr Willows wife.She starred in the BBC television series The Whitehall Worrier and The Very Merry Widow from 1967 to 1968. [4] (Later series of this programme were titled The Very Merry Widow — and How!) Lister also appeared on various other British TV series such as Danger Man and The Avengers ("The See-Through Man", 1967). In 1980, she made a guest appearance as a film star in the sitcom Only When I Laugh .

She was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1971 when she was surprised by Eamonn Andrews. [5] [6]

Lister was still performing until three years before her death, touring with her one-woman show about Noël Coward. She belonged to the British Catholic Stage Guild.

Personal life

Coat of arms of the Gachassin-Lafite d'Orthez family Blason famille Gachassin-Lafite d'Orthez.svg
Coat of arms of the Gachassin-Lafite d'Orthez family

In 1946, Lister went on a date in London with Neville Heath, a former South African Air Force captain who murdered two women in London only months later. [1] [7] Heath was convicted after a sensational trial, and he was hanged in October 1946. [8]

In 1951, Moira Lister married Belgo-French aristocrat Jacques Gachassin-Lafite, Viscount of Orthez, son of André Gachassin-Lafite, Viscount of Orthez and of Louise van Dievoet. Jacques was a French officer of the Spahis, owner of a champagne vineyard and hero of the Rif War; they had two daughters, Chantal and Christobel. Lister also had two granddaughters, Christina d'Orthez and Marina d'Orthez.

Moira Lister died at the age of 84 in 2007. Both she and her husband are interred in the churchyard of St Edward's Catholic Church in Sutton Green, Surrey. [9]




1943 The Shipbuilders Rita
1944A Lady SurrendersCarol
1945My Ain FolkJoan Mackenzie
1945 Don Chicago Telephone Operator
1945 The Agitator Joan Shackleton
1946 Wanted for Murder Miss WillisAKA, A Voice in the Night
1948 So Evil My Love Kitty Feathers
1948 Uneasy Terms Corinne Alardyse
1948 Another Shore Jennifer
1949Maniacs on WheelsDotty Liz
1949 A Run for Your Money Jo
1951 Files from Scotland Yard Joanna Goring
1951 Pool of London Maisie
1951 My Seal and Them Diana
1951 White Corridors Dolly Clark
1952 Something Money Can't Buy Diana Haverstock
1953 The Cruel Sea Elaine Morell
1953 Grand National Night Babs Coates
1953 The Limping Man Pauline French
1953 Trouble in Store Peggy Drew
1955 John and Julie Dora
1955 The Deep Blue Sea Dawn Maxwell
1957 Seven Waves Away Edith MiddletonAKA, Abandon Ship
1964 The Yellow Rolls-Royce Lady Angela St. Simeon
1965 Joey Boy Lady Thameridge
1967 The Double Man Mrs. Carrington
1967Cop-OutMrs. Flower
1973 Not Now, Darling Maude Bodley
1989 Ten Little Indians Ethel Mae Rodgers
2007 Flood Grandma


1948FriedaFriedaTV film
1949And So to BedMrs. PepysTV film
1950 Sunday Night Theatre Senora Maria"The Bridge of Estaban"
1951Joseph Proctor's MoneyPoppy MarshTV film
1954The ConcertAnneTV film
1954The BearYelena Ivanovna PopovaTV short
1954Stage by StageBerinthia"The Relapse or, Virtue in Danger"
1956 Douglas Fairbanks Presents Eve"The Intruder"
1956 ITV Play of the Week Letty Golightly"The Golden Cuckoo"
1957 ITV Play of the Week Maggie Palmer"His and Hers"
1957 Armchair Theatre Mathilde Loisel"The Necklace"
1957 Sunday Night Theatre Amelia Laurenson"Mayors' Nest"
1957 Sunday Night Theatre Orinthia"The Apple Cart"
1960Somerset Maugham HourVesta Grange"Flotsam and Jetsam"
1960Theatre NightNell Nash"The Gazebo"
1961 Danger Man Vanessa Stewart"Find and Return"
1961 ITV Play of the Week Louise Yeyder"Gilt and Gingerbread"
1963Zero OneMrs. Grey"The Golden Silence"
1964 Thursday Theatre Laura Foster"Simon and Laura"
1966 Danger Man Claudia Jordan"The Hunting Party"
1966 Theatre 625 Laura Foster"Simon and Laura"
1966 Comedy Playhouse Janet Pugh"The Mallard Imaginaire"
1966Major BarbaraLady BritomartTV film
1967 The Avengers Elena"The See-Through Man"
1967 The Whitehall Worrier Janet PughTV series
1967–68The Very Merry WidowJacqui VilliersTV series
1968A Touch of VenusEmma Grant"Desmond"
1968The Sex GameMimsy"The Lovemakers"
1969 Love Story Ariade"The Dolly Spike"
1969The Very Merry Widow and HowJacqui VilliersTV series
1973 Late Night Theatre Vicky Labone"She'll Have to Go"
1980Life Begins at FortyGertie"The Christening"
1980 Only When I Laugh Gloria"Whatever Happened to Gloria Robins?"
1984HayfeverJudith BlissTV film
1987The FindingGranTV film
2000 The 10th Kingdom GrandmotherTV miniseries
2005Sterne über MadeiraMutter OberinTV film



Related Research Articles


  1. 1 2 "Moira Lister". The Daily Telegraph. 30 October 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  2. Jani Allan (1980s). Face Value . Longstreet.
  3. Shorter, Eric (30 October 2007). "Moira Lister". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  4. "Moira Lister". The Times. 30 October 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2017.(subscription required)
  5. This Is Your Life (TV Series 1955–2003) - IMDb , retrieved 27 February 2023
  6. "This Is Your Life Season 11". Radio Times. Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  7. Lister, Moira (1 December 1969). The Very Merry Widow Moira. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN   978-0-340-10632-7.
  8. O'Connor, Sean (27 February 2014). Handsome Brute: The True Story of a Ladykiller. Simon and Schuster. ISBN   978-1-4711-0135-9.
  9. 1 2 "Moira Lister". The Independent. 29 October 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2017.