Olga Florence Solomon
20 May 1915
|Died||23 July 2008 93) (aged|
1 Anthony Baerlein
(m. 1941; KIA 1941)
2 Nicholas Davenport
(m. 1946;died 1979)
Olga Florence Edwardes Davenport (20 May 1915 – 23 July 2008)was a South African-born British actress and artist.
Her father was Joseph Michael Solomon (1883–1920), an architect partner of Herbert Baker, but he committed suicide in 1920 at the age of 33, in Cape Town.
Her mother was Jean Elizabeth Emily Cox née Hamilton (1885–1946), a South African actress, who was a divorcée (at least twice) when she married Solomon in 1914 in Cape Town.They also had a son, Paul Lionel Joseph (1918–1987).
Her mother married again in Cape Town in 1922 to Hugh Edwards (1887-?), a company secretary,who thus became the stepfather of Olga and Paul.
Olga Edwardes married P/O Anthony Max Baerlein in 1941, but he was killed in action later the same year.
In 1946, she married her second husband Nicholas Davenport,an economist and journalist who was more than twenty years her senior. He died in 1979; she died in Elstree in 2008.
Olga Edwards, or maybe Olga Solomon, first exhibited paintings in Cape Town at aged about 15. A year later, she came to England with her mother and her brother, where she wanted to study painting, acting and ballet, and danced in the corps de ballet in a company of Anton Dolin.[ citation needed ]
Edwardes appeared in several films and plays from the mid-1930s into the mid-1950s.
|1936||The Amateur Gentleman||Maid at inn||Uncredited|
|1936||The Man Who Could Work Miracles||minor role||Uncredited|
|1937||The Dominant Sex||Lucy Webster|
|1937||Over She Goes||Reprimanded maid||Uncredited|
|1945||Caesar and Cleopatra||Cleopatra's lady attendant|
|1950||The Angel with the Trumpet||Monica Alt|
|1951||The Six Men||Christina|
|1951||Scrooge||Fred's wife||She played the unnamed wife of Scrooge's nephew Fred|
|1953||Black Orchid||Christine Shaw||She was a principal character|
|Much Ado About Nothing||Hero|
|The Taming of the Shrew||Bianca|
|The Rivals||Julia Melville|
|Richard II||Queen Isabella|
|The Merchant of Venice||Jessica|
Edwardes was an early player in the fledgling BBC television service, which started in November 1936 until it closed at the beginning of the War, and didn't restart until 1946.
|Full Moon||(25 Oct 1937)|
|A revue for television, written by Archie Harradine|
|Music composed by||Herbert Murrill|
|The Sacred Cat||(12 Feb 1938)|
|A comedy by F. Sladen-Smith.|
|Starring||The Lanchester Marionettes|
|Gallows Glorious||(18 Nov 1938)|
|Adaptation for television of the play by Ronald Gow.|
The action takes place in America in 1859 and moves between John Brown's house in the Adirondack mountains in the North, and the Maryland–Virginia border in the South.
|John Brown||Neil Porter|
|Rest of cast listed alphabetically:|
|Hay Fever||(25 Dec 1938)|
|A light comedy in three acts by Noël Coward|
The action of the play takes place in the hall of the Blisses' house at Cookham, in June.
|Judith Bliss||Kitty De Legh|
|David Bliss||Maurice Denham|
|Sorel Bliss||Olga Edwardes|
|Simon Bliss||Guy Verney|
|Myra Arundel||Fabia Drake|
|Richard Greatham||Noël Howlett|
|Jackie Coryton||Doreen Oscar|
billed Jenny Laird
|Sandy Tyrrell||John Byron|
|Dance Without Music||(23 Mar 1939)|
|A play based upon episodes in the life of Jack Sheppard, by Mervyn Mills.|
|Jack Sheppard||Guy Glover|
|Jonathan Wild||Frank Birch|
|'Edgeworth Bess'||Kathleen Edwardes|
|'Blueskin' Blakov||George Merritt|
|Joseph Hind||Ben Field|
|Mrs Wallop||Margaret Yarde|
|Polly Maggot||Olga Edwardes|
|Daniel Defoe||Ian Dawson|
|Lumley Davis||Stuart Latham|
|John Gay||James Hayter|
|Abraham Mendez||Don Gemmell|
|Ballad Singer||Elton Hayes|
|Sir James Thornhill||Arthur Owen|
|Ben Hind||Russell Howarth|
|The Young Idea||(24 Feb 1939)|
|A comedy in three acts by Noël Coward|
The scene is laid in George Brent's house in England, and Jennifer Brent's villa in Italy
|George Brent||Cecil Winter|
|Jennifer||Kitty De Legh|
|Priscilla Hartleberry||Phoebe Kershaw|
|Claude Eccles||William Hutchison|
|Julia Cragworthy||Lena Maitland|
|Eustace Dabbit||Alban Blakelock|
|Sibyl Blaith||Audrey Cameron|
|Rodney Masters||Thorley Walters|
|Hiram J. Walkin||Morris Harvey|
|Condemned to be Shot||(4 Mar 1939)|
|A play in the first person by R. E. J. Brooke|
|Writer||R. E. J. Brooke|
|Maria Walska||Zoe Davies|
|Sonya Pavlovna||Olga Edwardes|
|Voice of Gregor Walievski||Neil Porter|
::(She was also listed as an announcer on 30 March 1939, until her last appearance on 20 August 1939.
|Two Gentlemen of Soho||(28 Apr 1939)|
|Writer||A. P. Herbert|
|Duchess of Canterbury||Barbara Everest|
|The Parnell Commission||(18 Jul 1939)|
|A reconstruction of the famous forgery investigation of 1888–89|
|Sir Charles Russel||Felix Aylmer|
|Attorney General||Wilfrid Walter|
|Eye Witness||Brefni O'Rorke|
|Mrs O'Shea||Olga Edwardes|
|President of the Court||Graveley Edwards|
|Timothy Harrington||Blake Giffard|
|Doctor Maguire||Nigel Fitzgerald|
|Henniker Heaton||Lionel Dymoke|
|Frank Hugh O'Donnell||Harry Hutchinson|
|Court Registrar||Leo McCabe|
|Captain O'Shea||Charles Oliver|
|Servant at Eltham||Moya Devlin|
|Solicitor's Clerk||Russell Hogarth|
|Spanish Policeman||Rafael Terry|
|Lovers' Meeting OR A Handbook to Courting||(12 Nov 1947)|
|A miscellany compiled and edited by Barbara Nixon.|
|Writer / Producer||Desmond Davis|
|Music arranger / conductor||William Cox-Ife|
|Compiled and edited||Barbara Nixon|
|The Middle Watch||(5 Feb 1948)|
|A Romance of the Navy by Ian Hay and Stephen King-Hall|
The scene is laid in the Captain's lobby and day cabin on board H.M.S. Falcon, a cruiser on the China Station
|Writer|| Ian Hay |
|Marine Ogg||Johnnie Schofield|
|Ah Fong||Milo Sperber|
|Captain Randall R.M.||Christopher Quest|
|Fay Eaton||Olga Edwardes|
|A guest||Carol Peters|
|Flag Lieutenant R.N.||Philip Howard|
|Nancy Hewitt||Honor Shepherd|
|Commander Baddeley R.N.||Richard Hurndall|
|Charlotte Hopkinson||Rita Daniel|
|Admiral Sir Hercules Hewitt||H. G. Stoker|
|Mary Carlton||Miki Hood|
|Lady Hewitt||Ruth Taylor|
|An able seaman||Gerald Campion|
|Captain Maitland R.N.||Lawrence O'Madden|
|Corporal Duckett R.M.||Frank Forsythe|
|I Killed the Count||(14 Mar 1948)|
|A comedy thriller by Alec Coppel|
|Count Victor Mattoni||Philip Leaver|
|Detective Sergeant Raines||Frederick Bradshaw|
|Detective Inspector Davidson||Frank Foster|
|P.C. Clifton||Diarmuid Kelly|
|Louise Rogers||Olga Edwardes|
|Renee la Lune||Mildred Shay|
|Samuel Diamond||Val Norton|
|Bernard K Froy||Guy Kingsley Poynter|
|Viscount Sorrington||Bruce Belfrage|
|At the Villa Rose||(28 Nov 1948)|
|The detective story by A. E. W. Mason|
Adapted as a television play by Gilbert Thomas.
|Author||A. E. W. Mason|
|Julius Ricardo||Erik Chitty|
|Celia Harland||Olga Edwardes|
|Harry Wethermill||John Arnatt|
|Madame Dauvray||Selma Vaz Dias|
|Adele Rossignol||Ambrosine Phillpotts|
|M. Hanaud||Antony Holle|
|Sgt. Perrichet||David Ward|
|M. Besnard||George de Warfaz|
|Helene Vauquier||Nicolette Bernard|
|Marthe Gobin||Helen Misener|
|M. Lemerre||Percy Walsh|
|Other parts played by|
|October Horizon||(11 Jul 1950)|
|A play by Lydia Ragosin|
|Producer||Kenneth M. Buckley|
|Edward Tarrant||Jack Livesey|
|Laura, his wife||Mary Hinton|
|Louis Brahms||Fritz Krenn|
|Sarah French||Olga Edwardes|
|A Scandal in Bohemia||(27 Oct 1951)|
|Adapted by C. A. Lejeune.|
|Author||Arthur Conan Doyle|
|Adapted by||C. A. Lejeune|
|Sherlock Holmes||Alan Wheatley|
|Dr Watson||Raymond Francis|
|The King of Bohemia||Alan Judd|
|Irene Adler||Olga Edwardes|
|Godfrey Norton||John Stevens|
|Mrs Hudson||Iris Vandeleur|
|Old cabby||Michael Raghan|
|Young cabby||Donald Kemp|
|Others taking part|
|Au Clair de la Lune||(29 Jul 1954)|
|Au Clair de la Lune|
A play by Antonia Ridge
This is a story of two boys and a song. The first boy is Louis XIV, King of France; he is eleven years old, and must live a wearisome existence in great palaces under strict supervision from such eminent adults as his cousin, the great Mademoiselle, and his leading statesman, my Lord the Cardinal. Louis has learned painfully that little kings are not as other little boys.
But our other boy, although older, is hardly less unhappy; he's Jean-Baptiste Lulli, one day to be a famous musician, but now an Italian orphan who earns a living by playing his violin for a travelling players' show.
And this is also the story of a magnificent banquet which Mademoiselle gives for her young royal relative; for by a series of happy accidents the two boys meet at the banquet, and the occasion is marked by the first performance of one of the loveliest and most famous songs ever written.
|Jean-Baptiste Lulli||John Cairney|
|Hercule Cocarel||Raymond Rollett|
|Françoise, his daughter||Perlita Neilson|
|Mademoiselle de Montpensier||Olga Edwardes|
|The Maestro||Anthony Pini|
|Master Bounaire||Charles Heslop|
|Frimousset, a clown||Ivan Staff|
|A footman||Charles Maunsell|
|A kitchen lad||Anthony Marriott|
|Cardinal Mazarin||Keith Pyott|
|First aristocrat||Sylvia Willoughby|
|Second aristocrat||Philip Howard|
|Family Business||(30 Oct 1955)|
|The third in a cycle of four plays entitled "The Makepeace Story" by Frank and Vincent Tilsley.|
The action takes place in and around Shawcross, Lancashire, and in France, between the years 1914-1920.
|Writer|| Frank Tilsley |
|Colonel Harry Makepeace||Charles Carson|
|Mrs Dolly Makepeace||Rachel Kempson|
|Sir Timothy Baines||D. A. Clarke-Smith|
|Geoffrey Kenyon||Clive Revill|
|Oswald Makepeace||Rodney Diak|
|Margery Baines||Helena Hughes|
|Peter Makepeace||Ian Bannen|
|Mill girl||Rosemary Davis|
|Sergeant at Recruiting Office||Reginald Hearne|
|Bill Holbrooke||Anthony Doonan|
|Tyson||George A. Cooper|
|Sergeant in shell crater||Peter Duguid|
|French girl||Jacqueline D'Orsay|
|People at party|
|Landlord of Pack Horse Inn||Charles Hersee|
|Mill operative||Howell Davies|
|Bailiff's clerk||Lane Meddick|
|Other parts played by|
Since her marriage in 1946, she led a new career, as salonnière in the house of Hinton Waldrist manor. Her husband had bought it in 1922,and together they entertained and held court to influential and radical artists, economists, philosophers, and politicians of the day at grand gatherings. Both she and her husband were long-time leading Fabians – she had known Harold Laski for some time. Nicholas Davenport worked with Alexander Korda then joined Harold Wilson with the National Film Finance Corporation. Even though a Fabian, he still kept friend with R. J. G. Boothby and close to Winston Churchill.
Olga Davenport continued the social activity of salon gathering which had been part of history for more than 350 years. 'Olga' by the sculptor F. E. McWilliam; two portrait drawings of her in her art collection by Theyre Lee‑Elliott, and another gouache drawing of her dancing also by Lee‑Elliott, with a verse by the artist on the reverse dedicated to her. His was not the only verse inspired by Olga's muse: another was from A. P. Herbert on the train to and back from Frinton-on-Sea."She was, as a young woman, an astounding beauty. She was also an impressive creative force. It is a heady combination. Men chucked caution to the wind." There is a bust of
Is he so mad who travels to the shore
Then back at once to where he was before?
Does not the ocean under Olga's sway,
Commit the same sweet folly twice a day?
Thus the mad fish pursue the moon in vain,
But will, as happily, pursue again.
Thus climbers, having made the steep ascent,
Salute the stars, and then return – content
She had been trained in painting, and returned to that art form following her acting career. In fact when she entered into the theatre, between performances she studied at the Westminster School of Art with Mark Gertler and through him and his wife, [ citation needed ] In St Ives, Davenport was to meet and befriend some of the greatest British artists of the 20th century and during her life she acquired important paintings for her own collection, including works by Patrick Heron, Roger Hilton, Terry Frost, and William Scott. She spent hours at Eagle's Nest, and Elm Tree Cottage. She sat on the board of the Bear Lane Gallery and formed relationships with influential people such as Clement Greenberg and Pauline Vogelpoel. She had a studio in the south of France.met Matthew Smith and Ivon Hitchens. In 1956, following a career as an actor with mostly minor roles in films, she returned to studying fine art and painting at the Chelsea Polytechnic; at the Royal College of Art; and at Peter Lanyon's school in St Ives, Cornwall. Davenport was not merely an accomplished artist, or a collector; but her deep friendships with British artists from the 1950s onwards placed Davenport as a key and perhaps surprisingly influential figure in the British art scene of the time.
She exhibited with the London Group and with the Women's International Art Club. She had shown in a number of group exhibitions including an Arts Council tour, at the Leicester Galleries, at the Whitechapel, the A. I. A., the Drian Gallery, Galerie Creuse, Paris, Athens School of Fine Arts, 'Women in the Arts Today' at the Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, the Bear Lane Gallery in Oxford, Grabowski Gallery, and at the Demarco Gallery.
She had two one-person shows at the Piccadilly Gallery in London's Cork Street in 1969,and in 1976; and in 1978 she had a solo show of oils at the Oxford Gallery.
Her later work was mainly concerned with the depiction of landscape, and is recognised for the use of gentle, yet dynamic colours which reduce forms to abstracted shapes. She used broad, fluid brushstrokes of colour to capture the outlines of natural environments. The painted landscapes embody a delicate compromise between the wholly self-involved abstraction of modernist formalism and a fascination with the experience and representation of the natural world.[ citation needed ] Her works are in the permanent collections of the Nuffield Foundation, St Anne's College, Oxford, University of Warwick, Department of the Environment, and in private collections in England, Switzerland, South Africa, Belgium and the United States of America.
After her death, her art collection auctioned around £550,000 (equivalent to £784,800in 2021).
I went into the Gallery last week and I thought again how beautiful your pictures look, quiet, personal, bold without aggression, lyrical colour, you have arrived at something very much your own, they are right. Pictures are either right or wrong and no one can really say why.This is how William Scott described Olga Davenport's paintings at her first one-woman show at the Piccadilly Gallery in 1969.— (letter from William Scott to Olga Davenport, hand-written and dated 6th May 1969)
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