Constance Vera Stevens
14 February 1915
Holloway, London, England, UK
|Died||24 September 2006 91) (aged|
London, England, UK
|Other names||Baroness Oranmore and Browne|
Dowager Lady Oranmore and Browne
|Spouse(s)||Dominick Browne, 4th Baron Oranmore and Browne (1951–2002) his death|
Constance Vera Browne, Baroness Oranmore and Browne (née Stevens; 14 February 1915 – 24 September 2006), commonly known as Sally Gray, was an English film actress of the 1930s and 1940s.Her obituary in The Irish Times described her as "once seen as a British rival to Ginger Rogers."
The Irish Times is an Irish daily broadsheet newspaper launched on 29 March 1859. The editor is Paul O'Neill who succeeded Kevin O'Sullivan on 5 April 2017; the deputy editor is Deirdre Veldon. The Irish Times is published every day except Sundays. It employs 420 people.
Ginger Rogers was an American actress, dancer, and singer. She is known for her starring role in Kitty Foyle (1940), but is best remembered for performing in RKO's musical films on stage, radio and television, throughout much of the 20th century.
According to one obituary, "In the Thirties she was a charming soubrette of light movies and musical comedy. After a break from performing, she emerged in the mid-Forties as a sultry beauty who starred in a series of moody dramas and potent thrillers."
Born Constance Vera Stevens in Holloway, London, Gray was the daughter of Charles Stevens, who drove a motor cab, and his wife, Gertrude Grace.Her mother was a ballet dancer and her grandmother a "principal boy" in the 1870s. Her father died when Gray was young.
Holloway is an inner-city district of the London Borough of Islington, 3.3 miles (5.3 km) north of Charing Cross, which follows the line of the Holloway Road (A1). At the centre of Holloway is the Nag's Head commercial area which sits between the more residential Upper Holloway and Lower Holloway neighbourhoods. Holloway has a multicultural population. It is the home of Arsenal F.C.. Holloway is in the historic county of Middlesex.
She trained as a child at Fay Compton's School of Dramatic Art, and began acting on stage at the age of 10. Gray made her professional stage debut at the age of twelve in All God's Chillun at the Globe Theatre in London, playing an African boy. When she was 14, Gray appeared in a minstrel show at the Gate Theatre in London. She made her film debut with a bit part in The School for Scandal (1930).
The Gielgud Theatre is a West End theatre, located on Shaftesbury Avenue in the City of Westminster, London, at the corner of Rupert Street. The house currently has 986 seats on three levels.
The School for Scandal is a 1930 British comedy film directed by Thorold Dickinson and Maurice Elvey and starring Basil Gill, Madeleine Carroll and Ian Fleming. It is the first sound film adaptation of Richard Brinsley Sheridan's play The School for Scandal. It is also the only feature-length film shot using the unsuccessful Raycol colour process, and marked the screen debut of Sally Gray.
She then went back to school for two years, training at Fay Compton's School of Dramatic Art,during which time she performed in cabarets.
Virginia Lilian Emmeline Compton-Mackenzie, CBE, known professionally as Fay Compton, was an English actress. She appeared in several films, and made many broadcasts, but was best known for her stage performances. She was known for her versatility, and appeared in Shakespeare, drawing room comedy, pantomime, modern drama, and classics such as Ibsen and Chekhov. In addition to performing in Britain, Compton appeared several times in the US, and toured Australia and New Zealand in a variety of stage plays.
She appeared in The Gay Divorce (1933) on stage with Fred Astaire. The agent John Gliddon saw her in the musical Jill Darling (1934) and signed her.
Fred Astaire was an American dancer, singer, actor, choreographer and television presenter. He is widely regarded as the most influential dancer in the history of film.
Gray returned to films in 1935, with The Dictator (1935). She could also be seen in Cross Currents (1935), Radio Pirates (1935), Lucky Days (1935), and Checkmate (1935). She returned on stage and was spotted by Stanley Lupino, who fell in love with her.
Gray had the female lead in Cheer Up (1936) with Stanley Lupino. She had leads in Calling the Tune (1936), Cafe Colette (1936), and Saturday Night Revue (1937) with Billy Milton. In 1936 she was earning £150 a week.Gray had support roles in Lightning Conductor (1937), a thriller; Over She Goes (1937) with Lupino; Mr. Reeder in Room 13 (1937), a non musical; and Hold My Hand (1938) with Lupino. Gray was the female lead in Sword of Honour (1938), The Saint in London (1939) with George Sanders, The Lambeth Walk (1939) with Lupino Lane, and A Window in London (1940), a non musical film with Michael Redgrave. Gray was in Olympic Honeymoon (1940) then had the female lead in The Saint's Vacation (1941). She had a sensitive role in Brian Desmond Hurst's romantic melodrama Dangerous Moonlight (1941). The same year she appeared in the West End musical Lady Behave which had been written by her co-star Stanley Lupino. The show had to close early because of Lupino's illness.
Gray returned to the stage to star in My Sister Eileen (1942) with Coral Browne. Lupino died, leaving Gray £10,000.Gray had a nervous breakdown, resulting in her retirement for a number of years.
Gray returned to the screen in 1946 and made her strongest bid for stardom in a series of melodramas. They include the hospital thriller Green for Danger (1946), Carnival (1946), They Made Me a Fugitive (1947) and The Mark of Cain (1948). Gray then made Silent Dust (1948) and Edward Dmytryk's film noir piece Obsession (1949), in which she plays Robert Newton's faithless wife.Her final film was the spy yarn Escape Route (1952).
RKO executives, impressed with Gray, authorised producer William Sistrom to offer her a long-term contract [ citation needed ] However, she declined the offer and instead retired in 1952 after getting married.if she would move to the United States. John Paddy Carstairs, director of The Saint in London , also thought she could be a star.
Gray married The 4th Baron Oranmore and Browne, an Anglo-Irish peer, on 1 December 1951,and lived in County Mayo, Ireland. The couple kept the marriage secret until the 1953 coronation of Elizabeth II, at which she appeared with her husband.
In the early 1960s they returned to England and settled in a flat in Eaton Place, Belgravia, London. The couple had no children.
Gray died on 24 September 2006, at 91 years of age,in London, England.
|1930||The School for Scandal||Bit Part||(uncredited)|
|1935||The Dictator||Minor Role||Released as Loves of a Dictator in USA, (uncredited)|
|Cross Currents||Sally Croker|
|1936||Cheer Up||Sally Gray|
|Calling the Tune||Margaret Gordon|
|1937||Cafe Colette||Jill Manning||Released as Danger in Paris in USA|
|Saturday Night Revue||Mary Dorland|
|Over She Goes||Kitty|
|Mr. Reeder in Room 13||Claire Kent||Released as Mystery of Room 13 in USA|
|Hold My Hand||Helen Milchester|
|1939||Q Planes||Minor role||Released as Clouds Over Europe in USA, (uncredited)|
|Sword of Honour||Lady Moira Talmadge|
|The Saint in London||Penny Parker|
|The Lambeth Walk||Sally||Released as Me and My Girl in USA|
|1940||A Window in London||Vivienne||Released as Lady in Distress in USA|
|Olympic Honeymoon||Miss America|
|1941||The Saint's Vacation||Mary Langdon|
|Dangerous Moonlight||Carol Peters Radetzky||Released as Suicide Squadron in USA|
|1946||Green for Danger||Nurse Linley|
|1947||They Made Me a Fugitive||Sally||Released as I Became a Criminal in USA|
|The Mark of Cain||Sarah Bonheur|
|1949||Silent Dust||Angela Rawley|
|Obsession||Storm Riordan||Released as The Hidden Room in USA|
|1952||Escape Route||Joan Miller||Released as I'll Get You in USA|
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