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Joyce Grenfell
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Comedian
    (February 10, 1910-November 30, 1979)
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    Birth name was Joyce Phipps
    Niece of politician Nancy Astor
    Known for her one-woman stage shows and appearances in revues
    Frequent panelist on the quiz show ‘Face the Music’
    Appeared in the films ‘Alice in Wonderland’ (1949), ‘The Happiest Days of Your Life’ (1950), ‘The Pickwick Papers’ (1952), ‘The Million Pound Note’ (1953), ‘The Belles of St. Trinian’s’ (1954), ‘Blue Murder at St. Trinian’s’ (1957), ‘The Pure Hell of St. Trinian’s’ (1960), ‘The Americanization of Emily’ (1964), and ‘The Yellow Rolls Royce’ (1964)
    Appeared on Broadway in ‘Joyce Grenfell Requests the Pleasure’ (1955) and ‘Joyce Grenfell: Monologue and Songs’ (1958)
    Recorded the album ‘Hilaire Belloc’s Cautionary Tales for Children’ (1969)
    Named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (1946)
    The IMDb describes her as having ‘sharp, equine features.’
    She left the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts after a year to get married.
    After appearing on an episode of The Ed Sullivan Show with Elvis Presley, she described him as ‘a pasty faced plump boy.’
    Commenting on the types of roles she was cast in, she said that she was getting tired of ‘making fun of silly women for money.’
    She died a month before she would have been named a Dame Commander of the British Empire.
    She wrote the lyrics for many of the songs she performed.
    During World War II, she entertained British troops in North Africa, Italy, the Middle East, and India.
    The British Film Institute wrote, ‘She was living proof that you could be a sharp satirist without descending to malice.’
    She retired from the stage after losing an eye to cancer (1979).
    She died a month short of her 50th wedding anniversary.
    She was the first comedian to have a memorial service held at Westminster Abbey.

Credit: C. Fishel


 
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