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Bernard Delfont, Baron Delfont (5 September 1909 – 28 July 1994), born Boris (or Boruch) Winogradsky, was a leading Russian-born British theatrical impresario.


The Lord Delfont
Delfont in 1964
Lord Delfont in 1964
Born
Boris or Boruch Winogradsky

(1909-09-05)5 September 1909
Died28 July 1994(1994-07-28) (aged 84)
Nationality Russian (1909–1912)
British (1912–1998)
Spouse(s)
Carole Lynne (m. 1946)
Children3
Relatives Lew Grade (brother)
Leslie Grade (brother)
Rita Grade Freeman (sister)
Michael Grade (nephew)
Awards

Contents

Life and careerEdit

Delfont was born in Tokmak, Russian Empire, the second son of Isaac and Olga Winogradsky. His brothers Lew Grade and Leslie Grade also entered showbusiness.[1] His nephew Michael Grade (now Lord Grade of Yarmouth), Leslie's son, has had a career in the television and film industries. He had a sister, Rita Grade, who wrote a book about the family called "My Fabulous Brothers".

Delfont entered theatrical management in 1941, after a career as first a dancer, then an agent. He presented over 200 shows in London and New York City, including more than 50 musicals, such as the original productions of Little Me, Stop the World - I Want to Get Off, City Of Angels and Sweet Charity.

He also presented summer variety shows in many towns across the country, mainly seaside resorts. In Blackpool, he owned all three of its piers (South Pier, Central Pier and North Pier).

He converted the London Hippodrome into the Talk of the Town nightclub, bringing in entertainers such as Shirley Bassey, Frank Sinatra, Eartha Kitt and Judy Garland,[2] and also securing the exclusive rights from Paul Derval to stage the Folies Bergère for the first time outside Paris. While the Chief Executive of EMI, Delfont withdrew funding for the film Life of Brian in 1978 at the last moment, due to worries over the religious implications of the screenplay.[3][4]

Delfont married the actress Carole Lynne in 1946.[5] They had one son (David) and two daughters (Susannah and Jennifer).[5] He was knighted in 1974[5] and created a life peer as Baron Delfont, of Stepney in Greater London in 1976.[5] He died from a heart attack at his Angmering home. Lord Delfont was the life president of the Entertainment Artistes' Benevolent Fund, while his wife served as life governor.

His widow Carole Lynne (Lady Delfont), 89, died as a result of motor neurone disease on 17 January 2008 at her home in Sussex, England.[1]

In the 2018 film Stan & Ollie which recounts the 1953 tour of the United Kingdom by Laurel & Hardy, he is portrayed by Rufus Jones.

AppointmentsEdit

  • EMI Ltd
    • Chief executive (1979–1980)
  • Entertainment Artistes' Benevolent Fund
  • Entertainment Charities Fund
    • President (1983–1991)
  • Companion of the Grand Order of Water Rats
  • Member of Saints and Sinners
  • Printers Charitable Corporation
    • President 1979
  • First Leisure Corporation
    • Chief executive 1980–1986
    • Executive chairman 1986–1988
    • Chairman 1988–1992
    • President 1992–1994
  • Bernard Delfont Organisation
    • Director

ArmsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Lady Delfont dies aged 89". The Stage. 2008-01-21. Retrieved 2008-02-12.
  2. ^ http://www.richardmmills.com/talk1.html Star Appearances at the Talk of the Town
  3. ^ Barber, Nicholas (3 April 2019). "How George Harrison – and a very naughty boy – saved British cinema". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  4. ^ Wilmut, Roger (1980). From Fringe to Flying Circus. London: Eyre Methuen. pp. 247–250. ISBN 0-413-46950-6.
  5. ^ a b c d "Lady Delfont". The Daily Telegraph. 2008-01-28. Retrieved 2008-02-12.
  6. ^ http://www.cracroftspeerage.co.uk/online/content/lp1958%20d.htm

External linksEdit