Everley Gregg

Everley Gregg (26 October 1903, in Bishopstoke, Hampshire – 9 June 1959, in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire) was an English actress. Early in her career, she became associated especially with plays of Noël Coward. She began making films in the 1930s and added television roles in her last decade; she acted until her last year.

middle-aged white woman in 1940s clothes
Gregg as Dolly Messiter in Brief Encounter, 1945

Life and careerEdit

Gregg was the daughter of Richard Russell Gregg and his wife Gertrude Everley, née Pope. She was educated at Badminton School, Bristol, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.[1] She made her professional stage debut as the maid in Noël Coward's Easy Virtue at the Duke of York's Theatre, London.

Engagements in minor parts followed in The Constant Nymph, tours in Easy Virtue and Hit the Deck, and a repertory season at the Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham. In the West End in 1929, she succeeded Phyllis Konstam as Val Power in The Matriarch. Her association with the plays of Coward was renewed at the Phoenix Theatre in September 1930 when she played Louise in Private Lives.[1]

Her West End roles in the early 1930s were Mrs. Agnew in Five Farthings (1931), the telephone girl in Grand Hotel (1931), Georgina in Stepdaughters of War, Ruth in Dance With No Music (1932), Mrs. Gilbard in Behold, We Live (1933), Susanne in Love For Sale, and Miss Goslett in Coward's Conversation Piece (1934).[1]

In January 1935, Gregg made her first appearance on the New York stage at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre as Hilda James in Coward's Point Valaine. After returning to London, she played seven parts in Coward's Tonight at 8.30 cycle of short plays. Later roles included Miss Prism in The Importance of Being Earnest, Freda Caplan in Dangerous Corner, and Grace Torrence in Coward's Design for Living.[1]

Gregg made her film debut in the 1933 film The Private Life of Henry VIII as Catherine Parr, Henry's last wife. A small part as a nurse in David Lean's 1942 film In Which We Serve was followed by a more substantial role in Lean's Brief Encounter (1945) as "Dolly Messiter", the "gossiping acquaintance" of Laura Jesson, played by Celia Johnson, in which Gregg had appeared in the earlier stage version of the piece Still Life in Tonight at 8.30.[1][2]

In the 1950s Gregg appeared on BBC television in a range of productions from a dramatisation of Tess of the D'Urbervilles in 1952 (as Mrs Durbeyfield) to mysteries such as My Guess Would be Murder (1957), comedies including Haul for the Shore (1956), historical drama such as The Scarlet Pimpernel (1955), and contemporary drama including Let us be True (1953).[3]

Gregg's marriage to David Homan was dissolved.[1]

FilmographyEdit

In addition to her stage and television roles, Gregg appeared in more than fifty films:

Source: British Film Institute.[4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f Parker, pp. 710–711
  2. ^ "In Which We Serve (1942)".
  3. ^ "Everley Gregg", BBC Genome. Retrieved 30 January 2019
  4. ^ "Everley Gregg", British Film Institute. Retrieved 30 January 2019

SourcesEdit

External linksEdit