Irene Browne

Irene Browne (29 June 1896 – 24 July 1965) was an English stage and film actress and singer who appeared in plays and musicals including No, No, Nanette. Later in her career, she became particularly associated with the works of Noël Coward and acted in films.

Browne's 1936 Spotlight photo

CareerEdit

Irene Browne was born in London, England. She began her theatrical career in 1910 as a dancer in H.B. Irving's company[1] and soon graduated to dramatic roles, appearing in J. Comyns Carr's dramatisation of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde the following year.[2] For three years, she acted in Australia (The Times mistook her for Australian in 1915).

After returning to London, Browne played in musical comedy, in the title role of My Lady Frayle with Courtice Pounds in 1916.[3] She appeared in revue alongside Beatrice Lillie in 1922,[4] where she was spotted by Basil Dean and cast in his revival of Arthur Wing Pinero's The Gay Lord Quex at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane starring with George Grossmith Jr., in which "she took the house by storm".[5] In 1925, she appeared in the first London production of No, No, Nanette ("Miss Irene Browne glitters most dangerously").[6] She soon toured for two years in America.

On her return to Britain, Browne played in Noël Coward's Cavalcade (1931) at Drury Lane and in the Hollywood film adaptation two years later. She continued to be associated with Coward, creating roles in his musicals Conversation Piece (1934), After the Ball (1954) and The Girl Who Came to Supper (1963), and appeared in Blithe Spirit and Relative Values during their long West End runs.[1][7]

Browne also performed in N.C. Hunter's long-running Waters of the Moon (playing the role created by Edith Evans), co-starring with Sybil Thorndike.[8] She also appeared in plays by Ivor Novello, Dodie Smith, William Wycherley and St. John Hankin.[1] Browne also played roles in a number of Hollywood films.[9]

Browne died in London of cancer in 1965 at the age of 69.

FilmographyEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1917 Drink Gervaise
1919 After Many Days Connie
1929 The Letter Mrs. Joyce
1933 Cavalcade Margaret Harris
1933 Christopher Strong Carrie Valentine
1933 Peg o' My Heart Mrs. Chichester
1933 Berkeley Square Lady Ann Pettigrew
1933 My Lips Betray Queen Mother Therese
1936 The Amateur Gentleman Lady Huntstanton
1938 Pygmalion Duchess
1941 The Prime Minister Lady Londonderry
1941 Kipps Mrs. Bindon-Botting
1947 Meet Me at Dawn Mme. Renault
1948 The Red Shoes Lady Neston
1948 Quartet Lady Bland (segment "The Alien Corn")
1949 The Bad Lord Byron Lady Melbourne
1949 Trottie True Duchess Uncredited
1950 Madeleine Mrs. Grant Uncredited
1951 The House in the Square Lady Anne Pettigrew
1957 Barnacle Bill Mrs. Barrington
1958 Rooney Mrs. Manning ffrench
1959 Serious Charge Mrs. Phillips
1963 The Wrong Arm of the Law Dowager (final film role)

Selected stage rolesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c The Times, 26 July 1965, p. 12
  2. ^ The Manchester Guardian, 28 April 1911, p. 16
  3. ^ The Times, 28 February 1916, p. 11
  4. ^ The Times, 26 October 1922, p. 10
  5. ^ The Times, 4 April 1923, p. 8
  6. ^ The Observer, 15 March 1925, p. 11
  7. ^ Internet Broadway Database.
  8. ^ The Manchester Guardian, 30 June 1953, p. 5
  9. ^ "Irene Browne".

External linksEdit