Diana Wynyard

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Diana Wynyard
BornDorothy Isobel Cox
(1906-01-16)16 January 1906
London, England, UK
Died13 May 1964(1964-05-13) (aged 58)
London, England, UK
Cause of deathrenal disease
Years active1932-1960
Spouse(s)Carol Reed (1943–1947)
Dr. Tibor Csato (1951-1958) (divorced)
 
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Diana Wynyard
BornDorothy Isobel Cox
(1906-01-16)16 January 1906
London, England, UK
Died13 May 1964(1964-05-13) (aged 58)
London, England, UK
Cause of deathrenal disease
Years active1932-1960
Spouse(s)Carol Reed (1943–1947)
Dr. Tibor Csato (1951-1958) (divorced)

Diana Wynyard, CBE (16 January 1906 – 13 May 1964), whose birth name was Dorothy Isobel Cox, was an English stage and film actress.

Contents

Life and career

Born in London, Wynyard began her career on the stage. After success in Liverpool and London, she attracted attention on Broadway and appeared first in Rasputin and the Empress in 1932, with Ethel, John, and Lionel Barrymore. She appeared in the film version, beginning her brief Hollywood career.

Fox Film Corporation then borrowed her for their lavish film version of Noël Coward's stage spectacle Cavalcade (1933). As the noble wife and mother she aged gracefully against a background of the Boer War, the sinking of the Titanic, the First World War, and the arrival of the Jazz Age. With this performance, she became the first British actress to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. After a handful of film roles, most notably as John Barrymore's old flame in Reunion in Vienna, she returned to Britain, but concentrated on theatre work, including roles as Charlotte Brontë in Clemence Dane's Wild Decembers, in Sweet Aloes, and as Gilda in the British premiere of Noël Coward's Design for Living.

She was tempted to return to the screen to play opposite Ralph Richardson in On the Night of the Fire (1939), a film directed by Brian Desmond Hurst. Her greatest success was as the frightened heroine of Gaslight (1940), the first film version of Patrick Hamilton's play Gas Light. This was followed by roles opposite Clive Brook in Freedom Radio, John Gielgud in The Prime Minister and Michael Redgrave in Kipps (all 1941), directed by Carol Reed to whom she was later briefly married.

After World War II

After World War II, she appeared in Alexander Korda's An Ideal Husband (1947), from the Oscar Wilde play, but her remaining film appearances were in supporting roles, usually maternal, such as in Tom Brown's Schooldays (1951) and as the secretive mother (of James Mason's character) in Island in the Sun (1957). On television she played Empress Elisabeth of Austria in the 1957 version of Mayerling, which starred Audrey Hepburn.

Her stage career flourished after the war, and as a Shakespearean leading lady at Stratford, in London's West End and on tour in Australia, she had her pick of star parts. Between 1948 and 1952, she played Portia, Gertrude, Lady Macbeth, Katherine the shrew, Desdemona, Katherine of Aragon, Hermione in The Winter's Tale, and Beatrice to Gielgud's Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing. In this production, she succeeded her friend Peggy Ashcroft. Wynyward stumbled off the rostrum during the sleepwalking scene in Macbeth in 1948. She fell 15 feet, but was able to continue.

Throughout the 1940s and 1950s she also had success in the works of several contemporary writers, including the British production of Tennessee Williams's Camino Real.

She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1953.[1]

Personal life

She was married to the English film director Sir Carol Reed from 3 February 1943 until August 1947, and subsequently to a Hungarian physician, Tibor Csato.

She died from renal disease in London in 1964, aged 58, while rehearsing The Master Builder with Michael Redgrave and Maggie Smith as part of the new National Theatre Company. Celia Johnson replaced her.

Her last television performance was in the play The Man in the Panama Hat recorded in March 1964. Her death occurred before the intended broadcast in May 1964 and it was eventually shown posthumously on 21 September 1964.

Filmography

References

  1. ^ Notice of CBE

External links