Joyce Carey Poster


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Overview (3)

Born in Kensington, London, England, UK
Died in Westminster, London, England, UK  (heart attack in her sleep)
Birth NameJoyce Lilian Lawrence

Mini Bio (1)

Genteel London-born actress Joyce Carey came from a distinguished theatrical family. Her own lengthy career on the stage began in 1916 when she played Princess Katherine in an all-female ensemble of "Henry V". She made her debut on the legitimate stage in a small part in the West End production of the exotic melodrama "Mr.Wu". During the 1920's, Joyce became a well-known interpreter of Shakespearean roles in Stratford-upon-Avon (including Miranda in "The Tempest" and Perdita in "The Winter's Tale"), as well as acting in several fashionable drawing room comedies in London. She came to be best known, however, for her long association with Noël Coward whom she met (and befriended) during a rehearsal for his play "The Vortex" in 1924. Coward liked her so much, that he cast her in the leading role of Sarah Hurst in "Easy Virtue" the following year. The play went from London to Broadway, opening at the Empire Theatre and enjoying a successful run of 147 performances. Joyce's career was now made and she regularly featured in Coward plays for the remainder of her life on stage.

In 1934, Joyce added another string to her bow as the author of the comedy "Sweet Aloes", written under the pseudonym 'Jay Mallory'. She also took on the key role of Lady Farrington. The play did better on the West End than on Broadway. Warner Brothers, nonetheless, bought the rights and filmed it as a teary melodrama entitled Give Me Your Heart (1936), starring Kay Francis and George Brent. Following wartime tours with the Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA) in Coward plays, she later repeated her stage successes in the filmed versions of the same, notably in Johnny in the Clouds (1945), Blithe Spirit (1945) and The Astonished Heart (1950). Her best remembered role was that of the train station buffet manageress Myrtle Bagot in David Lean's Brief Encounter (1945).

During Joyce's later career, her air of quiet authority and ladylike manner were perfectly suited to a gallery of aristocratic dowagers, doting or confused aunts or mothers. A true professional, she still performed at the age of 90 - on stage, unsurprisingly, in a minor Coward play, "Semi-Monde". On the screen she achieved critical acclaim for her role as an elderly lady facing eviction, in Michael Palin's BBC play Number 27 (1988). In 1982, Joyce was awarded the Order of the British Empire.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Trivia (6)

Daughter of Gerald Lawrence and Dame Lilian Braithwaite, stage star of 1920s and 30s. Friend of Noël Coward.
British character actress who appeared in some of Britain's most admired films during an acting career spanning 70 years.
Wrote the plays 'Sweet Aloes' and 'A Thing Apart' under the pen name of Jay Mallory.
She was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1982 Queen's Birthday Honours List for her services to drama.
Trained under Miss Kate Rorke at the Florence Ellington Dramatic School.
Educated at Westgate on Sea and London.

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