The Info List - Coral Browne

Coral Edith Browne (23 July 1913 – 29 May 1991) was an Australian-American stage and screen actress. Her extensive theatre credits included Broadway productions of Macbeth
(1956), The Rehearsal (1963) and The Right Honourable Gentleman (1965). She won the 1984 BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress for the BBC
TV film An Englishman Abroad (1983). Her film appearances included Auntie Mame (1958), The Killing of Sister George (1968), The Ruling Class (1972) and Dreamchild (1985).


1 Career 2 Personal life 3 Awards 4 Personality 5 Biographies 6 Selected filmography 7 Key TV 8 Notable stage 9 References 10 References 11 External links

Career[edit] Coral Edith Brown was the only daughter of a restaurant owner. She and her two brothers were raised in Footscray, a suburb of Melbourne, where she studied at the National Gallery Art School. Her amateur debut was as Gloria in Shaw's You Never Can Tell, directed by Frank Clewlow. Gregan McMahon snapped her up for her professional debut as "Margaret Orme" in Loyalties at Melbourne's Comedy Theatre on 2 May 1931, aged 17. She was still billed as "Brown", the "e" being added in 1936.[1] At the age of 21, with just £50 on her and a letter of introduction to famed actress Marie Tempest
Marie Tempest
from Gregan McMahon,[2] she emigrated to England where she became established as a stage actress, notably as leading lady to Jack Buchanan
Jack Buchanan
in Frederick Lonsdale's The Last of Mrs Cheyney, W. Somerset Maugham's Lady Frederick[2] and Alan Melville's Castle in the Air. She was a regular performer in productions at the Savoy Theatre
Savoy Theatre
in London and was resident in the hotel for many years, including throughout World War II. When the original British touring production of The Man Who Came To Dinner
The Man Who Came To Dinner
ran into financial difficulty and could not be produced in London, Browne borrowed money from her dentist and bought the rights to the play, successfully staging it at the Savoy.[3] She received royalties from the play from all future productions. She began film acting in 1936, with her more famous roles being Vera Charles in Auntie Mame (1958), Mercy Croft in The Killing of Sister George (1968), and Lady Claire Gurney in The Ruling Class (1972). In 1969, Browne appeared in the poorly received original production of Joe Orton's controversial farce What the Butler Saw in the West End at the Queen's Theatre with Sir Ralph Richardson, Stanley Baxter, and Hayward Morse. While touring the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in a Shakespeare Memorial Theatre (later the Royal Shakespeare Company) production of Hamlet
in 1958, she met the spy Guy Burgess.[4] This meeting became the basis of Alan Bennett's script for the television movie An Englishman Abroad (1983) in which Browne played herself, apparently including some of her conversations with Burgess. Burgess, who had found solace in his exile by continually playing the music of Jack Buchanan, asked Browne if she had known Buchanan. "I suppose so", the actress replied, "we nearly got married". On the BFI TV 100, a list compiled in 2000 by the British Film Institute
British Film Institute
(BFI), chosen by a poll of industry professionals, to determine what were the greatest British television programmes of any genre ever to have been screened, An Englishman Abroad was listed at No. 30. Her other notable film of this period, Dreamchild (1986) concerned the author Lewis Carroll. In the film, Browne gave an affecting account of the later life of Alice Liddell
Alice Liddell
who had inspired the tale Alice in Wonderland. Personal life[edit] Browne married actor Philip Pearman in 1950 and remained married to him until his death in 1964.[5] While making the film Theatre of Blood (1973), she met actor Vincent Price; they married on 24 October 1974. They appeared together in a short-lived 1979 CBS
TV series, Time Express, as well as an earlier international stage adaptation of Ardèle which played in the USA as well as in London at the Queen's Theatre. During this run, Browne & Price starred together in a BBC Radio play Night of the Wolf first airing in 1975.[6] She became a naturalized United States citizen in 1987 as a gift to Price who later converted to Catholicism
for her (she had converted many years previously). Browne died on 29 May 1991 in Los Angeles, California, from breast cancer; she was 77. She had no children from her marriages. Price died two years later. Awards[edit]

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Browne was awarded the BAFTA Television Award for Best Actress in 1984 for her role in An Englishman Abroad. She later received the London Evening Standard British Film Awards for Best Actress in 1986 for Dreamchild. In 1976, the Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Theatre Critics named her Best Actress for her role in Travesties at the Mark Taper Forum
Mark Taper Forum
in Los Angeles. Personality[edit] When told by the Royal Shakespeare Company
Royal Shakespeare Company
that there was no suitable role in their upcoming production of King Lear for her husband, Philip Pearman, she demanded a script and running through it she found the page she was looking for. "There you are", she said, "the perfect part. A small camp near Dover."[7] Browne's language was colourful, and an unauthorized biography of her, This Effing Lady, was published. She was a devout Catholic (by conversion). The two aspects came together in a story of her standing outside Brompton Oratory
Brompton Oratory
after Sunday mass when an actor came up to her with gossip about who was sleeping with someone else's wife. She stopped him in his tracks with: "I don't want to hear this filth. Not with me standing here in a state of fucking grace." Alan Bennett: "When I said to Coral that I’d thought [Cecil] Beaton was gay she remarked, ‘Not when he was with me, darling. Like a rat up a drainpipe.’" The younger Australian performer Barry Humphries
Barry Humphries
paid tribute to Browne at her memorial service with an appropriate poem: "She left behind an emptiness/A gap, a void, a trough/The world is quite a good deal less/Since Coral Browne fucked off."[8] Biographies[edit]

Browne was the subject of a biography, The Coral Browne Story: Theatrical Life and Times of a Lustrous Australian, by Barbara Angell.[9] This was published May 2007 and launched at the Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne, on 14 June of that year. Coral Browne: 'This Effing Lady', by Rose Collis, published by Oberon Books, was launched at the Royal National Theatre, 4 October 2007.[10]

Selected filmography[edit]

Waltzing Matilda (1933) Line Engaged (1935) - Doreen Charing Cross Road (1935) - Lady Ruston The Amateur Gentleman (1936) - Pauline Darville Guilty Melody (1936) - Cecile We're Going to Be Rich
We're Going to Be Rich
(1938) - Pearl Yellow Sands (1938) - Emma Copplestone Black Limelight (1938) - Lily James The Nursemaid Who Disappeared (1939) - Mabel Barnes Let George Do It!
Let George Do It!
(1940) - Iris Piccadilly Incident (1946) - Virginia Pearson The Courtneys of Curzon Street
The Courtneys of Curzon Street
(1947) - Valerie Twist of Fate/The Beautiful Stranger (1954) - Helen Auntie Mame (1958) - Vera Charles The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone
The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone
(1961) - Meg Go to Blazes (1962) - Colette Tamahine
(1963) - Madame Becque Dr. Crippen (1963) - Belle Elmore The Night of the Generals
The Night of the Generals
(1967) - Eleanore von Seidlitz-Gabler The Legend of Lylah Clare
The Legend of Lylah Clare
(1968) - Molly Luther The Killing of Sister George (1968) - Mercy Croft The Ruling Class (1972) - Lady Claire Gurney Theatre of Blood
Theatre of Blood
(1973) - Miss Chloe Moon The Drowning Pool (1975) - Olivia Xanadu (1980) - Female Heavenly Voice (voice) Eleanor, First Lady of the World (1982) - Lady Reading American Dreamer (1984) - Margaret McMann Dreamchild (1985) - Alice Hargreaves Sparky's Magic Piano (1987) - (voice) (final film role)

Key TV[edit]

The Guv'nor (1955) Charley's Aunt
Charley's Aunt
(1969) Mrs. Warren's Profession
Mrs. Warren's Profession
(1972) Lady Windermere's Fan
Lady Windermere's Fan
(1972) Time Express
Time Express
(1979) - Margaret Winters "An Englishman Abroad" (1983) - Herself Caviar To The General (1990)

Notable stage[edit]

A Warm Corner Comedy Theatre, Melbourne
c. 1930 The Roof Comedy Theatre, Melbourne
1931 Loyalties Comedy Theatre, Melbourne
May 1931 Hay Fever The Quaker Girl The Apple Cart Dear Brutus Hedda Gabler Children in Uniform Melbourne Command to Love Melbourne Mated 1934 or 1935 Lover's Leap, Vaudeville Theatre London 1935 Basalik, London Arts Theatre Club 1935 Desirable Residence, Embassy Theatre London 1935 Heroes Don't Care, St. Martin's Theatre, London 10 June 1936 The Taming of the Shrew, New London Theatre 1936–1937 The Great Romancer, New London Theatre 1937 The Gusher, Prince's Theatre, London 1937 Believe It Or Not, New Theatre, London March 1940 The Man Who Came to Dinner, Theatre Royal, Birmingham, England, 17 November 1941 The Man Who Came to Dinner, Savoy Theatre, London, 4 December 1941–42 My Sister Eileen, Savoy Theatre, London, 1943 The Last of Mrs. Cheyney, Savoy Theatre, London 1943–44 Lady Frederick, Savoy Theatre, London, November 1946 Lady Frederick, Grand Theatre, Blackpool, 21 April 1947 Lady Frederick, Theatre Royal, Brighton, 16 June 1947 Canaries Sometimes Sing, Grand Theatre, Blackpool, 3 November 1947 Castle in the Air, Adelphi Theatre, London, 1949–50 Othello, Old Vic Theatre, London, 31 October 1951 King Lear, Old Vic, London, 3 March 1952 Affairs of State, Theatre Royal, Brighton, 28 July 1952 Affairs of State, Cambridge Theatre, Cambridge Circus, 21 August 1952 Affairs of State, Hippodrome, Bristol, 1953–54 Simon And Laura, Strand Theatre, London, 1954 Nina Theatre Royal Haymarket, London, 27 July 1955 Macbeth
Old Vic, London, 1955–56 Macbeth
Hippodrome, Bristol, 1955–56 Tamburlaine the Greatm Playbill Winter Garden Theatre, New York, 19 January - 4 February 1956 Tamburlaine the Great, Stratford, Ontario, Canada Macbeth, Winter Garden Theatre, New York, 29 October 1956 – 12 January 1957 Troilus and Cressida, Winter Garden Theatre, New York, 26 December 1956 – 12 January 1957 Hamlet, Old Vic, London, 1957–58 A Midsummer Night's Dream, Old Vic, London, 1957–58 The Pleasure of His Company, Theatre Royal Haymarket, London, 1957–58 Toys In The Attic, Piccadilly Theatre, London, 10 November 1960 Bonne Soupe, The Comedy Theatre London, 1960 Bonne Soupe, New Theatre, Oxford, 26 September 1961 Bonne Soupe, Wyndham's Theatre London, 13 February 1962 The Rehearsal, Royale Theatre, New York, 23 September - 28 December 1963 The Right Honourable Gentleman, Billy Rose Theatre, New York, 19 October 1965 – 22 January 1966 Lady Windermere's Fan, Phoenix Theatre, London, 1966 Lady Windermere's Fan, Theatre Royal, Brighton, 23 August 1966 What the Butler Saw, Queen's Theatre, London, 1969 My Darling Daisy, Lyric Theatre, London, 1970 Mrs. Warren's Profession, Old Vic, London, 1970–71 The Sea, Royal Court, London, 1973–74 The Waltz of the Toreadors Theatre Royal Haymarket, London, 1974 Ardèle, Queen's Theatre, London, 1975 Charley's Aunt, Cirque Dinner Theatre, Seattle, 12 August 1975 Charley's Aunt
Charley's Aunt
Granny's Dinner Theatre, Dallas, 16 March – 10 April 1976 Charley's Aunt, National U.S. tour, 10 May – 26 June 1976 The Importance of Being Earnest, Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles, 1976 Travesties, Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles, 1976


^ Stars of Australian Stage and Screen Hal Porter, Rigby Ltd. Adelaide 1965 ^ a b "Return visit with Jack Buchanan
Jack Buchanan
is Coral Browne's hope". Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957). 1948-04-03. p. 7. Retrieved 2017-09-29.  ^ ISBN 978-0-312-26789-6. St. Martin's Griffin (15 October 2000) ^ Alan Bennett
Alan Bennett
gives the date of her meeting with Burgess as 1958 in the introduction to his Single Spies, which contains the text of An Englishman Abroad as a stage play and the text of A Question of Attribution about Anthony Blunt. Single Spies, London, Faber, 1989, ISBN 0-571-14105-6. ^ "The Coral Browne Story - Book Reviews". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 1 October 2017.  ^ "Saturday-Night Theatre". The Radio Times (2700). 1975-08-07. p. 17. ISSN 0033-8060. Retrieved 2017-09-29.  ^ Ned Sherrin, Ned Sherrin's theatrical anecdotes: a connoisseur's collection of legends, stories, and gossip (London: Virgin, 1991) ^ "Coral Browne: This Effing Lady, by Rose Collis". Independent.co.uk. 28 October 2007. Retrieved 1 October 2017.  ^ Barbara Angell on IMDb ^ "Culture". Telegraph.co.uk. 8 March 2017. Retrieved 1 October 2017. 


Coral Browne: 'This Effing Lady' (2007) by Rose Collis, Oberon Books, ISBN 978-1-84002-764-8 The Coral Browne Story (2007) by Barbara Angell, ISBN 978-0-646-47322-2 [1] Vincent Price: A Daughter's Biography (1999) by Victoria Price, ISBN 0-312-26789-4 Who's Who (1991 edition) St. Martin's Press, 1991, p. 241 Variety, 3 June 1991, p. 69 The Daily Telegraph obituary (31 May 1991)

External links[edit]

Biography portal

Coral Browne Collection at the Performing Arts Collection, Arts Centre Melbourne Coral Browne at the Internet Broadway Database
Internet Broadway Database
Coral Browne on IMDb Coral Browne biography and filmography at the British Film Institute's Screenonline

Awards for Coral Browne

v t e

BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress

Googie Withers
Googie Withers
(1955) Virginia McKenna
Virginia McKenna
(1956) Rosalie Crutchley
Rosalie Crutchley
(1957) Gwen Watford
Gwen Watford
(1959) Catherine Lacey (1960) Billie Whitelaw
Billie Whitelaw
(1961) Ruth Dunning (1962) Brenda Bruce
Brenda Bruce
(1963) Vivien Merchant (1964) Katharine Blake (1965) Gwen Watford
Gwen Watford
(1966) Vanessa Redgrave
Vanessa Redgrave
(1967) Judi Dench
Judi Dench
(1968) Wendy Craig (1969) Margaret Tyzack
Margaret Tyzack
(1970) Annette Crosbie (1971) Patricia Hayes
Patricia Hayes
(1972) Billie Whitelaw
Billie Whitelaw
(1973) Celia Johnson
Celia Johnson
(1974) Lee Remick
Lee Remick
(1975) Annette Crosbie (1976) Siân Phillips
Siân Phillips
(1977) Penelope Keith (1978) Francesca Annis
Francesca Annis
(1979) Cheryl Campbell (1980) Peggy Ashcroft
Peggy Ashcroft
(1981) Judi Dench
Judi Dench
(1982) Beryl Reid
Beryl Reid
(1983) Coral Browne (1984) Peggy Ashcroft
Peggy Ashcroft
(1985) Claire Bloom
Claire Bloom
(1986) Anna Massey
Anna Massey
(1987) Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson
(1988) Thora Hird
Thora Hird
(1989) Diana Rigg
Diana Rigg
(1990) Geraldine McEwan (1991) Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren
(1992) Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren
(1993) Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren
(1994) Juliet Aubrey (1995) Jennifer Ehle
Jennifer Ehle
(1996) Gina McKee (1997) Daniela Nardini (1998) Thora Hird
Thora Hird
(1999) Thora Hird
Thora Hird
(2000) Judi Dench
Judi Dench
(2001) Julie Walters
Julie Walters
(2002) Julie Walters
Julie Walters
(2003) Julie Walters
Julie Walters
(2004) Anamaria Marinca (2005) Anna Maxwell Martin (2006) Victoria Wood
Victoria Wood
(2007) Eileen Atkins (2008) Anna Maxwell Martin (2009) Julie Walters
Julie Walters
(2010) Vicky McClure
Vicky McClure
(2011) Emily Watson
Emily Watson
(2012) Sheridan Smith
Sheridan Smith
(2013) Olivia Colman
Olivia Colman
(2014) Georgina Campbell (2015) Suranne Jones (2016) Sarah Lancashire
Sarah Lancashire

v t e

Saturn Award for Best Actress

Katharine Ross
Katharine Ross
(1974/75) Blythe Danner
Blythe Danner
(1976) Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster
(1977) Margot Kidder
Margot Kidder
(1978) Mary Steenburgen
Mary Steenburgen
(1979) Angie Dickinson
Angie Dickinson
(1980) Karen Allen
Karen Allen
(1981) Sandahl Bergman
Sandahl Bergman
(1982) Louise Fletcher
Louise Fletcher
(1983) Daryl Hannah
Daryl Hannah
(1984) Coral Browne (1985) Sigourney Weaver
Sigourney Weaver
(1986) Jessica Tandy
Jessica Tandy
(1987) Catherine Hicks
Catherine Hicks
(1988) Demi Moore
Demi Moore
(1989/90) Linda Hamilton
Linda Hamilton
(1991) Virginia Madsen
Virginia Madsen
(1992) Andie MacDowell
Andie MacDowell
(1993) Sandra Bullock
Sandra Bullock
/ Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis
(1994) Angela Bassett
Angela Bassett
(1995) Neve Campbell
Neve Campbell
(1996) Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster
(1997) Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore
(1998) Christina Ricci
Christina Ricci
(1999) Téa Leoni
Téa Leoni
(2000) Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman
(2001) Naomi Watts
Naomi Watts
(2002) Uma Thurman
Uma Thurman
(2003) Blanchard Ryan (2004) Naomi Watts
Naomi Watts
(2005) Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman
(2006) Amy Adams
Amy Adams
(2007) Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie
(2008) Zoe Saldana
Zoe Saldana
(2009) Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman
(2010) Kirsten Dunst
Kirsten Dunst
(2011) Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence
(2012) Sandra Bullock
Sandra Bullock
(2013) Rosamund Pike
Rosamund Pike
(2014) Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron
(2015) Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 56800377 LCCN: n85085827 ISNI: 0000 0000 6302 4449 GND: 132382806 BNF: cb139385889 (data) BNE: XX1320412 SN