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Gertrude Lawrence Biography
Gertrude Lawrence (June 4, 1898 - September 6, 1952) was an actress and musical performer popular in the 1930s-40s, appearing on stage in London and on Broadway, and in several films. She was particularly associated with the light comedy of Noel Coward, and noted for her starring role in The King and I.

She was born Gertrude Alexandria Dagmar Lawrence-Klasen in London, England, and was a professional performer by the age of ten. She understudied Bea Lillie in Andre Charlot's London revues on the 1920s, and became their star when they were brought to Broadway in 1924 and 1926. She was one of the foremost comediennes of her time, capable of playing both slapstick clowns and elegant ladies. Her great charisma is attested to by those who saw her onstage, but her films fail to convey her charm.

She married Francis Gordon-Howley in 1924, and they had a daughter, Pamela. They divorced in 1927. She married Richard Aldrich in 1940. She is also thought to have had lesbian affairs, notably with Daphne Du Maurier.

Her onstage persona inspired composers and writers. George and Ira Gershwin wrote Oh Kay for her, with the song "Someone to Watch Over Me", which became a standard. In this play she was the first British actress to create a lead role on Broadway. Cole Porter wrote Nymph Errant for her to star in in London in 1929. Noel Coward wrote Private Lives and Tonight at 8:30 (a cycle of nine one-act musicals and plays) for her.

She starred as Liza Elliot in Kurt Weill & Ira Gershwin's psychoanalytic musical Lady in the Dark, and was a popular entertainer of the troops in World War II.

She won the 1952 Tony Award for Best Actress for her role as "Anna" in Rogers and Hammerstein's The King and I.

She died of cervical cancer in New York, New York and was buried in her pink "Shall We Dance" gown from the second act of The King and I in Lakeview Cemetery, in Upton, Massachusetts.

In the 1968 film, Star!, based on her life, Gertrude Lawrence was played by Julie Andrews.

Andre Charlot's Revue of 1924 - 1924
Charlot Revue - 1925
Oh, Kay! - 1926
Treasure Girl - 1928
Candle Light - 1929
The International Review - 1930
Private Lives - 1931
Tonight at 8:30 - 1936
Hands Across the Sea
Red Peppers
The Astonished Heart
We Were Dancing
Shadow Play
Fumed Oak
Ways and Means
Family Album
Still Life
Susan and God - 1937
Lady in the Dark - 1941, revived 1943
Gratefully Yours -1942
Pygmalion - 1945
The King and I - 1951

The Battle of Paris - 1929
Aren't We All? - 1932
Lord Camber's Ladies - 1932
No Funny Business - 1933
Mimi - 1935
Rembrandt - 1936
Men Are Not Gods - 1936
Brief Encounter - 1945
Catherine the Great - 1948
The Glass Menagerie - 1950
Gertrude Lawrence Resources
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Gertrude Lawrence.