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Between then and 1945 she appeared in nine feature films, working out of contract for almost all of the major studios in Hollywood.

These included ‘Jane Eyre’, ‘Frenchman’s Creek’ and director Clarence Brown’s Academy Award winning ‘National Velvet’, all 1944 the latter with teenage daughter Angela Lansbury and noteworthy also for the first starring role of twelve year old Elizabeth Taylor.

He found work readily in the now hectic confines of Hollywood, making three films in 1937, the most significant in terms of credit rating being director Albert S. In the last two years of the thirties he had a crash course in screen character playing, working on almost every conceivable narrative theme, including the French period swashbuckler, ‘If I Were King’, with Ronald Colman and Basil Rathbone and a western ,‘Ride a Crooked Mile’, both 1938. Wellman’s star studded and Oscar nominated desert epic, ‘Beau Geste’ 1939, but still entered the forties at the lower end of an increasingly expansive actors stockpile.

Following three largely forgettable films, the best of which was the Abbott and Costello vehicle ‘It Aint Hay’, he saw his star rise briefly with director Andrew L.

She found scraps of work on television and made her first small screen appearance as a dressmaker in an episode of the enduring drama series ‘Studio One’ in 1956.

Further infrequent guest appearances during the early sixties included top rated series such as ‘The Twilight Zone’ 1962, ‘Dr Kildare’ 1963 and ‘My Favourite Martian’ 1964.

He made four more appearances on Broadway in the thirties before his departure once again to Hollywood, where his stay this time would be much longer than he probably anticipated.

Before that however he was part of a huge cast convened at the National Theatre New York in 1934 for Sean O’Casey’s drama ‘Within the Gates’, which ran for a total of 141 performances and followed this with the role of Thomas Murphy in Elsie Schauffler’s ‘Parnell’ at the Ethel Barrymore in 1935.

Among his better theatre work in the latter half of the twenties were, ‘Outside Looking In’, a fast moving comedy presented first at the Greenwich Village Theatre and then the 39th St Theatre in 1925 and his Johnny Boyle in ‘Juno and the Paycock’ at the Mayfair Theatre in 1926.

The Hollywood he returned to in 1929 had now changed beyond recognition and was attracting the great and good from the world of theatre.

Stone’s superior comedy ‘Hi Diddle Diddle’, starring fading silent star Pola Negri and a co-starring role as Dr.

Harvey Keating in the cult horror ‘Revenge of the Zombies’, all 1943.

A brief return to films in 1964 saw her bow out in style in two successful musicals, with a marginal role in ‘The Unsinkable Molly Brown’ and as Lady Boxington in George Cukor’s oscar winning ‘My Fair Lady’, featuring the surprisingly harmonious partnership of Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn.

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