FRIENDS & CONTEMPORARIES
- Names that are underlined
are linked to further pages.
- Noël Coward had friends
from all walks of life. Although his carefully crafted public
image was one of a sophisticated socialite and wit, he was in
fact a very hard-working writer and performer. He certainly wanted
to know all the 'right people' to help him establish himself
and his career but he gave generously of his time to newcomers
- Jeffrey Amhurst Close
early friend of Coward. They first met at a party held by Ned
(Earl) Lathom in his Park Lane Flat. The six hours of home movies
found in Charles Castle's stables were largely shot by Amhurst
and Coward on their travels together abroad in the 1930s and
Ashton (Clemence Dane)
Artist, writer and close friend from the 1920's until her death
- Fred &
Adele Astaire They met Coward backstage after their
appearance in 'The Love Letter' in New York during his first
visit there, became firm friends and, according to Tim Satchell,
'whisked them around the night clubs, explaining to each maitre
d' that the Astaires were the most important people in New York,
and encouraging Adele to promote him as the most famous man in
England, thus ensuring a constant supply of complimentary champagne
- Gladys Calthrop The set designer for most of his theatrical
productions and a close friend.
- Joyce Carey A
very close actor friend who was with him at Buckingham Palace
when he became a knight.
- Lesley Cole Secretary and lifelong friend.
- Gladys Cooper Sheridan Morley's grandmother and a
close friend of Cowards starred in 'Mrs. Tanqueray' at The Playhouse'.
- Sir Anthony
and Beatrice Eden
(Becket) Conbservative policitian
and his wife.
- Edna Ferber 1887 - 1968 Author of 'Showboat' and
a friend of Coward's who met him when he first went to New York
Lunt & Lynn Fontanne
Actors and close friends of Coward. He wrote 'Design for Living'
Gielgud (Sir) Coward's
understudy for The Vortex who eventually took over the part.
One of the finest English actors of the 20th Century who initially
disliked Coward but became a good friend.
accompanist for 12 years. Click here
for more information
Hunting ex royal
footman and assistant secretary for a short time to Cole Lesley
in Les Avants.
Johnson Actress and close friend who starred in two of Coward's
most popular films.
- Duke &
Duchess of Kent Close
Royal friends. The early death of the Duke recorded as a great
blow to Coward.
Kenyon - Actor/Manager
of Lathom Ned Lathom
was a patron and friend of Coward whose family home was near
Burscough, Lancashire at Lathom Hall and Blythe Hall. Lathom
baled Coward out financially on many occasions including the
famous purchase of songs he did not really want and the gift
of £200 to keep away the brokers men in 1921.
Lawrence Noel met
Gertie in 1913 on a train to Liverpool where he and she were
to play in Hannele. The start of a lifelong partnership that
prompted Noel to write plays with her in mind. 'Private Lives'
proved the ultimate vehicle for their combined talents. Her films
- The Glass Menagerie, (1950)
- Amanda Wingfield
- Stage Door Canteen (1943) -
Stage Door Canteen Star
Show Business at War (1943) - Herself - aka The March of Time
Volume IX, Issue 10, (1943)
- Men Are Not Gods (1936) - Barbara
Rembrandt (1936) - Geertje Dirx
Mimi (1935) - Mimi
No Funny Business (1933) - Yvonne
Aren't We All? (1932) - Margot
Lord Camber's Ladies (1932) - Lady Camber
- Battle of Paris, The (1929)
- Georgie - aka The Gay Lady, (1929)
- Last Musical play ' King and
I' - playing Anna
'Boo' Laye one of
Coward's most talented and glamorous leading ladies, Evelyn 'Boo'
Laye, who was born 100 years ago on July 10, 1900.
- Beatrice Lillie An actress and close friend of Cowards
who featured in many of his plays in the 30's
- Lorn Lorraine Coward's secretary and 'effectively
his manager from 1924 until her death'.
- James Mason and Pamela Kellino James acted in Coward plays under his direction
but was famously rejected for a part in 'In Which We Serve' because
of his pacifist views. Sheridan Morley says that the Masons lived
fairly near to Coward at Les Avants but the two kept themselves
apart. Mason also accepted the part Coward rejected of Humbert
in 'Lolita' - Coward was worried about the impact on his public
Maugham Playwright and novelist. Sheridan Morley
says that Maugham was the only playwright apart from Noel to
have had four plays running simultaneously during the first half
of the century. The biography of Maugham by Ted Morgan has lots
of Coward references.
- Kenneth More Another actor friend and Jamaican visitor.
Morley Broadcaster, journalist
and theatrical director, son of Robert Morley, the actor, friend
of Coward and asked by him to write his biography.
- Lord Louis
and Edwina Mountbatten
Without Lord Louis it is unlikely that the film 'In Which We
Serve' would ever have been made.
- David and
Primula Niven Jamaican
visitors and friends.
- Ivor Novello 1893 - 1951 A theatrical colleague, 'friendly rival', and close
friend for 35 years. Their first meeting is recounted in 'Present
Indicative'. Biographies: Ivor Novello - A biography by James
Harding, 1987, publ.Whallen ISBN 0-491-03385-0, Ivor Novello
by Peter Noble with a forward by Noel Coward, 1951, publ. The
Falcon Press and Ivor -The Story of an Achievement - A Biography
of Ivor Novello by W. Macqueen-Pope, 1951, publ. Hutchinson.
There is a Novello site at http://hometown.aol.com/Novello/index.html
Olivier & Vivien Leigh Read 'Firefly'
to find out what these two friends were doing at the poolside
- Graham Payn Close
friend, partner, and guardian of the Noel Coward Estate since
Noel Coward's death.
- Michael Redgrave One of Coward's early friends who also
visited him in Jamaica. Corin Redgrave talks about his father's
relationship with Coward in his book ' Michael Redgrave - My
Sinatra One of Coward's
US friends who came to at least two notable first nights - Ace
of Clubs (with Ava Gardner) and the Las Vegas cabaret.
- Ginette Spanier The Directrice of the House of Balmain
whose Paris home was Coward's first port of call in Paris. He
wrote the introduction to her book, 'It Isn't All Mink', about
her fraught passage through the war years and her post-war role
with Pierre Balmain.
Philip Streatfield An artist who befriended Coward and
took him on holiday to Cornwall. Little is known of their relationship
but Philip Hoare in his Coward biography says - about a holiday
Coward took with Streatfeild and Sydney Lomer; " It apparently
did not seem odd to Violet Coward that two grown men should want
her fourteen-year-old son as a companion. She was either innocent
of the implications or she felt that their class made the association
Sutherland & Richard Bonynge
One of Coward's neighbours at Les Avants, Switzerland. Coward
guested on her album of his songs - a somehwat reedy interpretation
of The Master's songs (Album details: London label, 5992 or in
stereo OS 25992 released in 1966)
Taylor The model for Judith Bliss in Hay Fever
Woollcott Noel Coward
called him a "caged cobra." Harpo Marx thought he looked
like something that had gotten loose from a Macy's Thanksgiving
Day Parade. Plump, owl-faced, acid-tongued Alexander Woollcott,
one of the highest-paid critics in America by 1922, invited mockery
just as he delivered it.
Woolley Cole Porter
is acknowledged as one of the greatest songwriters of the twentieth
century. His contribution to popular music is without doubt but
if were not for a lifelong friend some of his numbers may never
have been written. 'Miss Otis Regrets' and 'It's de-lovely' owing
their genesis, in part if not wholly, to the man some referred
to as the Beard but movie audiences around the world knew as
the irascible, witty, urbane curmudgeon Monty Woolley.
- Esme Wynne Performed with Coward in 'Where the
Rainbow Ends' and was one of his earliest close friends. In the
view of some, her early success as an actress and writer created
a jealousy that drove Coward to achieve in both fields.
Copyright - The Noel Coward Society -