Gertrude Lawrence

Gertrude Lawrence
Gertrude Lawrence

IMDB entry:

Her last role was as Anna Leonowens in the original Broadway stage production of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II‘s “The King and I”. She discovered she had cancer during the early part of the stage run, and died the year after the show opened. One of her last requests was that Yul Brynner, her leading man in the show, be upgraded in the posters and playbills from below to above-the title billing, sharing star billing with whomever would play Anna in other performances.Frequently appeared on stage opposite childhood friend, Sir Noel Coward.

Entertained allied troops in Europe as part of ENSA during World War II.
Is buried in the pink satin hooped ball gown that she sang “Shall We Dance?” in from the Broadway production of “The King and I”.
Child from first marriage: daughter Pamela
Won Broadway’s 1952 Tony Award as Best Actress (Musical) for “The King and I.”
Biography in: “American National Biography”. Supplement 1, pp. 347-348. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
The character of Lorraine Sheldon in the Moss Hart / George S. Kaufman play “The Man Who Came to Dinner” (later filmed as The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942), was based on Lawrence.
Portrayed by Julie Andrews in the 1968 biopic, Star! (1968).
Was considered for the role of Margo Channing in All About Eve (1950) after Claudette Colbert was forced to pull out of the project due to back injury. However the part was given to Bette Davis, who went on to receive a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance.
Of Danish-Irish ancestry, she started as a child dancer in the pantomime ‘Dick Whittington’ at the age of ten. Her first major success was in Andre Charlot’s Revue at the Times Square Theatre (1924-1925), co-starring Beatrice Lillie and Jack Buchanan.

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