June 29, 1901
|Died||26 February 1976
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Ben Ray Redman (1926–1961; his death)|
Frieda Inescort (born 29 June 1901, Edinburgh, Scotland – died 26 February 1976, Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California) was a Scottish-born actress best known for creating the role of Sorel Bliss in Noël Coward's play Hay Fever. She played the shingled lady in John Galsworthy's 1927 Broadway production Escape.
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland as Frieda Wrightman, she was the daughter of Scots-born journalist John "Jock" Wrightman and actress Elaine Inescourt, who was of German and Polish descent. They married in 1899 but parted ways when their daughter was still a young child.
Frieda Wrightman adopted her mother's surname as her professional name and moved to Hollywood and made her film debut in The Dark Angel (1935). Her other films include Mary of Scotland (1936), The Letter (1940), The Trial of Mary Dugan (1941), You'll Never Get Rich (1941) and A Place in the Sun (1951).
She appeared with Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson as the conniving Caroline Bingley in the 1940 film version of Pride and Prejudice. She had a leading role in Call It A Day, a 1937 film in which she appeared with Olivia Dehavilland, Bonita Granville, Roland Young, and Ian Hunter. She appeared in at least one episode of Perry Mason, as Hope Quentin in "The Case of the Jealous Journalist" (season 5, 1961).
On 2 August 1961, she and her husband since 1926, Ben Ray Redman, dined out. Redman had been despondent for some time. Returning home, he went upstairs to bed. He then called Frieda, informing her that he was depressed over the state of the world and had taken pills. By the time the paramedics arrived, he had died, a suicide at the age of 65. He had been working as a writer for the Saturday Review and was also involved in the translation of European classics into English.
Inescort had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the 1930s. Her disease accelerated after her husband's death, and she was using a wheelchair by the mid 1960s. On 7 July 1964, her estranged mother, British actress Elaine Inescourt, died in Brighton, England, aged 87. Frieda Inescort worked as much as possible for the multiple sclerosis association. Often seen in the Hollywood area seated in her wheelchair, she collected donations outside supermarkets and in malls. Inescort died at the Motion Picture Country Home at Woodland Hills, California, from the disease she had battled since 1932, aged 74.
- Another Dawn (1937)
- The Great O'Malley (1937)
- Convicted Woman (1940)
- Pride and Prejudice (1940)
- The Letter (1940)
- It Comes Up Love (1943)
- The Return of the Vampire (1944)
- The Alligator People (1959)
- Frieda Inescort at the Internet Movie Database
- Frieda Inescort image, classicimages.com; accessed 10 June 2014.
- Frieda Inescort at Find a Grave
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