Frieda Inescort

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Frieda Inescort
Frieda inescort.jpg
Born Frieda Wrightman
(1901-06-29)29 June 1901
Edinburgh, Scotland
Died 26 February 1976(1976-02-26) (aged 74)
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1935–1961
Spouse(s) Ben Ray Redman (1926–1961; his death)

Frieda Inescort (29 June 1901 – 26 February 1976) 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.[1]

Early years[edit]

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, as Frieda Wrightman, she was the daughter of Scots-born journalist John "Jock" Wrightman and actress Elaine Inescourt,[2] who was of German and Polish descent. They married in 1899 but parted ways when their daughter was still a young child.

While she lived in England, Inescort wrote for a newspaper in London[3] and worked as secretary to Lord Astor.[4] (Another source says that she was secretary to Lady Astor.)[5]

After coming to the United States, she not only acted but also worked as associate editor of The Exporter's Encyclopedia.[4]


Inescort's acting debut came in The Truth About Blayds (1922), which was presented at the Booth Theatre on Broadway.[2] Her other Broadway credits include You and I (1923), The Woman on the Jury (1923), Windows (1923), The Fake (1924), Ariadne (1925), Hay Fever (1925), Love in a Mist (1926), Mozart (1926), Trelawny of the "Wells" (1927), Escape (1927-1928), Napi (1931), Company's Coming (1931), Springtime for Henry (1931-1932), When Ladies Meet (1933), False Dreams, Farewell (1934), Lady Jane (1934), Soldier's Wife (1944-1945), The Mermaids Singing (1945-1946), and You Never Can Tell (1948).[6]


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).[1]

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 de Havilland, 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).[1]

Personal life[edit]

On 2 August 1961, she and her husband since 1926, Ben Ray Redman, dined out. Redman had been despondent for some time. Returning home before her, he went upstairs to bed. He then called Frieda, informing her that he was depressed over the state of the world and had taken 12 sedative pills. By the time the paramedics arrived, he had died, a suicide at the age of 65.[7] He had been working as a writer for the Saturday Review and was also involved in the translation of European classics into English.[citation needed]

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 worked as much as possible for the funding of multiple sclerosis research. She was often seen in the Hollywood area seated in her wheelchair, she collected donations outside supermarkets and in malls.[citation needed]


Inescort died at the Motion Picture Country Home at Woodland Hills, California, from multiple sclerosis, a disease she had battled since 1932, aged 74.[1]

Partial filmography[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Frieda Inescort on Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ a b "Frieda Inescort Coming to City; a Varied Career". Pennsylvania, Wilkes-Barre. The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, the Evening News. 9 April 1924. p. 4. Retrieved 31 January 2016 – via  open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ Hale, Marian (26 May 1922). "Could You Fill Two Jobs? This Girl Can -- She Acts Nights, Writes by Day". New York, Olean. Times Herald. p. 22. Retrieved January 30, 2016 – via  open access publication – free to read
  4. ^ a b Maurel, Mabel (30 April 1922). "Viscount Astor's Former Secretary Now Actress in "Truth About Bladys"". New York, Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. p. 47. Retrieved 30 January 2016 – via  open access publication – free to read
  5. ^ "An Unaffected Movie Actress". Kansas, Hutchinson. The Hutchinson News. 14 August 1936. p. 5. Retrieved 31 January 2016 – via  open access publication – free to read
  6. ^ "Frieda Inescort profile". Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
  7. ^ "Writer Redman Takes Own Life". Wisconsin, Oshkosh. Oshkosh Daily Northwestern. 3 August 1961. p. 9. Retrieved 31 January 2016 – via  open access publication – free to read