Greta Gynt

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Greta Gynt
Greta Gynt 1940.jpg
Gynt in 1940
Born
Margrethe Woxholt

(1916-11-15)15 November 1916
Oslo, Norway
Died2 April 2000(2000-04-02) (aged 83)
London, England, UK
OccupationActress
Years active1934–1963
Spouse(s)Christopher Mann (1936 – divorced)
Wilfred Anthony John Orchard (1942 – divorced)
Noel James Trevenen Holland (1948 – 1957) one son born 1952 Charles J T Thoresen Holland
Frederick Moore (1957–1983; his death)

Greta Gynt (15 November 1916 – 2 April 2000), born Margrethe Woxholt, was a Norwegian singer, dancer and actress.[1] She is remembered for her starring roles in the British classic films The Dark Eyes of London, Mr. Emmanuel, Take My Life, Dear Murderer and The Ringer.[2][3]

She played lead roles in minor British films in the 1930s and early 40s, and by the late 40s she appeared in major films. The Rank Organisation tried to market her as the British Jean Harlow.[4] She also attempted an unsuccessful career in the US, absurdly miscast in MGM's Soldiers Three as a platinum blonde with made-up bosom, and went back to Britain afterwards.

Her most famous films are the 1939 Bela Lugosi film The Dark Eyes of London as the tough heroine, heroic as an underground leader in Tomorrow We Live, touching as Jewish Elsie Silver in Mr. Emmanuel (1944), forceful as loyal wife proving her husband's innocence in the thriller Take My Life, a promiscuous murderess in Dear Murderer, both in 1947, and as a nightclub singer singing "The Shady Lady Spiv" in Easy Money (1948).

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Greta Gynt was born Margrethe Woxholt in Oslo, Norway. As a child, she moved with her parents to Britain and started dancing lessons at the age of 5. Eventually, they moved back to Norway. At age 12, she started as a dancer at the Chat Noir shows in Oslo.

After the Swedish film Sången till henne (1934), her mother, costume designer Kirsten Woxholt, felt Gynt would have better luck in Britain.[5] She got a letter of recommendation from Fox Film and moved back to the UK.

Move to the UK[edit]

Gynt had a minor role in It Happened in Paris (1935) and a larger one in Boys Will Be Girls (1937) and The Last Curtain (1938). She was in Second Best Bed (1938), a Tom Walls farce; The Last Barricade (1938); Sexton Blake and the Hooded Terror (1938) with Tod Slaughter; Too Dangerous to Live (1939); and She Couldn't Say No (1939).

Gynt had the female lead in The Arsenal Stadium Mystery (1939); The Dark Eyes of London (1939) with Bela Lugosi; Bulldog Sees It Through (1940) and The Middle Watch (1940) with Jack Buchanan; Two for Danger (1940) with Barry K. Barnes; Room for Two (1940) with Vic Oliver; and Crook's Tour (1940) with Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne.

She continued with leading roles in The Common Touch (1941); Tomorrow We Live (1943); It's That Man Again (1944) with Tommy Handley; and Mr. Emmanuel (1944) with Felix Aylmer.[6]

Gynt supported Sid Field in London Town (1946), a notorious big budget flop.

Stardom[edit]

Gynt was given star parts in the crime films Dear Murderer (1947), and Take My Life (1947). She was top billed in the comedy Easy Money (1948), and in the drama The Calendar (1948).

For a time she was under personal contract to Robert Siodmak.[7]

Gynt was also in Mr. Perrin and Mr. Traill (1949) and Shadow of the Eagle (1950); she later successfully sued the makers of the latter for money owed.[8] She supported George Raft in I'll Get You for This (1951), partly shot in Italy.

Her British films started to be regularly played on American television. This led to her receiving an offer from MGM to star in Soldiers Three.[9]

Back in Britain, Gynt returned to "B" movies: Whispering Smith Hits London (1952), The Ringer (1952), I'm a Stranger (1953), Three Steps in the Dark (1954), Forbidden Cargo (1954), Devil's Point (1954), See How They Run (1955), The Blue Peter (1955) and My Wife's Family (1956).

She had a support part in Fortune Is a Woman (1957) and the lead in Morning Call (1957), and The Crowning Touch (1959).

Gynt had a support role in Bluebeard's Ten Honeymoons (1959).

Her last film was a Columbia Pictures release, The Runaway 1963 (released 1966) in which she played the lead.[10][11]

Personal life[edit]

Reportedly, she adopted the name Gynt after she heard a pianist playing Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite in a hotel in London in the late 1930s. In her 1938 radio interview with NRK she states her husband exclaimed "What's this?" and her name was born.

Gynt was married four times. Her last husband was Frederick Moore, a plastic surgeon, who died in 1983.[4] She semi-retired after marrying him and was out of the public spotlight by the mid-1960s. She was the sister of second unit photographer Egil "Gil" Woxholt (1926–1991), who photographed scenes in the 1965 film The Heroes of Telemark, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, A View to a Kill, and many others.

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ NRK. "Greta Gynt".
  2. ^ "Greta Gynt".
  3. ^ III, Harris M. Lentz (1 June 2001). "Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2000: Film, Television, Radio, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cartoons and Pop Culture". McFarland – via Google Books.
  4. ^ a b Bergan, Ronald (4 April 2000). "Greta Gynt". The Guardian.
  5. ^ "Greta Gynt – Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos". AllMovie.
  6. ^ "Well Known Novel Comes to Screen". The Advocate. Tasmania, Australia. 14 February 1947. p. 6. Retrieved 27 October 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ "Greta Gynt slimmed in Hollywood". The Sun (11, 996) (LATE FINAL EXTRA ed.). Sydney. 8 July 1948. p. 17. Retrieved 27 October 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  8. ^ "FILM STAR GETS £4,704 DAMAGES". The Barrier Miner. LXIV (17, 608). New South Wales, Australia. 8 November 1951. p. 3. Retrieved 27 October 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  9. ^ TV Helps 'B' Queen Scale Movie Heights: Britain's Greta Gynt Has Hollywood Agog Over Her Video Popularity Quickie Star Quickly Wins TV Audience Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]12 Nov 1950: E1.
  10. ^ "Greta Gynt – Movies and Filmography". AllMovie.
  11. ^ "The Runaway (1964)".

External links[edit]