Kay Walsh in Lease of Life
November 15, 1911
Chelsea, London, UK
|Died||April 16, 2005
Chelsea, London, UK
|Occupation||Actress, dancer, writer|
David Lean (m. 1940–1949; divorced)Elliott Jaques (m. 1953; divorced)
She began her career as a dancer in West End music halls, making her film debut in How's Chances? (1934) in a small part, and had a larger role in another 1934 film, Get Your Man. She continued to act in "quota quickies" films for several years. Walsh first met David Lean, then a film editor, in 1936, during the filming of Secret Of Stamboul. They began a relationship and Walsh broke off her engagement to Pownoll Pellew. Walsh and Lean married on 23 November 1940. She moved on to higher-prestige films with appearances in two Noël Coward-scripted films, In Which We Serve (1942) and This Happy Breed (1944), both directed by Lean. Walsh had campaigned for Lean to receive co-director credit on In Which We Serve.
Walsh contributed dialogue to the 1938 film of Pygmalion, and also devised the scenario for the closing sequence of Lean's film adaptation of Great Expectations (1946), for which she received a writing credit on the latter film. She devised the opening sequence of Lean's adaptation of Oliver Twist (1948), as well as performing the role of "Nancy". Walsh and Lean divorced in 1949, on grounds of infidelity based on Lean's relationship with actress Ann Todd. Walsh continued to work as a character actress in films through the 1950s, including films with Alfred Hitchcock and Ronald Neame. Her own favourite film role was that of the barmaid Miss D. Coker in Neame's 1958 film of The Horse's Mouth, with Alec Guinness.
Between films, she appeared regularly in plays and farces at the Strand and Aldwych theatres, directed by Basil Dean. She was a semi-regular on the 1979 Anglo-Polish TV series Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, and remained active in films until her retirement in 1981. Her last role was in Night Crossing.
|1934||Get Your Man||Mary Vivien|||
|1936||All That Glitters||Eve Payne-Coade|
|1936||The Luck of the Irish||Eileen O'Donnel|
|1936||Secret Of Stamboul||Diana|||
|1937||Keep Fit||Joan Allen|||
|The Last Adventurers||Margaret Arkell|||
|1938||Meet Mr. Penny||Peggy Allgood|
|1938||I See Ice||Judy Gaye|||
|1939||Sons of the Sea||Alison Devar|
|1940||The Middle Watch||Fay Eaton|
|The Chinese Bungalow||Sadie Merivale|
|The Second Mr. Bush||Angela Windel-Todd|
|1942||In Which We Serve||Freda Lewis|||
|1944||This Happy Breed||Queen Gibbons|||
|1947||The October Man||Molly Newman|
|1948||Vice Versa||Florence Verlane|||
|1950||Last Holiday||Mrs Poole|||
|The Magnet||Mrs Brent|||
|Stage Fright||Nellie Goode|||
|1951||Encore||Miss Molly Reid|||
|The Magic Box||Hotel Receptionist|
|1953||Young Bess||Mrs Ashley|||
|1954||The Rainbow Jacket||Barbara|||
|Lease of Life||Vera Thorne|||
|1955||Cast a Dark Shadow||Charlotte Young|||
|1958||The Horse's Mouth||Dee Coker|||
|1960||Tunes of Glory||Mary Titterington|||
|1961||Greyfriars Bobby: The True Story of a Dog||Mrs Brown|
|1962||Reach for Glory||Mrs Curlew|||
|Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow||Mrs Waggett|
|1964||Circus World||Flo Hunt|
|The Beauty Jungle|||
|1965||He Who Rides a Tiger||Mrs Woodley|||
|A Study in Terror||Cathy Eddowes|
|1966||The Witches||Stephanie Bax|||
|1970||Connecting Rooms||Mrs Brent|
|The Virgin and the Gypsy||Aunt Cissie|||
|Taste of Excitement||Miss Barrow|
|1972||The Ruling Class||Mrs Piggot-Jones|||
|1982||Night Crossing||Doris' mother|||
- McFarlane, Brian (2009). "Walsh, Kathleen (Kay) (1911-2005)" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
- "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved January 2, 2011.
- Tom Vallance (27 April 2005). "Kay Walsh (obituary)". The Independent. London. Retrieved 21 December 2008.
- "Kay Walsh (obituary)". Telegraph. London. 29 April 2005. Retrieved 21 December 2008.
- Brian Baxter (29 April 2005). "Kay Walsh (obituary)". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 21 December 2008.
- "The Rainbow Jacket". studiocanal.co.uk. StudioCanal. Retrieved 3 July 2016.