Moira Lister

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Moira Lister
Moira Lister 2 Allan Warren.jpg
Born (1923-08-06)6 August 1923
Cape Town, South Africa
Died 27 October 2007(2007-10-27) (aged 84)
Cape Town, South Africa
Occupation Actress
Years active 1947-2007
Spouse(s) Vicomte d’Orthez (1951-1989) (his death) (2 children)
Children Chantal

Moira Lister de Gachassin-Lafite, Vicomtesse d’Orthez (6 August 1923 – 27 October 2007) was a South African-born, English film, stage and television actress, and writer.

Early life[edit]

Born in Cape Town to Major James Lister and Margaret (née Hogan), Lister was educated at the Parktown Convent of the Holy Family, Johannesburg.[1]


She began her acting career on stage in South Africa and then went on to act in the London theatre at the age of 18.[2] Lister began working in films in 1944, and appeared in such films as The Limping Man (1953), The Cruel Sea (also 1953) and The Deep Blue Sea (1955).

She had a regular role in the first series of the BBC radio comedy Hancock's Half Hour in 1954-55 [3] and was also one of the girl friends in A Life of Bliss starring George Cole as David Bliss, a perpetual bachelor. She starred in the BBC television series The Whitehall Worrier and The Very Merry Widow from 1967 to 1968.[4] (Later series of this programme were titled The Very Merry Widow — and How!) Lister also appeared on various other British TV series such as Danger Man and The Avengers (episode "The See-Through Man", 1967). In 1980, she made a guest appearance as film star Gloria Robbins in the sitcom Only When I Laugh.

Lister was performing until three years before her death, touring with her highly successful one-woman show about Noël Coward.


She belonged to the British Catholic Stage Guild.

Naledi Award[edit]

She had been awarded the Naledi Award, a lifetime achievement award for her services to the theatre in South Africa.[5]


Personal life[edit]

In the summer of 1946, Lister was dated by Neville Heath, a divorced former South African Air Force Captain, the same year he committed the murders of two other women for which he was hanged.[6]

In 1951, Moira Lister married Jacques de Gachassin-Lafite Vicomte d’Orthez, a French officer of the Spahis, owner of a champagne vineyard and hero of the Rif War; they had two daughters, Chantal and Christobel. Lister also had two grand-daughters, Christina d'Orthez and Marina d'Orthez.


Moira Lister died at the age of 84 in 2007. Both she and her husband are interred in the churchyard of St Edward's Catholic church in Sutton Green, Surrey.


  • The Very Merry Moira (1971)



  1. ^ Moira Lister (obituary) 30 October 2007. The Telegraph.
  2. ^ Jani Allan (1980s). Face Value. Longstreet. 
  3. ^ Moira Lister (obituary) The Guardian. 30 October 2007
  4. ^ Moira Lister (obituary) The Times. 30 October 2007
  5. ^ Moira Lister (obituary) The Independent. 29 October 2007
  6. ^ 'The Very Merry Moira' (1969) by Moira Lister.

External links[edit]