Renée Houston

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Renee Houston (24 July 1902 – 9 February 1980) was a Scottish comedy actress and revue artist who appeared in television and film roles.[1]

Born in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, as Katherina Valarita Veronica Murphey Gribbin [Houston was her stage name],[2] she toured music halls and revue with her sister Billie Houston as the "Houston Sisters".

In 1926, the sisters made a short musical film, the script of which Renee had written. It was produced by Lee De Forest, whose process, Phonofilm, enabled a soundtrack to be played alongside the film (a year before The Jazz Singer).

Houston married three times, the second was to the actor Patrick Aherne, the brother of Brian Aherne. They had four children: Patrick Anthony and Alan Brian, and Teri and Trevor (both adopted).[3] Her third husband was the actor Donald Stewart.

In her later years, she specialised in "battleaxe" roles, notably as shop steward Vic Spanner's (Kenneth Cope) formidable mother in Carry On at Your Convenience (1971). She published her autobiography in 1974 which was entitled Don't Fence Me In.

Houston was also in the early episodes of radio's The Clitheroe Kid and a regular guest on radio panel show The Petticoat Line chaired by Anona Winn.

She died in London at the age of 77 on 9 February 1980.

Selected filmography[edit]




  1. ^
  2. ^ Tavy Aherne, granddaughter
  3. ^ Tavy Aherne, granddaughter
  4. ^ Ross, Robert (1998) [1996]. The Carry On Companion. London: Batsford. p. 38. ISBN 0-7134-8439-X. 
  5. ^ Ross 1998, p. 45
  6. ^ Ross 1998, p. 99

External links[edit]