Sally Gray

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For the British television presenter, see Sally Gray (television presenter).
Sally Gray
Sally Gray1.jpg
Born Constance Vera Stevens
(1916-02-14)14 February 1916
Holloway, London, England, UK
Died 24 September 2006(2006-09-24) (aged 90)
London, England, UK
Other names Dowager Lady Oranmore and Browne
Years active 1930–1952
Spouse(s) Dominick Browne, 4th Baron Oranmore and Browne (1951–2002) his death

Constance Vera Browne, Baroness Oranmore and Browne (née Stevens; 14 February 1916 – 24 September 2006), commonly known as Sally Gray, was an English film actress of the 1930s and 1940s.[1]

Early life[edit]

Her mother was a ballet dancer and her grandmother was a "principal boy" in the 1870s. Born Constance Vera Stevens in Holloway, London, Gray made her stage debut at the age of twelve in All God's Chillun at the Globe Theatre in London, playing a black boy.

She then went back to school for two years, training at Fay Compton’s School of Dramatic Art and then became well established in the theatre before embarking on a series of light comedies, musicals and thrillers in the 1930s.


Gray began in films in her teens with a bit part in School for Scandal (1930) and returned in 1935, making nearly twenty films, culminating in her sensitive role in Brian Desmond Hurst’s romantic melodrama Dangerous Moonlight (1941). The same year she appeared in the West End musical Lady Behave which had been written by her co-star Stanley Lupino. She was off the screen for several years owing to an alleged nervous breakdown and then returned in 1946 to make her strongest bid for stardom.

This latter involved a series of melodramas. They include the hospital thriller Green for Danger (1946), Carnival (1946), and The Mark of Cain (1948). She made two films that, in different ways, capture some of the essence of postwar Britain: Alberto Cavalcanti's They Made Me a Fugitive (1947) (as a gangster's moll) and the stagebound Silent Dust (1948). She also appeared in Edward Dmytryk's film noir piece Obsession (1949), in which she plays Robert Newton’s faithless wife. Her final film was the spy yarn Escape Route (1952).

RKO executives, impressed with Gray, authorised producer William Sistrom to offer her a long-term contract if she would move to the United States. John Paddy Carstairs, director of The Saint in London, also thought she could be a star. However, she declined the offer and instead retired in 1952 after secretly marrying The 4th Baron Oranmore and Browne, an Anglo-Irish peer, and lived in County Mayo, Ireland. In the early 1960s, they returned to England and settled in a flat in Eaton Place, Belgravia, London. They had no children. Lady Oranmore and Browne died in September 2006.

She is buried at Ashbrittle, Somerset. There is a plaque erected in the chancel of St John the Baptist parish church there to her memory.



Year Title Role Notes
1930 The School for Scandal Bit Part (uncredited)
1935 The Dictator Minor Role Released as Loves of a Dictator in USA, (uncredited)
Cross Currents Sally Croker
Radio Pirates
Lucky Days Alice
Checkmate Jean Nicholls
1936 Cheer Up Sally Gray
Calling the Tune Margaret Gordon
1937 Cafe Colette Jill Manning Released as Danger in Paris in USA
Saturday Night Revue Mary Dorland
1938 Lightning Conductor Mary
Over She Goes Kitty
Mr. Reeder in Room 13 Claire Kent Released as Mystery of Room 13 in USA
Hold My Hand Helen Milchester
1939 Q Planes Minor role Released as Clouds Over Europe in USA, (uncredited)
Sword of Honour Lady Moira Talmadge
The Saint in London Penny Parker
The Lambeth Walk Sally Released as Me and My Girl in USA
1940 A Window in London Vivienne Released as Lady in Distress in USA
Olympic Honeymoon Miss America
1941 The Saint's Vacation Mary Langdon
Dangerous Moonlight Carol Peters Radetzky Released as Suicide Squadron in USA
1946 Green for Danger Nurse Linley
Carnival Jenny Pearl
1947 They Made Me a Fugitive Sally Released as I Became a Criminal in USA
The Mark of Cain Sarah Bonheur
1949 Silent Dust Angela Rawley
Obsession Storm Riordan Released as The Hidden Room in USA
1952 Escape Route Joan Miller Released as I'll Let You in USA


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