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|Born||Constance Vera Stevens
14 February 1916
Holloway, London, England, UK
|Died||24 September 2006
London, England, UK
|Other names||Dowager Lady Oranmore and Browne|
|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.
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.
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
- Film Star Who's Who on the Screen 1938. London: Amalgamated Press. December 1937.
- Tom Vallance (3 October 2006). "Husky-voiced, sultry beauty of Forties thrillers who retired from acting to marry a peer". The Independent.