Original London Production : 22nd December 1960 – 28th January 1961, at Phoenix Theatre, London.
Leading Actors : Michael Wilding, Avice Landon
Born in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England on July 23, 1912, Wilding became a commercial artist after leaving school. He gained employment in the art department of a film studio in London in 1933, and he was soon approached by producers to become a movie star-in-training due to his dashing good looks. After debuting at age 21 in Bitter Sweet (1933), Wilding worked steadily in British pictures for nearly three decades. Though never a star of the first rank, he had leading roles in numerous films, including a part in the classic In Which We Serve (1942). Wilding often co-starred with Anna Neagle.
What really made him a star was appearing opposite Anna Neagle in Piccadilly Incident (1946). Director Herbert Wilcox had wanted Rex Harrison or John Mills and had only taken Wilding reluctantly. However, once he saw the rushes he signed Wilding to a long-term contract. Piccadilly Incident was the second most popular film at the British box office in 1946. After co-starring with Sally Gray in Carnival (1946), Wilding was reunited with Neagle and Wilcox in The Courtneys of Curzon Street (1947), the biggest hit at the 1947 British box office and one of the most-seen British films of all time. Alexander Korda cast him opposite Paulette Goddard in An Ideal Husband (1947), another hit, but it failed to recoup its enormous cost. Wilding, Neagle and Wilcox reteamed for Spring in Park Lane (1948), another outstanding hit. It led to a sequel, Maytime in Mayfair (1949), which was also enormously popular.
Wilding was now one of the biggest stars in Britain—indeed he was voted as such by the readers of Kine Weekly. Director Alfred Hitchcock then cast him in two consecutive films that he produced through his own film production company Transatlantic Pictures (distributed through Warner Brothers Pictures). The first, Under Capricorn (released in 1949), in which he played opposite Ingrid Bergman and Joseph Cotten, was shot mostly in London but had final retakes and overdubs filmed in Hollywood. It was one of Hitchcock’s few flops. His second film for Hitchcock was the more popular Stage Fright (released in 1950), also filmed in London, with Marlene Dietrich and Jane Wyman. Thirteen years later, in 1963, Wilding starred in an Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode titled “Last Seen Wearing Blue Jeans”.
Wilding moved to Hollywood and was featured in two of Alfred Hitchcock‘s lesser efforts, Under Capricorn (1949) and Stage Fright (1950).
Wilding’s last movie role was a two-line cameo in Robert Bolt‘s Lady Caroline Lamb (1972), which co-starred Leighton.
– IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood (qv’s & corrections by A. Nonymous)
Avice Landon was born on September 1, 1908 in Madras, India as Avice Spitta. She was an actress, known for The Franchise Affair (1951), An Alligator Named Daisy (1955) and Pride and Prejudice (1952). She was married to Bruno Barnabe. She died on June 12, 1976 in Twickenham, Middlesex, England.
Dunham Massey Thespians April 1978