Joyce Grenfell (1910-1979) b. London, England.
Grenfell began her career as a journalist – most successfully, too, progressing to radio critic of The Observer at only 26. Her first solo act, in 1939, made her a nationally-known stage star almost overnight. From 1943 she did appear in a few film roles, usually in cameo appearances. In 1950 she created one of her most memorable characters, the gushing games mistress Gossage – ‘Call me Sausage’ – in The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950).
Touring with her one-woman shows continued to take up much of her time, although she found time to make three ‘St Trinian’s’ comedies for the Happiest Days people, Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat, all as the intrepid, if idiotic, policewoman Ruby Gates. She gave up films after 1964, and took her gallery of gentle grotesques around the world before returning to the London stage with a unique collection of songs and recitations. She died from cancer in 1979, just before a New Year in which she was to have been made a Dame.