Composer, singer and actor-manager. Born David Ivor Davies in Cardiff. Wrote 'Keep the Home Fires Burning', a big success in WW1. Appeared in over 20 movies. Worked at Gainsborough Film Studios. Briefly a writer in Hollywood where he wrote the dialogue for the 1932 'Tarzan the Ape Man' (the oft-misquoted "me Tarzan, you Jane"). An extremely good-looking gay man. Rumours are that even Winston Churchill could not resist his charms.
WW2 saw him in prison for misusing petrol coupons, where he met Mad Frankie Fraser. In 1913 he moved to the flat at 11 Aldwych, above the Strand Theatre, where he died. In 2005 the Strand Theatre was renamed the Novello Theatre. Played by Jeremy Northam in the 2001 film 'Gosforth Park'. Not part of the Novello family.
The Centre for International Film Research (CIFR) at the University of Southampton have an interesting post by Michael Williams about Novello in London.