Sir Noel Coward
Person Male Born 16/12/1899 Died 26/3/1973
Actor, playwright, composer, film director, author, singer. Born Helmsdale, 5 Waldegrave Road, Teddington. Died at home in Jamaica, where he was buried.
Plays include: 'Private Lives' and 'Blithe Spirit'. The film 'Brief Encounter' was based on his play. Songs include: 'Mad Dogs and Englishmen'. On the film 'In Which We Serve' Coward was writer, actor, composer and co-director. Acted in the original 1969 'Italian Job' film.
Early in WW2 he worked for the British Secret Service in America using his influence to encourage US involvement in the war. In the 1941 Blitz he wrote and sang the lovely 'London Pride' ('is a flower that's free').
Coward's homosexuality was an open secret, which, given its illegality at the time, was all it could be.