Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 27, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
22 THE LETHBRIDGE HERAID Tuesday, March 27, 1973 British theatre shocked at death of Noel Coward KINGSTON. Jamaica (Ren- ter) The body of Sir Noel Coward, preeminent man of the theatre, lay in a funeral parlor here today, ready to be flown back to England in a day or tsvo. Sir Noel died Monday in his home perched on a liill com- manding a view along Ja- maica's north coast. He was 73. His body was brought to Kingston, 50 miles to Ibc south after a post-mortem in the re- sort town of Porta Maria con firmed he died ot a heart at tack. Sir Noel, actor-playwright composer and director, ha< been a dominant figure in tlie theatre for half a century. II was knighted three years ago. He would come to Jamaica tor the winter. He spent most of his time reading and relaxing at home. Coward attracted criticism in his native England when he de- cided in the 1950s to settle abroad, claiming that he could not afford to live in Britain. A poor London boy at birth, ho was reputed to lie a multi-mil- V., Hays Office ,c ffi censor culling four words, 'hell, God, damn, bastard." KNIGHTED IN '70 Queen Elizabeth knighted him in her 1970 honors list. Knighthood came just 16 days after his 70lh birthday on Dec. 16, 19G9. I wear my tribute-accepting face at all he said with his usual lack of modesty. "You can't go blowing your own trumpet when others are doing it for you. "I don't feel 70. In fact I don't know how 70 ought to feel. 1 feel no different from the young sprig I was at 50. "I have never done tilings to keep fit. Perhaps that is why am so healthy." Coward had a speckled per- sonal life. Never married, pushed by his mother a boy into the theatrical world, he had many girl friends, such as Ger- trude Luvrfvce, loves. r.o real life that involved a place in Ja- maica under the sun and in Switzerland when the buds were bursting. AVOIDED BRITAIN It kept him out of Biitain for years except for quick trips to pick up kudos, fresh plaudits and the occasional bank cheque He was tlie first lo admit be had two purposes in show busi ness: do it well and get paid. The best actor be ever saw- aside from himself: Sir Lau rancc Olivier. Ills favorite play: his own Private Lives. His quickest effort: the per- ennial hit Blithe Spirit. He wrote it on a weekend while on the shores of Cardigan Bay in Wales. His host, architect dough Williams-Ellis who built the village and rented Coward the cottage, once said: "He fig- red it was the best bargain he iresent circumstances. He once old a confidante he calculated he present would guarantee the uture and he wound up proving that in the bank balance, at least. Playwright Jolin Osborne, the original "angry young man" once wrote about Coward: "He is his own invention and contri- bution to this century. Anyone who cannot see that should keep well away from the theatre." Coward was horn in the vil- lage of Teddington on the River Thames near London oil Dec. 16, 1899, and was educated at Croydon and by private tutors His stage debut, at age 11, was in a children's fairytale play The Goldfish. Collel'le Valliercs hesl speaker FOIIT MACLEOD (Special) Senior public speaking com- petitions for the Fort Macleod 411 Beef Club were held in the Oddfellows Hall here. Collclte V a 11 i e r e s placed first; Wayne Zoetemon, sec- ond; and Barb Allen, IMrd. Judges were Mrs. L. Checlum, Gray Cressman and Rev. Ernie Doyle. Miss V alii e res and Mr. Zocteman will represent the club at Stavely. There willTja 12 speakers from the Willow Creek district. Soon there will ba thoucands of students looking for summer work. Student workers have proven themselves lo be capable workers. They can offer a wide variety ollalents and skills and many students have received special training 1hat can be applied in your business. In addition to nearly 400 Canada Manpower. Centres across the country, we've sel up 200 special Centres for Students. We've sorted outlhose skills and talents. All it takes I is a phone call to tell us whal kind of work you want to gel accomplished this summer and we'll take itfrom there. We'll make sure lhat you get the capable workers you need. lionaire when he died. "Summing myself Cow- ard once said, "I would say that I have a talent to amuse." He did. As playwright his credits included Blithe Spirit, Private Lives, Bitter Sweet and Brief Encounter. As an actor he was featured in films such as Around the World iu 80 Days, Our Man in Havana and The Italian Job. As a director he made the outstanding British war film In Which We Serve, As a composer perhaps his best-known work was the song Wad Dogs and Englishmen, a satire on English colonialism. Coward acted on the stage and in cabarets. Private Lives, in a new pro- duction, is a hit iia London's West End and musical shows based on his works have beer highly successful in London and New York. The British revue is Cowardy Custard and the New York show is called Oil Cow ard! He also wrote novels, shor stories and verses. Two vot umes of his autobiography have been published, Present In dicative and Future Indefinite He was writing a third velum at his death. A STAR AT 21 He was acting by Uie age o 11 and achieved stardom at 2 in 1920. Five years later five o his plays or revues were run ning simultaneovisly in London. Altogether lie wrote more than 40 plays and films, acted in more, published books and composed music for caba- ret, revues and operettas. The news of the death of such a stage giant shocked London's theatreland. "It is a said Impre- sario Harold Davidson. "He was the greatest thing I have ever known he was Mr. Show Business, Mr. Entertainment. He was the theatre. Nobody can replace him." "He has died at the top of his form, with a Coward said actor Sir Ralph Bichard- son. Coward was reputed to be Britain's highest-paid play- wright at one time. That was in his early 1930s, when he was earning an estimated a week in royalties from his plays. Blithe Spirit ran for performances, a record for a non-musical in London. In 1953 at the age of 34 he was paid more than for a four-week cabaret stint in Las Vegas. He had a talent to amuse, as he said, but he also had a talent to offend. Some of his songs and lines were sensational in their day even if they appear tame in the permissive 1970s. Critics called his 1955 play Fallen Angels degenerate and obscene because two married women drink themselves silly over the same lover. His 1942 war movie In Which Wo Serve was censored by the Agiiew wants followers to wait 2 years BOSTON (AP) Vice-Presi- dent Spiro Agnew said he will wait two years before making up his mind whether to run for president and has asked his friends not to advance him as a candidate until then. "What I'm asking my friends to do is not to advance me as a candidate because I'm not ready to make the Agnew said in an interview pub- lished in today's edition of the Christian Science Monitor. "But I'm asking them not to commit to anybody at this anybody to wait to look at the situation two years away, Agnew said. "And 1hen we'll decide who ought to run. I may very well decide at that time it should be me." Whatever all that added up to, Coward alsways was able to fend off any suggestion he was other than theatrical genius without gaudy personal life. He said: "There are still a few pri- vate areas of my life left. One learns to cover the warts with That was about all Noel Cow- ard was willing to say about his sex life or any other private av- enues involved ever got in the way of hotel rates. I can't even remember what I charged him." His Christian name, Noel, ob- viously came about because he wcs born so close to Christmas. He turned down a knighthood from King George VI in 1947 be- cause he felt theatre marquee billings with "Noel Coward" had a good deal more weight than something wliich said "Sir Noel." Coward was never anything but hard and tough about his I Hire a student this summer- it's good business. Canada Manpower Centre Centre da du Canada buying 4 ply nylon Blackwall Installed Whitewall, installed a-GUARDSMAN: Simpsons-Sears fully guaranteed, rugged long mileage 4 ply nylon tire. Proven sale and reliable for city and super highway Special tread design handles well, Is stabla and has an excellent 'wet hold' grip on rain soaked highways. 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