Gertrude Lawrence

Gertrude Lawrence

Actress + Singer
Born Jul 4, 1898

Gertrude Lawrence was an English actress, singer, dancer and musical comedy performer known for her stage appearances in London's West End and on New York's Broadway.

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1898 Birth Born on July 4, 1898.
1904 5 Years Old In 1904, her stepfather took the family to Bognor on the Sussex coast for the August bank holiday. … Read More


1916 18 Years Old She worked steadily with various touring companies until 1916, when she was hired by famed impresario André Charlot to understudy Beatrice Lillie and appear in the chorus of his latest production in London's West End. … Read More


1918 - 1923 5 More Events
1924 26 Years Old The show's success led its producer to create André Charlot's London Revue of 1924, which he took to Broadway with Lawrence, Lillie, Buchanan and Constance Carpenter. … Read More
1926 28 Years Old 1 More Event
Charlot's Revue of 1926, starring Lawrence, Lillie, and Buchanan, opened on Broadway in late 1925. … Read More
1927 29 Years Old When Lawrence became romantically involved with Wall Street banker Bert Taylor in 1927, Astley proposed marriage, an offer Lawrence refused because she knew Astley would expect her to leave the stage and settle in rural England. The two remained close until he married actress Madeleine Carroll in 1931. … Read More


1928 30 Years Old In 1928, Lawrence returned to Broadway opposite Clifton Webb in Treasure Girl, a Gershwin work she was confident would be a huge hit. … Read More
1929 31 Years Old 1 More Event
She starred opposite Leslie Howard in Candle Light, an Austrian play adapted by Wodehouse, in 1929, and in 1931 she and Noël Coward triumphed in his play Private Lives, first in the UK, and later on Broadway.
1935 37 Years Old …  On 8 November 1935, accused of "gross extravagance," she was ordered "to pay £50 weekly from the proceeds of her present nightclub engagement, and 25 per cent of anything earned any other way should the engagement end," according to the same Associated Press report. … Read More
1936 38 Years Old In 1936, Lawrence and Coward starred in Tonight at 8:30, a cycle of ten one-act plays he had written specifically for the two of them.
1937 39 Years Old In 1937, she appeared in the Rachel Crothers drama Susan and God, and in 1939 starred in Skylark, a comedy by Samson Raphaelson. … Read More


1940 42 Years Old The two wed on her birthday in 1940 and remained married until her death in 1952. … Read More
1941 43 Years Old 1 More Event
In June 1941, Lawrence's daughter Pamela married a New York doctor named William G. Cahan. … Read More
In 1945, Lawrence starred as Eliza Doolittle opposite Raymond Massey as Henry Higgins in a revival of Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw, who initially resisted the idea of Lawrence playing the role. … Read More


1948 50 Years Old In 1948, Lawrence returned to Britain to star in September Tide, a play written specifically for her by Daphne du Maurier. … Read More
1949 51 Years Old 1 More Event
Writing in Punch, Eric Keown called her return "an occasion for rejoicing" but dismissed the play as "an artificial piece of conventional sentiment which leaves the actress's talents unused." She remained with the play until July 1949, then returned to the United States, where she performed her role for one week at her husband's theatre in Dennis, Massachusetts. … Read More
1950 52 Years Old 1 More Event
Lawrence was friendly with her son-in-law but lost contact with him after his 1950 divorce from Pamela, according to Cahan's memoir that was published in 1992. … Read More
It opened on Broadway in March 1951, and Lawrence won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance. … Read More
She taught the class again in the spring 1952 semester at Columbia, this time allowing a New York Times reporter and photographer to attend and take pictures.
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