Gertrude Lawrence
Actress, singer
Gertrude Lawrence
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.
Gertrude Lawrence's personal information overview.
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Body and Soul : Amy Winehouse in love with Tony Bennett -
Google News - over 5 years
Body and Soul a été composé en 1930 à Londres pour une certain Gertrude Lawrence avant de débarquer à Broadway dans la revue Three's a crowd. Le titre a ensuite été repris comme thème du film Body and Soul de 1947 qui le propulsa aux côtés des plus
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Can Amy Winehouse contend for final Grammy with Tony Bennett duet? - GoldDerby
Google News - over 5 years
"Body and Soul" was penned in 1930 for Gertrude Lawrence with music by Johnny Green and lyrics by Edward Heyman, Robert Sour and Frank Eyton. Since then it has been sung by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Billie Holliday
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Royalty takes the stage during Western Days - Bluff Country Reader
Google News - over 5 years
"It's a very familiar Broadway story," Flaherty continued, "as Gertrude Lawrence brought it to the attention of Rodgers and Hammerstein in 1951. The musical was made into a movie twice, first in 1956 with Deborah Kerr and Yule Brenner and again in 1995
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Unlikely leading man Charles Laughton; TCM's Summer Under The Stars icon Aug. 7 -
Google News - over 5 years
Also once again on hand was co-star Elsa Lanchester as well as Gertrude Lawrence. At 10:45am/9:45c, it's Charles in charge with Laughton not only starring, but co-producing and co-writing 1938's Sidewalks of London.Vivien Leigh stars as Libby,
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Beliefs: Local woman celebrates 70 years of religious life - The Sheboygan Press
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Among those in attendance were her sisters, Rose Ross and Gertrude Lawrence, both of Sheboygan; nieces, nephews and cousins from the area and state; as well as California, Virginia, Ohio, Michigan and Illinois
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STAGE TO SCREENS: Katharine Houghton Plays Amanda Wingfield in the Seminal ... -
Google News - over 5 years
Since Taylor's history-making turn as the woman whose telephone-man husband fell in love with long distance and abandoned her, many a gifted actress has gravitated to the role from Gertrude Lawrence (in the 1950 film version) to Jessica Tandy,
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Walnut Street Theatre Announces 2011-2012 Studio 3 Season -
Google News - over 5 years
The lineup begins Sheridan Morley's Noël and Gertie (November 22 - December 31), a toast to Noël Coward and Gertrude Lawrence.. The WST Studio 3 season will also include David Lindsay-Abaire's Proof (January 17-February 5); Ethel!
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A Journey Through the Eclipse Series: Alexander Korda's Rembrandt -
Google News - over 5 years
Played by noted English stage actress Gertrude Lawrence, this is one of her relatively rare appearances on film. She's clearly the strongest female presence in the film, and quite capable of holding her own with Laughton when the sparks fly between
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Catherine West: I am so proud of my ancestor, Italia Conti - Islington Tribune newspaper website
Google News - over 5 years
Former pupils at the school include Sir Noel Coward, Gertrude Lawrence, Leslie Philips and more recently Pixie Lott. Charles Hawtrey, Bonnie Langford, Patsy Kensit, Sadie Frost and Russell Brand also attended. Cllr West, married with two children,
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Hosannas to Anna Massey & Ayrton Senna - (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
... actor whose bloodhound features seemed to authorise any film he was in, while her Mancunian mother, Adrienne Allen, was in the original cast of Coward's Private Lives in 1930, making up the quartet with Coward, Gertrude Lawrence and Olivier
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Gershwin, una razón para vivir - Diario de Sevilla
Google News - over 5 years
... la pareja formada por Fred Astaire y su hermana Adele o la gran Gertrude Lawrence interpretan las canciones de los espectáculos de Georges White y Florenz Ziegfield; las versiones jazzísticas con las que Benny Goodman, Billie Hollyday,
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Kim Cattrall and Paul Gross Sign On for Broadway Revival of Noel Coward's ... -
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Private Lives has been produced seven times on Broadway since its 1931 premiere, which starred the author as Elyot, Gertrude Lawrence as Amanda, and Laurence Olivier and his then-wife Jill Esmond as Victor and Sybil. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton
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How I loved and lost my Sherrie: BUT WHAT COMES AFTER? BY RUTH LEON - Daily Mail
Google News - over 5 years
He scraped a Third and drifted into arts journalism, shamelessly milking Robert's friendships with Noel Coward, Gertrude Lawrence, John Gielgud, and so forth, to get exclusive interviews. With his combination of big booming voice and large blustering
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Tom Gotsill's got Game - Barnstable Patriot
Google News - over 5 years
This Friday and Saturday, June 17 and 18, audiences can hear and see the new play in a staged reading at Eventide Arts on the Gertrude Lawrence Stage at Dennis Union Church. “This was a brainchild of ours about five years ago,” interim Eventide Arts
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Google News - over 5 years
In 1968 he appeared with Julie Andrews in Star!, a film musical based on the life of actress Gertrude Lawrence. In the Seventies, The Generation Game, with its blend of daft games, naff prizes and cheeky banter, became the nation's favourite family
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'Forum' new challenge for Cape actresses - Cape Cod Times (subscription)
Google News - over 5 years
... New Plays" competition co-sponsored by Eventide Arts Inc. Gotsill's "To Be In The Game" will be directed by Eventide's Ellis Baker and read by Cape actors for staged readings at 7:30 pm June 17-18 on the Gertrude Lawrence Stage at Dennis Union
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Gertrude Lawrence
  • 1952
    Age 53
    Her former son-in-law, Dr. William G. Cahan, recalled in his 1992 memoir (by then he was a globally recognised medical expert on cancer) what happened next in 1952: She was admitted to New York Hospital across the street from the hospital where Cahan worked on the staff.
    More Details Hide Details Her doctors were puzzled by what was described in the press as "a liver problem," and suspected that she might have cancer. Hearing this, and without Gertrude's knowledge, her husband consulted me. Not wanting to alarm her by appearing in person (she knew, of course, that by now I was a cancer specialist), I sent some of my colleagues as consultants. They, too, were puzzled, and ordered an exploratory laparotomy (abdominal operation). At dawn of the day the operation was to take place September 6, Dick Aldrich called on the telephone: Gertrude had become comatose; would I please come to the hospital at once? I found her surrounded by interns frantically pumping intravenous fluids and stimulants into her. As I bent over her, she opened her eyes for a second or two, looked up at me, and made a face as if to say, "What are you doing here?"
    On 16 August 1952, Lawrence fainted backstage immediately after finishing a Saturday matinee of The King and I. After "a few days at home," wrote Aldrich, she was admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital for tests.
    More Details Hide Details Doctors said she was suffering from hepatitis, and she was admitted to a room on the 16th floor.
    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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  • 1951
    Age 52
    The New York Times reported on 28 September 1951 that Lawrence "suffered an attack of stage fright yesterday and refused to let reporters observe her in her new role of teacher at Columbia University."
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    "I shall be teaching an advanced, not an elementary course," Aldrich quoted her as saying in 1951. "Dr. Smith and I have screened all the students.
    More Details Hide Details They've had preliminary work in voice, speech and pantomime. Many of them are already working professionally in radio and television. But, more than that, if I can find one person of real talent and encourage and train him, I'll feel that I've done something worthwhile."
    "Early in September 1951", wrote Lawrence's widower, "she calmly announced that she had accepted an appointment to the Faculty of Columbia University, in the School of Dramatic Arts, of which Dr. Milton Smith was Director.
    More Details Hide Details Her particular post was to conduct Class 107 in the Study of Roles and Scenes. The class met on Thursday afternoons in the Brander Matthews Theatre on Morningside Heights."
    It opened on Broadway in March 1951, and Lawrence won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance.
    More Details Hide Details Her triumph was short-lived; her health deteriorated rapidly, forcing her to miss numerous performances until she finally was hospitalised.
  • 1950
    Age 51
    In 1950, Lawrence's business manager and attorney Fanny Holtzmann was looking for a new property for her client when the 1944 Margaret Landon book Anna and the King of Siam was sent to her by the William Morris agent who represented Landon.
    More Details Hide Details He thought a stage adaptation of the book would be an ideal vehicle for the actress. Holtzmann agreed, but proposed a musical version would be better. Lawrence wanted Cole Porter to write the score, but when he proved to be unenthused by the suggestion, Holtzmann sent the book to Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Rodgers initially demurred because he felt Lawrence's vocal range was limited and she had a tendency to sing flat. But he realised the story had strong potential, and the two men agreed to write what ultimately became The King and I.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Lawrence did not have any grandchildren during her lifetime.
  • 1949
    Age 50
    Forster quotes du Maurier as saying the following about Lawrence c. 1949, "To be blatantly vulgar, anyone with a spice of imagination would prefer a divan with Gertrude to a double-bed with her."
    More Details Hide Details Lawrence biographer Sheridan Morley interviewed du Maurier for his 1981 book Gertrude Lawrence. Du Maurier was quoted as saying she called Lawrence by the nickname "Cinders," short for Cinderella. Either while negotiating to appear in September Tide or rehearsing it, Lawrence stayed in "a flat in London somewhere," according to what du Maurier told Morley decades later. Boiling water in her tea kettle for a visitor was stressful for Lawrence. Du Maurier also told the biographer that she had forgotten all the dialogue she had written for September Tide and that shortly before her interview with Morley she had "been searching my shelves for a copy of the play.... I cannot remember how Cinders looked, what she wore, far less what she said." Du Maurier's contribution to the Morley biography of Lawrence consists of little more than that. Nothing about a personal connection between Gertrude Lawrence and Daphne du Maurier was published during Lawrence's lifetime. Two years after Lawrence's death, her widower Richard Aldrich had this to say in a best-selling biography of his late wife, Gertrude Lawrence as Mrs. A.: All her ingenuous traits, which could be annoying as well as endearing, would be swept away by her courage, her clear perception of truth, and the divine compassion which could flood her heart and lift her to the heights of nobility.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details According to an authorised 1993 biography of the author and playwright by Margaret Forster, Lawrence and du Maurier became close friends during the London production of September Tide. The nature of their relationship remained unclear following the 1989 death of du Maurier.
  • 1948
    Age 49
    In 1948, Lawrence returned to Britain to star in September Tide, a play written specifically for her by Daphne du Maurier.
    More Details Hide Details Her role was that of a middle-aged Cornish woman whose son-in-law, a bohemian artist, falls in love with her. The playwright had intended her to open the play on Broadway, but Lawrence's husband thought it was too British for the American market. The London press paid little attention to her return to the stage, and she was distressed to discover that in a country struggling to recover from the effects of World War II, the public no longer was as interested in the private lives of stage stars as it once had been. Prior to opening in the West End, the play toured Blackpool, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester, where the frequently sparse audiences consisted primarily of elderly people who remembered Lawrence from her heyday. While on the road, she underwent erratic mood swings and frequently clashed with her fellow cast members, including actors Michael Gough and Bryan Forbes, and the crew. The play opened in London in mid-December 1948.
  • 1945
    Age 46
    In her 1945 memoir A Star Danced, she recalled, "After weeks of more or less patient waiting, repeated timid, pleading, urgent and finally importunate requests to the authorities who rule such matters in Washington and London, and a rapid-fire barrage of telegrams, cables and telephone calls, it had happened.
    More Details Hide Details At last I had permission to do what I had been wanting desperately to do for four years—go to England and do my bit on a tour for E.N.S.A." Lawrence's attorney booked the actress on a British Airways charter flight from Washington, D.C. to an airfield near London that lasted 36 hours, including two refuelling stops. When Lawrence boarded the plane, she discovered that she, Ernest Hemingway and Beatrice Lillie were among the few passengers without diplomatic passports. Lawrence and Lillie were the only female passengers. Hours after landing near London, she performed with E.N.S.A. for British and American troops who, it turned out, had been deployed for the imminent D-Day landings in Normandy. Aldrich was in one of the squadrons of the US Navy. Aldrich wrote in his 1954 biography of his recently deceased wife: She went over with the first E.N.S.A. unit to go into France, making the crossing in an LST (Landing Ship, Tank). Others in the party included Ivor Novello, Margaret Rutherford, Diana Wynyard and Bobbie Andrews. In her autobiography, A Star Danced, she has given a graphic account of their landing on a Normandy beach and of the progress of her unit through the wrecked towns, where there was still no water or electricity. Shows were given in shell-torn cinemas and hastily lighted casinos.
    In 1945, Lawrence published the autobiography A Star Danced.
    More Details Hide Details Her long-term friend Noël Coward later suggested it was a romanticised and less than wholly factual account of her life. Although Lawrence claimed the work was solely hers, many suspected her business manager and attorney Fanny Holtzmann had written much of it. The author embarked on a cross-country tour of the United States to publicise her book, the first person ever to engage in such a promotion. Lawrence's second husband Richard Aldrich became a lieutenant in the United States Navy during World War II, during which time Lawrence had a standing invitation to perform for British troops from the head of the UK's Entertainments National Service Association. Her chief obstacle was getting from her home in Massachusetts to Britain. Aldrich was overseas at the time.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Following the Broadway run, she toured the United States (including a stint in Washington, D.C.) and Canada in the play until May 1947.
  • 1941
    Age 42
    Lawrence returned to the musical stage in Lady in the Dark in 1941.
    More Details Hide Details It originally had been planned as a play with recurrent musical themes for Katharine Cornell by Moss Hart, Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin, but by the time the first act was completed it was clear it was very much a musical that Cornell agreed was beyond her capability as a performer. Soon after this, Hart met Lawrence at a rehearsal for a revue designed to raise funds for British War Relief, and he offered her the role of Liza Elliott, a magazine editor undergoing psychoanalysis to better understand why both her professional and personal lives are filled with indecision. The show was very ambitious and stretched the star's talents for singing, dancing and acting. Her performance prompted Richard Watts of the New York Herald Tribune to call her "the greatest feminine performer in the American theatre," and Brooks Atkinson described her as "a goddess" in his review in the New York Times. She remained with the show throughout its Broadway run and its subsequent national tour over the next three years.
    In June 1941, Lawrence's daughter Pamela married a New York doctor named William G. Cahan.
    More Details Hide Details The ceremony was held at the Dennis, Massachusetts home of Lawrence and Aldrich.
  • 1940
    Age 41
    The two wed on her birthday in 1940 and remained married until her death in 1952.
    More Details Hide Details They had homes in Dennis and in Turtle Bay, Manhattan.
  • 1937
    Age 38
    In 1937, she appeared in the Rachel Crothers drama Susan and God, and in 1939 starred in Skylark, a comedy by Samson Raphaelson.
    More Details Hide Details Lawrence felt the play needed work prior to opening on Broadway, and a run at the Cape Playhouse in Dennis, Massachusetts was arranged. The theatre was run by Harvard University graduate Richard Aldrich, and he and the actress became involved in a romantic relationship.
  • 1936
    Age 37
    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.
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  • 1935
    Age 36
    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.
    More Details Hide Details It was later discovered that Lawrence had never paid American taxes, either. Her attorney Fanny Holtzmann worked out an agreement whereby $150 would be deducted from her salary each week she worked in the United States until her American tax debt was settled. Refusing to lower her standard of living, she decided to take film work during the day, appear on stage at night, and perform in late-night cabarets to support her spending habits. Much to the distress of her agent, she purchased a country house and farm in Buckinghamshire, then left it vacant while she remained in the United States for a lengthy stay. When her agent questioned the wisdom of such a move, she reportedly asked him to investigate the cost of a swimming pool installation on the property.
  • 1929
    Age 30
    Over the course of twenty-one years, Lawrence appeared in only nine films. She made her screen debut in 1929 in The Battle of Paris, which featured two songs by Cole Porter.
    More Details Hide Details Paramount Pictures offered her the film shortly after the Broadway production of Treasure Girl unexpectedly closed and, with no prospects of stage work in the immediate future, she accepted the offer. The film, co-starring Arthur Treacher and Charles Ruggles, was shot in Paramount's Astoria Studio complex in Astoria, Queens. Lawrence was cast as Georgie, an artist living in pre-World War I Paris, who becomes a cabaret singer and falls in love with an American soldier. Publicity for the film emphasised Lawrence's songs and costumes rather than the story, which was so weak that director Robert Florey had threatened to resign midway through filming. Described by one critic as a "floperetta," it was not a success. In 1932, she appeared in three features: an adaptation of the Frederick Lonsdale play Aren't We All? directed by Harry Lachman; Lord Camber's Ladies, produced by Alfred Hitchcock, directed by Benn W. Levy, and co-starring Gerald du Maurier; and No Funny Business with Laurence Olivier. In 1935, she appeared in Mimi, based on La Vie de Bohème. The following year she was cast opposite Charles Laughton and Elsa Lanchester in Rembrandt and co-starred with Rex Harrison in Men are Not Gods, both produced by Alexander Korda.
    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.
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  • 1928
    Age 29
    In 1928, Lawrence returned to Broadway opposite Clifton Webb in Treasure Girl, a Gershwin work she was confident would be a huge hit.
    More Details Hide Details Anticipating a long run, she arrived in New York with her daughter Pamela, a personal maid and two cars, and settled into a flat on Park Avenue. Her instincts about the musical were wrong; audiences had difficulty accepting her as an avaricious woman who double-crosses her lover, and it ran for only 68 performances.
  • 1927
    Age 28
    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.
    More Details Hide Details When Lawrence divorced Gordon-Howley, she and Taylor became engaged and remained so for two years, with each free to enjoy a social life separate from the other.
  • 1926
    Age 27
    In November 1926, she became the first British performer to star in an American musical on Broadway when she opened in Oh, Kay!, with music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, and a book by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse.
    More Details Hide Details Following a run of 256 performances, the musical opened in the West End, where it ran for 213 performances.
    Charlot's Revue of 1926, starring Lawrence, Lillie, and Buchanan, opened on Broadway in late 1925.
    More Details Hide Details In his review, Alexander Woollcott singled out Lawrence, calling her "the personification of style and sophistication" and "the ideal star." Like its predecessor, it toured following the Broadway run. It proved to be Lawrence's last project with Charlot.
  • 1924
    Age 25
    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.
    More Details Hide Details It was so successful it moved to a larger theatre to accommodate the demand for tickets and extended its run. After it closed, the show toured the US and Canada, although Lawrence was forced to leave the cast when she contracted double pneumonia and pleurisy and was forced to spend fourteen weeks in a Toronto hospital recuperating.
  • 1923
    Age 24
    In 1923, Noël Coward developed his first musical revue, London Calling!, specifically for Lawrence.
    More Details Hide Details Charlot agreed to produce it, but brought in more experienced writers and composers to work on the book and score. One of Coward's surviving songs was "Parisian Pierrot", a tune that would be identified closely with Lawrence throughout her career.
  • 1921
    Age 22
    In October 1921, Charlot asked her to replace an ailing Beatrice Lillie as star of his latest production, A to Z, opposite Jack Buchanan.
    More Details Hide Details In it the two introduced the song "Limehouse Blues," which went on to become one of Lawrence's signature tunes.
  • 1920
    Age 21
    At the end of 1920, Lawrence left Murray's and began to ease her way back into legitimate theatre while touring in a music hall act as the partner of popular singer Walter Williams.
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  • 1919
    Age 20
    When the apparent reason for her dismissal became common knowledge among other West End producers, she was unable to find work, and in early 1919 she accepted a job singing in the show at Murray's, a popular London nightclub, where she remained for the better part of the next two years.
    More Details Hide Details While performing there she met Captain Philip Astley, a member of the Household Cavalry. He became her friend, escort, and ultimately lover, and taught her how to dress and behave in high society.
  • 1918
    Age 19
    In 1918, Lawrence contracted lumbago and was given a fortnight to recuperate by Charlot, who then saw her at an opening night party at Ivor Novello's invitation two days before she was cleared to return to work by her doctor, and immediately sacked her.
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  • 1916
    Age 17
    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.
    More Details Hide Details When it closed, she assumed Lillie's role on tour, then returned to London once again to understudy the star in another Charlot production, where she met dance director Francis Gordon-Howley. Although he was twenty years her senior, the two wed and soon after had a daughter Pamela, Lawrence's only child. The marriage was not a success, and Lawrence took Pamela with her to her mother's home in Clapham. The couple remained separated but did not divorce until ten years later.
  • 1904
    Age 5
    In 1904, her stepfather took the family to Bognor on the Sussex coast for the August bank holiday.
    More Details Hide Details While there, they attended a concert where audience members were invited to entertain. At her mother's urging, young Gertrude sang a song and was rewarded with a gold sovereign for her effort. It was her first public performance. In 1908, to augment the family's meagre income, Alice accepted a job in the chorus of the Christmas pantomime at Brixton Theatre. A child who could sing and dance was needed to round out the troupe, and Alice volunteered her daughter. While working in the production Alice heard of Italia Conti, who taught dance, elocution and the rudiments of acting. Gertrude auditioned for Conti, who thought the child was talented enough to warrant free lessons. Lawrence joined Italia Conti's production of Where the Rainbow Ends. Her training led to appearances in Max Reinhardt's The Miracle in London and Fifinella, directed by Basil Dean, for the Liverpool Repertory Theatre. At some point during this period, the child decided to adopt her father's professional surname as her own. Dean then cast her in his next production, Gerhart Hauptmann's Hannele, where she first met Noël Coward. Their meeting was the start of a close and sometimes tempestuous friendship and the most important professional relationship in both their lives.
  • 1898
    Born on July 4, 1898.
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