Graham Payn
British singer and actor
Graham Payn
Graham Payn was a South African-born English actor and singer, also known for being the life partner of the playwright Noël Coward. Beginning as a boy soprano, Payn later made a career as a singer and actor in the works of Coward and others. After Coward's death, Payn ran the Coward Estate for 22 years.
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Graham Payn's personal information overview.
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Music video | Gallavin: Mad About the Boy - MiamiHerald.com
Google News - over 5 years
This is, for instance, the case of Noël Coward, who wrote Mad about the Boy for his long term partner Graham Payn – a British-South African actor. Though these songs were originally written for men, they have been rarely sung by men
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Google News article
Der Jazz-Provokateur: Gallavin - Queer.de
Google News - almost 6 years
... plötzlich von einem Mann gesungen wird. Eingeweihte wissen allerdings: In Tat und Wahrheit hat Noël Coward dieses Lied für Graham Payn geschrieben, einen südamerikanischen Schauspieler, der während langer Jahre sein Geliebter war
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Sir Noël's Epistles
NYTimes - about 9 years
The Letters Of Noël Coward Edited and with commentary by Barry Day. Illustrated. 780 pp. Alfred A. Knopf. $37.50. The astute English critic Kenneth Tynan identified Broadway humor as being chiefly of two kinds: Jewish and homosexual. He might have called it kvetch and bitch, perfectly good types, but not really British. Noël Coward, who was only
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NYTimes article
BIBLIO FILE; A Wit's End
NYTimes - over 9 years
Debonair, suave, urbane, Noel Coward epitomized the cardinal virtues of his era -- qualities that not many men aspire to anymore. The characters Coward created inhabit a world that has since changed beyond recognition. By the souped-up standards of ''The Lion King'' and ''Rent,'' his operetta-tinged melodies and patter lyrics strike today's
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NYTimes article
Graham Payn, 87, Debonair Actor
NYTimes - over 11 years
Graham Payn, a handsome, debonair actor and singer who for 30 years was the companion of the playwright Noël Coward, died on Nov. 4 at the home the two had shared, Les Avants, in the Swiss Alps above Montreux. He was 87. His death was announced on the Web site of the Noël Coward Society in London, www.noelcoward.net. Mr. Payn, who was a co-editor
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NYTimes article
THEATER; As Mr. Britannia, Coward Waived the Rules
NYTimes - about 17 years
THE English expression ''taking coals to Newcastle'' pretty much sums up Noel Coward's American career. Arriving in New York on the Aquitania in May 1921, his head soon buzzed with the speed of Manhattan and the pace of Broadway drama; back home, he injected that speed into the staid drawing-room drama of London's West End and in the process
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THEATER REVIEW; The Magic Takes Longer But the Wand Seems Intact
NYTimes - over 17 years
Being dry and salty, as opposed to dewy and sweet, clearly has major preservative qualities. Case in point: the tall, droll and handsome Elaine Stritch, an actress who was never, ever what you would call an ingenue. The evidence that this is a blessing, at least in the long run, is currently on display in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. There
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CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK; Blithe Spirit As Life Force
NYTimes - over 17 years
NEVER had a nervous breakdown looked so glamorous. It was one thing to fall to pieces onstage; characters in plays had been doing that since ''Oedipus Rex.'' But it was something else to come unglued in exquisite evening clothes while stormily playing the piano, with a chic little gold box filled with something illegal in your pocket. Nicky
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TELEVISION REVIEW; Mad About the Boy: Noel Coward's Private Life
NYTimes - about 18 years
For one horrible moment in ''The Noel Coward Story,'' I thought Coward was being interviewed by Austin Powers. But no, the mod BBC journalist sitting across from Coward has much better teeth. The year is 1969, and the subject, almost 70 years old at the time, looks distinctly uncomfortable, especially when asked about his humble beginnings. ''You
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On Stage, and Off
NYTimes - about 20 years
Jumping the Gun on 'Laughter' What a difference a day makes. On Monday night, the revival of Noel Coward's ''Present Laughter'' had its official opening at the Walter Kerr Theater. In a subversive bit of timing, however, The New Yorker had run John Lahr's review of the play that morning, violating the unwritten but ironclad rule that reviews must
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Auctions
NYTimes - about 29 years
LEAD: Britain is currently in the midst of an unofficial Noel Coward festival. Revivals of his early plays, including ''Easy Virtue'' and ''The Vortex,'' are running in London and Glasgow, and last week the New Sadler's Wells Opera launched its nationwide tour of ''Bitter Sweet,'' Coward's 1929 operetta, in Britain is currently in the midst of an
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NYTimes article
NOTABLE BOOKS OF THE YEAR
NYTimes - about 34 years
The following list has been selected from titles reviewed since the Christmas Issue of December 1981. Such a list can only suggest the high points in the main fields of reader interest. Books are arranged alphabetically under subject headings. Quoted comments are from The New York Times Book Review. Autobiography & Biography BISMARCK. By Edward
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BOOKS OF THE TIMES
NYTimes - over 34 years
THE NOEL COWARD DIARIES. Edited by Graham Payn and Sheridan Morley. 698 pages. Little Brown & Company. $22.50. ONCE asked for a definition of the perfect life, Noel Coward paused for half a beat, then replied, deadpan, ''Mine.'' And, in fact, that master of light, sophisticated comedy often did seem to lead a perfect life, charmed and charming in
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Graham Payn
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2005
    Age 86
    He retained their other home in Switzerland, where he died in 2005, aged 87.
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  • 1994
    Age 75
    Payn wrote his autobiography, My Life With Noël Coward, in 1994.
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  • 1988
    Age 69
    In 1988, 15 years after Coward's death, Payn, who "hadn't the heart to use it again", gave their Jamaican home, the Firefly Estate, to the Jamaica National Heritage Trust.
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  • FIFTIES
  • 1973
    Age 54
    After Coward died in 1973, Payn's career for the rest of his life became the administration of the Coward estate.
    More Details Hide Details The Coward authority Barry Day wrote, "It was not a job he ever wanted or expected but he brought to it a dedication and focus that Noël would have been surprised and pleased to see. He was thrust into his biggest role and played it as he knew Noël would have wanted him to. It was a fitting farewell performance." Coward's biographer, Philip Hoare, wrote, "Graham disproved his partner's assessment of himself as 'an illiterate little sod' by publishing his memoir and by managing the Coward estate. He was a generous, uncomplicated man, and he will be missed by his many friends."
  • THIRTIES
  • 1949
    Age 30
    Payn also did some film work. In 1949, he was in the Borstal drama Boys in Brown, with Dirk Bogarde and Richard Attenborough.
    More Details Hide Details He appeared in two films with Coward: The Astonished Heart (1950) and The Italian Job (1968), in which Coward played a criminal mastermind with Payn as his obsequious assistant.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1941
    Age 22
    In 1941 and 1942, he appeared in Up and Doing, a revue, with Leslie Henson, Binnie Hale, Cyril Ritchard and Stanley Holloway, and its successor Fine and Dandy, with the cast unchanged except for Dorothy Dickson replacing Binnie Hale.
    More Details Hide Details In the latter show Payn and Patricia Burke sang Rodgers and Hart's "This Can't Be Love" and later, Coward's "London Pride". One night, Coward came backstage after the performance. Payn later wrote, "I remember being very nervous, not having seen him for the best part of 10 years, though I was pleased as punch to be recognised in my own right." Coward's verdict was, "Very good. Splendid." In Magic Carpet, Payn appeared with Sydney Howard and then, after The Lilac Domino (1944), he played Lewis Carroll, the Mock Turtle and Tweedledum in Clemence Dane and Richard Addinsell's musical version of Alice in Wonderland (1944). In the Leslie Henson show Gaieties (1945) Payn and Walter Crisham sang and danced "White Tie and Tails". Coward came backstage after a performance and offered Payn a leading part in his forthcoming show, Sigh No More, which, Payn wrote in his memoirs, "marked the beginning of a personal and professional relationship between Noël and myself that would last until his death."
  • TEENAGE
  • 1936
    Age 17
    Returning to England in 1936, Payn broadcast frequently as a light baritone on radio as well as on the new television service in variety shows in 1938 and 1939; he was also cast in radio plays.
    More Details Hide Details His first adult role in the West End came a fortnight before the outbreak of World War II, in Douglas Furber's song and dance show, Sitting Pretty, after which all the theatres were closed. Payn volunteered for the army but was discharged on health grounds after a few weeks because of a hernia.
  • 1931
    Age 12
    In October 1931, he broadcast as a boy soprano on the BBC in a programme featuring Derek Oldham and Mabel Constanduros, and made further broadcasts in 1932 and 1933.
    More Details Hide Details At the age of 14, he auditioned for the Noël Coward and Charles B. Cochran revue Words and Music (1932). His audition piece, singing "Nearer My God to Thee" while executing a tap dance, was so striking that Payn won two tiny parts in the revue. For 163 performances, he played a busker entertaining a cinema queue as a lead-in to the ballad "Mad About the Boy", and announced, in top hat, white jacket and shorts, the show's other hit song "Mad Dogs and Englishmen". He first appeared in films as a boy soprano in the same year. When the revue closed, Payn signed a nine-week contract to sing in cinemas around Britain, but the tour was cancelled when his voice suddenly broke. Unemployable as a boy soprano, he returned with his mother to South Africa. During the run of Words and Music, Payn had studied tap dancing with the show's choreographer, Buddy Bradley. To make a living in South Africa he taught at dancing schools in Durban and Johannesburg, reproducing Bradley's routines.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1918
    Born
    Born in 1918.
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