Jessie Matthews

Actress + Singer + Dancer
Born Mar 11, 1907

Jessie Matthews, OBE was an English actress, dancer and singer of the 1930s, whose career continued into the post-war period.

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Jessie Matthews.


1907 Birth Born on March 11, 1907.


1919 12 Years Old She went on stage on 29 December 1919, aged 12, in Bluebell in Fairyland, by Seymour Hicks, music by Walter Slaughter and lyrics by Charles Taylor, at the Metropolitan Music Hall, Edgware Road, London, as a child dancer; she made her film debut in 1923 in the silent film The Beloved Vagabond. … Read More
1926 19 Years Old In 1926 she married the first of her three husbands, actor Henry Lytton, Jr., the son of singer and actress Louie Henri and Sir Henry Lytton the doyen of the Savoy Theatre. They divorced in 1929. … Read More


1930 23 Years Old Matthews' fame reached its initial height with her lead role in Charles B. Cochran's 1930 stage production of Ever Green, premiered at the Alhambra Theatre Glasgow, a musical by Rodgers and Hart that was partly inspired by the life of music hall star Marie Lloyd, and her daughter's tribute act resurrection of her mother's acclaimed Edwardian stage show as Marie Lloyd Junior. … Read More
1934 27 Years Old It took some time for Matthews' popularity to recover from this scandal. "If I ceased to be a star", she wrote in a piece for Picturegoer in 1934, "all that interest in my home life would evaporate, I believe. … Read More


1958 51 Years Old 1 More Event
After a few false starts as a straight actress she played Tom Thumb's mother in the 1958 children's film, and during the 1960s found new fame when she took over the leading role of Mary Dale in the BBC's long-running daily radio soap, The Dales, formerly Mrs Dale's Diary. … Read More


1978 71 Years Old She memorably played Wallis Simpson's "Aunt Bessie" Merriman in the 1978 Thames TV series Edward & Mrs. Simpson.
1979 72 Years Old She took her one-woman stage show to Los Angeles in 1979 and won the United States Drama Logue Award for the year's best performance in concert.
1981 74 Years Old Died on August 19, 1981.
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