Noël Coward

Playwright and Composer
Born Dec 16, 1899

Sir Noël Peirce Coward was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise". Born in Teddington, a suburb of London, Coward attended a dance academy in London as a child, making his professional stage début at the age of eleven.… Read More

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1899 Birth Coward was born in 1899 in Teddington, Middlesex, a southwestern suburb of London. … Read More


1911 12 Years Old 1 More Event
Encouraged by his ambitious mother, who sent him to a dance academy in London, Coward's first professional engagement was in January 1911 as Prince Mussel in the children's play The Goldfish. … Read More
1912 13 Years Old In 1912 Coward also appeared at the Savoy Theatre in An Autumn Idyll (as a dancer in the ballet) and at the London Coliseum in A Little Fowl Play, by Harold Owen, in which Hawtrey starred.
1913 14 Years Old Italia Conti engaged Coward to appear at the Liverpool Repertory Theatre in 1913, and in the same year he was cast as the Lost Boy Slightly in Peter Pan. … Read More
1914 15 Years Old In 1914, when Coward was fourteen, he became the protégé and probably the lover of Philip Streatfeild, a society painter. … Read More
1916 17 Years Old Coward continued to perform during most of the First World War, appearing at the Prince of Wales's Theatre in 1916 in The Happy Family and on tour with Amy Brandon Thomas's company in Charley's Aunt.
1917 18 Years Old In 1917, he appeared in The Saving Grace, a comedy produced by Hawtrey. … Read More
1918 19 Years Old In 1918, Coward was conscripted into the Artists Rifles but was assessed as unfit for active service because of a tubercular tendency, and he was discharged on health grounds after nine months. … Read More


1920 - 1921 2 More Events
1923 24 Years Old 1 More Event
The play opened in London in 1923, after a provincial tour, with Coward in one of the leading roles. … Read More
1924 25 Years Old In 1924, Coward achieved his first great critical and financial success as a playwright with The Vortex. … Read More
The success of The Vortex in both London and America caused a great demand for new Coward plays. In 1925 he premiered Fallen Angels, a three-act comedy that amused and shocked audiences with the spectacle of two middle-aged women slowly getting drunk while awaiting the arrival of their mutual lover.
1926 27 Years Old Soon, his frantic pace caught up with him, and he collapsed on stage in 1926 while starring in a stage adaptation of The Constant Nymph and had to take an extended rest, recuperating in Hawaii. … Read More


1929 30 Years Old Between 1929 and 1936 Coward recorded many of his best-known songs for His Master's Voice (HMV), now reissued on CD, including the romantic "I'll See You Again" from Bitter Sweet, the comic "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" from Words and Music, and "Mrs Worthington". … Read More
1934 35 Years Old …  From 1934 until 1956, Coward was the president of The Actors' Orphanage, which was supported by the theatrical industry. … Read More


1941 42 Years Old 1 More Event
Mindful of the public view of Coward's flamboyant lifestyle, Churchill used, as his reason for withholding the honour, Coward's ₤200 fine for contravening currency regulations in 1941. … Read More
1942 43 Years Old …  Coward toured during 1942 in Blithe Spirit, alternating the piece with his comedy Present Laughter and his working-class drama This Happy Breed. … Read More
1943 44 Years Old The film was popular on both sides of the Atlantic, and he was awarded an honorary certificate of merit at the 1943 Academy Awards ceremony.
1945 46 Years Old After protests from both The New York Times and The Washington Post, the Foreign Office urged Coward not to visit the United States in January 1945. … Read More


1951 52 Years Old Further blows in this period were the deaths of Coward's friends Charles Cochran and Gertrude Lawrence, in 1951 and 1952 respectively.
1953 54 Years Old 1 More Event
Despite his disappointments, Coward maintained a high public profile; his performance as King Magnus in Shaw's The Apple Cart for the Coronation season of 1953, co-starring Margaret Leighton, received much coverage in the press, and his cabaret act, honed during his wartime tours entertaining the troops, was a supreme success, first in London at the Café de Paris, and later in Las Vegas. … Read More
1955 56 Years Old In 1955 Coward's cabaret act at Las Vegas, recorded live for the gramophone, and released as Noël Coward at Las Vegas was so successful that CBS engaged him to write and direct a series of three 90-minute television specials for the 1955–56 season.


1962 63 Years Old …  Invited to play the title role in the 1962 film Dr. No, he replied, "No, no, no, a thousand times, no." … Read More
1964 65 Years Old 1 More Event
Invited to direct Hay Fever with Edith Evans at the National Theatre, he wrote in 1964, "I am thrilled and flattered and frankly a little flabbergasted that the National Theatre should have had the curious perceptiveness to choose a very early play of mine and to give it a cast that could play the Albanian telephone directory." … Read More
1968 69 Years Old …  The play was thought to be lost until a typescript was found in 2007 in the archive of the Lord Chamberlain's Office, the official censor of stage plays in the UK until 1968.
Coward was knighted in 1969 and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. … Read More
1972 73 Years Old In 1972, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by the University of Sussex.
1973 74 Years Old Coward died at his home, Firefly Estate, in Jamaica on 26 March 1973 of heart failure and was buried three days later on the brow of Firefly Hill, overlooking the north coast of the island. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted onël_Coward.
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