Lovely, delicate-looking actress Muriel Pavlow belongs firmly to the British cinema of the 1950s and often provided a nice counterbalance to the hectic goings-on in many comedies. Born in 1921 in Leigh, Kent, England, she was a dominant stage actress despite her petite frame and made her theatrical debut at age 15 with a production of “The Old Maid” (1936). Other sprightly teen roles on stage followed including “Oedipus Rex” (1936), “Victoria Regina” (1937), “Dear Octopus” (1938), “Dear Brutus” (1940) and “Old Acquaintance” before she began to get a strong foothold in films.
Muriel started out with a bit role in a 1934 Gracie Fields musical comedy film, but wouldn’t come into her own for nearly two decades. Perennially radiant and youthful, she often times played ingénue roles much younger than her actual age. She appeared in the film Quiet Wedding (1941) starring Margaret Lockwood and Derek Farr and was prominently seen in the war-time film Night Boat to Dublin (1946). While making a beguiling Ophelia on a live, early TV version of Hamlet Part 1 (1947), for the most part she tried to build up her theatrical credits.
A comely heroine in thrillers, light comedies and war-themed pictures she was usually cast as an altruistic bride, wife or girlfriend. In 1947 she married actor Farr and went on to appear with him in such British-made films as Code of Scotland Yard (1947) and Doctor at Large (1957). Peaking in mid-50s films opposite such established British actors as Dirk Bogarde, Peter Finch, John Gregson, Kenneth More and Donald Sinden, Muriel also continued to perform theater roles, notably in Shakespeare pieces — “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Othello”, “The Taming of the Shrew” and “Troilus and Cressida”.
Her film career waned in the early 60s and she and her husband worked for the most part on stage and in television. The couple appeared together in such plays as “Wolf’s Clothing” (1959) and “Mary, Mary” (1963). Following Farr’s death in 1986, she resumed her career and was spotted in the late 80s and 90s in a number of matronly roles. One of her last roles was at age 83 in the TV-movie Belonging (2004) in the company of such elites as Brenda Blethyn, Rosemary Harris and Anna Massey.
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