Joyce Irene Grenfell OBE (née Phipps; 10 February 1910 – 30 November 1979) was an English diseuse, singer, actress and writer. She was known for the songs and monologues she wrote and performed, at first in revues and later in her solo shows. She never appeared as a stage actress, but had roles, mostly comic, in many films, including Miss Gossage in The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950) and Police Sergeant Ruby Gates in the St Trinian's series (from 1954). She was a well-known broadcaster on radio and television. As a writer, she was the first radio critic for The Observer, contributed to Punch and published two volumes of memoirs.Born to an affluent Anglo-American family, Grenfell had abandoned early hopes of becoming an actress when she was invited to perform a comic monologue in a West End revue in 1939. Its success led to a career as an entertainer, giving her creations in theatres in five continents between 1940 and 1969.Life and career
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