Het is vandaag al twintig jaar geleden dat de Engelse film, stage and television actress Phyllis Hannah Murray-Hill (née Bickle), known professionally as Phyllis Calvert, is overleden [foto met dank aan Olivier Deplus].

Born in Chelsea, London, she trained at the Margaret Morris School of Dancing. She gained her first film role at the age of 12, in The Arcadians (1927), also known as The Land of Heart’s Desire.
Calvert was spotted in a play Punch without Judy and signed to a contract by Gainsborough Pictures who gave her the lead in They Came by Night (1940), opposite Will Fyffe. She was George Formby’s love interest in Let George Do It! (1940) She was one of the leading stars of the Gainsborough melodramas of the 1940s such as The Man in Grey (1943). The movie was a huge success, making her and her three co-stars – Stewart Granger, James Mason and Margaret Lockwood – genuine box office stars in Britain [bovenstaande foto is uit 1946]. She continued acting until some 50 years later.
In the words of one account, “Most of the time she drew what looked like the short straw, playing the ‘good girl’ in films that revelled in the exploits of her wicked opposite number, and it says much for her talent and charisma that she was able to hold attention in what must have seemed thankless parts – she herself acknowledged that ‘I do think it is much more difficult to establish a really charming, nice person than a wicked one – and make it real’.” [Wikipedia]

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