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Mary Ellis THOSE DANCING YEARS First Edition Signed Autobiography

Mary Ellis THOSE DANCING YEARS First Edition Signed Autobiography

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First edition, first print hardback of THOSE DANCING YEARS: the Autobiography of Mary Ellis, published by John Murray (Publishers) Ltd., London, in 1982. Signed by Mary Ellis on the title page.

The book is in good condition (light green cloth boards with gilt lettering on spine which has some creasing to spine edges, some fading to the edges, a smal crack to the top spine corner together with creasing, slight bumping to corners and a creasing line across the bottom corner of the front board), with slight wear to the dust jacket which is price clipped (light creasing to edges mainly at the back and around the spine, slight chipping to the top corner at the back and a half inch closed tear to the top spine corner). There is slight tanning and foxing to the front and back endpapers, inside the dust jacket and jacket flaps. Otherwise, internally, the pages are clean and tight and there are no tears and no other inscriptions.

Mary Ellis (1897-2003) was a long-lived star of the British stage best known for her roles in the genre of musical theatre. After appearing with the Metropolitan Opera beginning in 1918, later appearing opposite Enrico Caruso, she acted on Broadway, creating the title role in Rose Marie.

In 1930, she emigrated to England, where she gained additional fame and continued to perform into the 1990s. She starred in Jerome Kern's Music in the Air (1933) and then went on to her best known singing roles as the heroine of three Ivor Novello operettas, Glamorous Night (1935), The Dancing Years (1939) and Arc de Triomphe (1943). She also appeared in a film version of Glamorous Night in 1937.

For most of the Second World War, Ellis abandoned the theatre, performing welfare work in hospitals, and from time to time giving concerts to entertain members of the armed forces. Returning to the stage after the war, Ellis was successful in Noel Coward's 1947 melodrama, Point Valaine, playing a hotel keeper in a sordid, clandestine relationship with an abusive West Indian.

In 1948 she gave one of her most praised performances as the embittered Millie Crocker-Harris in Terence Rattigan's The Browning Version. In 1952 she played Volumnia in Coriolanus with Anthony Quayle for the nine-month Stratford season.

In 1954 Ellis was cast as Mrs. Erlynne in Coward's musical After the Ball, but her singing voice had deteriorated drastically, and much of her music had to be cut. Coward blamed her performance for the relative failure of the show.

She appeared in the 1960 movie The Three Worlds of Gulliver and made her last stage appearance in 1970, playing Mrs Warren in Shaw's Mrs Warren's Profession at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford. She appeared in 1993 in the television series Sherlock Holmes and again in 1994, playing Mary Maberley.

Those Dancing Years is Ellis's memoirs published in 1982. A further autobiography Moments of Truth followed in 1986. She died in London 2003, aged 105.

"The range of Mary Ellis's theatrical talent has been astonishing. While still in her teens, her exceptional singing voice brought her the 'young' roles at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where she sang with all the great artists of the time, including Caruso, Scotti and Chaliapin.

With an operatic future assured, she courageously turned her back on classical singing to realise her ambition to become a dramatic actress. Between her first Shakespearean role in the 1920s for the distinguished stage director David Belasco, and her last stage appearance in Shaw's Mrs Warren's Profession in the 1970s, her acting career has been all-embracing, from the mammoth plays of Eugene O'Neill to Hollywood, from seasons with the Old Vic and the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford to Rattigan and Coward.

In 1924 she made a sensational personal success in yet another branch of the theatre when she created the legendary title-role in the premiere of Friml's Rose Marie on Broadway. Among her young friends on the threshold of their careers in that New York of the Twenties were Gershwin, Heifetz and Harpo Marx.

In England, nine years later - to the amazement of London audiences who until then had seen her only in 'staright' plays - she triumphed again on the light musical stage when C. B. Cochran asked her to star in Jerome Kern's Music in the Air. Seeing her for the first time in that production, Ivor Novello was inspired to write his two biggest Drury Lane successes for her - Glamorous Night and The Dancing Years - with which her name will always be associated.

Now in her 'young old age' Mary Ellis tells with great charm, humour and perception of her unique career, and of her personal life and relationships. She emerges as an enchanting personality, quite unspoiled by her success in the theatre and with her enjoyment of life undiminished.

The book is illustrated with 60 photographs from her own collection many reproduced here for the first time."

182 pages. Illustrated with black & white photographs.

ISBN: 0 7195 3984 6

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Those Dancing Years by Mary Ellis

Mary Ellis Signature


1 In Stock

£12.00
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Mary Ellis THOSE DANCING YEARS First Edition Signed Autobiography {PRODUCT-SHORTDESC}
£12.00

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