Morgan, Joan 1905-2004
MORGAN, Joan 1905-2004
(Iris North, Joan Wentworth Wood)
See index for CA sketch: Born February 1, 1905, in London, England; died July 22, 2004, in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England. Actress and author. Morgan was a former silent movie star who later wrote plays and novels, usually under the pen name of either Iris North or Joan Wentworth Wood. The daughter of director Sidney Morgan and actress Evelyn Wood, she entered films as a child actress during the silent movie era. She appeared in such films as The Cup Final Mystery (1914), The Reapers (1916), Lady Noggs (1920), and Little Dorrit (1920), some of which were directed by her father. But when she was offered a large contract by a Hollywood studio, Wood's father turned it down, thus effectively placing a huge road bump in the way of her career. She continued to make movies through the early 1930s, however, such as Shadow of Egypt (1924) and her only "talkie," Her Reputation (1932), but by this time her career was effectively over. But although Morgan never attended university, she was a bright woman and avid reader with considerable writing talent, and she turned her skills to composing plays, screenplays, and novels. She wrote the successful film The Flag Lieutenant (1932) and the well-received play This Was a Woman, which was produced in London in 1944 and later televised. By the 1940s, she was writing novels, including Citizen of Westminster (1940), Many-sided Mirror (1944), Hanging Wood (1950), which was adapted for television by the BBC in 1977, and The Casebook of Capability Morgan (1965). From 1958 to 1977, Morgan also made a career in property conversions. When she was ninety, filmmakers remembered her historic film career in the early days of movies, and she was the subject of a video documentary and appeared in Cinema Europe, another documentary about the silent film era in Europe that aired on the BBC.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Independent (London, England), July 24, 2004, p. 45.
Los Angeles Times, July 29, 2004, p. B11.
Times (London, England), August 3, 2004, p. 27.
Washington Post, August 3, 2004, p. B5.