Kemp-Welch, Joan (1906—)

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Kemp-Welch, Joan (1906—)

British actress and director who was responsible for over 450 television and stage productions. Born Joan Kemp-Welch Green in Wimbledon, England, on September 23, 1906; daughter of Vincent Green and Helen (Kemp-Welch) Green; attended Roedean; married Ben H. Wright (divorced); married Peter Moffatt.

Selected acting credits:

made stage debut in Maya (Gate Theater, 1927); appeared in Ghosts (Wyndham's Theater, 1929), John Gabriel Borkman (Arts Theater, 1929), Silent Witness (Comedy Theater, 1930), Traffic (Lyceum Theater, 1930); toured in Baa Baa Black Sheep, Cynara, and Admirals All (1931); appeared as Miss Macadam in Lovely Lady (Phoenix Theater, February 1932); played in repertory (Q Theater, 1932–33); appeared as Clara in Finished Abroad (Savoy Theater, March 1934), Tondeleyo in White Cargo, Portia in The Merchant of Venice, Maria in Twelfth Night (repertory at Northampton), Bessie in Glory Be (Phoenix Theater, 1935), Charlotte in Nina (Criterion Theater, 1935); toured in title role in Nina (1936); toured in Late Night Final and Boy Meets Girl (South Africa, 1936); with Baxter-Somerville Company (Royal Brighton Theater, 1937); The Melody That Got Lost (Phoenix Theater, January 1938); appeared as Ellen in A Doll's House (Duke of York's Theater, February 1939), Diana in Lady Fanny (Duke of York's Theater, March 1939), Lucy Gillham in Ladies in Retirement (St. James's Theater, December 1939, and St. Martin's Theater, August 1941), Mrs. Thompson in It Happened in September (St. James's Theater, December 1942); appeared in Damaged Goods (Whitehall Theater, May 1943).

Selected films as actress:

Once a Thief (1935); The Girl in the Taxi (1937); Busman's Honeymoon (1940); Pimpernel Smith (1941); Jeannie (1941).

Selected director credits—theater:

director at the Buxton Repertory Theater (1944), at Colchester Repertory (1945–48), at Wilson Barrett Company in Scotland (1948–51), at New Theater Bromley (1953–54), at the Pitlochry Festival (1968–69); directed over 250 plays including: Hedda Gabler, The Cherry Orchard, Winterset, A Streetcar Named Desire, Desire Under the Elms, An Ideal Husband, Miss Hargreaves (Court Theater, 1952); Vicious Circle (New Watergate Theater, 1955); Dead on Nine and Albertine by Moonlight (Westminster Theater, 1956); also directed revues and pantomimes.

Selected television credits:

A Midsummer Night's Dream (BBC live in the 1960s, starring Patrick Allen,Jill Bennett , Anna Massey , Peter Wyngarde, and Benny Hill); The Bonegrinder (by Dennis Potter, aired on May 13, 1968, on ITV Playhouse); Uldridge (1968); episodes 4–7 of "Upstairs, Downstairs" (1971–72); episodes of "Life with the Lyons," starringBebe Daniels ; also Cool for Cats, Free and Easy, Rush Hour, Woman of no Importance, Birthday Party, Night School, The Problem of Girl Friends, A View From the Bridge, and Electra.

Primarily cited today for her television work, Joan Kemp-Welch began her career as a character actress, playing shy girls and spinsters on stage and in occasional films. She went on to direct over 250 productions for the theater, including such classics as Hedda Gabler, The Cherry Orchard, Winterset, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Desire Under the Elms. Entering television in the 1950s, Kemp-Welch directed over 200 programs, including features, dramas, and light entertainments. She won numerous awards for her work, including a television Oscar for "Cool for Cats" (1958), a Prix Italia for "The Lover" (1963), the Desmond Davis Award for service to television (1963), and the Wilkie Baird award for creative work on television.