Lister, Moira (1923—)
Lister, Moira (1923—)
South African-born actress. Born on August 6, 1923, in Cape Town, South Africa; daughter of Major James Martin and Margaret Winifred (Hogan) Lister; attended Parktown Convent, in Johannesburg; studied acting with Dr. Hulbert and Amy Coleridge; married Vicomte d'Orthez.
made stage debut at age six, as the Prince in The Vikings of Helgeland (University Players, Johannesburg, 1929); made London debut as Jeeby Cashler in Post Road (Golders Green Hippodrome, April 1937); appeared as Diana in Six Pairs of Shoes (Playhouse Theater, London, April 1944), Margaret Heiss in The Shop in Sly Street ("Q" Theater, London, June, 1944), Laurel Somerset in Felicity Jasmine (St. James's Theater, September 1944), Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Desdemona in Othello, Olivia in Twelfth Night, Anne Bullen in King Henry VIII, Charmian in Antony and Cleopatra, and Kate Hardcastle in She Stoops to Conquer (Stratford-on-Avon, Shakespeare Memorial Theater Company, 1946); appeared as Isabel Neville in The Kingmaker (St. James's Theater, London, May 1946), Palmyra in Marriage à la Mode (St. James's Theater, July 1946), Joanna Lyppiatt in Present Laughter (Haymarket Theater, April 1947); made New York debut as Madeleine in Don't Listen Ladies (Booth Theater, New York, December 1948); appeared as Diana Lake in French Without Tears (Vaudeville Theater, London, June 1949); appeared in the revue Sauce Piquante (Cambridge Theater, April 1950); appeared as the Princess in The Love of Four Colonels (Wyndham's Theater, May 1951), Monica Bestwood in Birthday Honors (Criterion Theater, October 1953); toured the Continent and the English provinces with the Shakespeare Memorial Theater Company (1955); appeared as Kate Waterhouse in The Long Echo (St. James's Theater, August 1956), Irene in Paddle Your Own Canoe (Criterion Theater, December 1957); toured Africa and Australia in one-woman show, People in Love (1958–59); appeared as Nell Nash in The Gazebo (Savoy Theater, London, March 1960), Virginia in Devil May Care (Strand Theater, March 1963), Sylvia in The Uncertain Heroine (Richmond Theater, May 1964), Sylvia Barr in The First Fish (Savoy Theater, July 1964); toured South Africa in Bedtime Story (December 1964–March 1965); appeared as Dorothy in Any Wednesday (Apollo Theater, London, August 1965), Lesbia Grantham in Getting Married (Strand Theater, April 1967), Connie in The Snow Angel, Woman in Epiphany (double bill), and Anne Preston in A Woman Named Anne (Lyceum Theater, Edinburgh, Summer 1969).
The Shipbuilders (1943); Love Story (A Lady Surrenders, 1944); Wanted for Murder (1946); So Evil My Love (1948); Another Shore (1948); A Run for Your Money (1949); Pool of London (1950); White Corridors (1951); The Cruel Sea (1952); Trouble in Story (1953); The Deep Blue Sea (1955); Seven Waves Away (Abandon Ship!, 1957); The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964); The Double Man (1967); Stranger in the House (Cop-Out, 1967); Not Now Darling (1972); Ten Little Indians (1989).
Born in 1923 in Cape Town, South Africa, and educated at a convent school in Johannesburg, actress Moira Lister made her stage debut with the Johannesburg University Players, at age six. In 1937, she first appeared on the London stage as Jeeby Cashler in Post Road at the Golders Green Hippodrome. From that time through the 1980s, Lister was never without work, acting on the British, South African, and American stages, as well as in British films and on television. Described as a "patrician" blue-eyed blonde, she frequently played sensuous aristocrats in films, although her stage roles were more varied. She appeared as Juliet and Desdemona with the Shakespeare Memorial Theater in 1945 and 1955, along with such roles as Olivia in Twelfth Night, Margaret in Much Ado About Nothing, and Regan in King Lear. In 1958–59, Lister toured Africa and Australia in the one-woman show People in Love, and in 1960, played Nell Nash in The Gazebo, a play that ran for over a year in London. Her film career, launched in 1943, included The Deep Blue Sea (1955), The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964), and The Double Man (1967). On television, she played in the popular series "The Very Merry Widow," which inspired the title for her autobiography, The Very Merry Moira, published in 1969.