Monty Banks
(Movies & TV)
Cole Porter
Agatha Christie
Conrad Leonard
Eileen Joyce
Ingolf Dahl
Vera Lynn

See also

Gracie Fields

Knowledge Identifier: +Gracie_Fields


Gracie Fields

English-born, later Italian-based actress, singer and comedienne and star of both cinema and music hall add

Category: Movies & TV

Born in 1898.

Countries: United Kingdom (58%), United States (23%), Sweden (4%)

Education: undef.

Main connections: Monty Banks, Cole Porter, Agatha Christie

Linked to: Allies of World War II, BBC, Entertainments National Service Association




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Gracie Fields was born in 1898 add something


She made her first stage appearance as a child in 1905, joining children's repertory theatre groups such as 'Haley's Garden of Girls' and the 'Nine Dainty Dots' add something


Her professional debut in variety took place at the Rochdale Hippodrome theatre in 1910 and she soon gave up her job in the local cotton mill, where she was a half-timer, spending half a week in the mill and the other half at school add something


Their first revue in 1915 was called "Yes I Think So" and the two continued to tour Britain together until 1924 in the revue "Mr Tower of London", with other reviews including "By Request", "It's A Bargain" and "The Show's The Thing" add something


Pitt would come to serve as her manager and the two married in 1923 at Clapham Register Office add something


One of her most successful productions was at the Alhambra Theatre, London, in 1925 add something


Fields appeared in ten Royal Variety Performances from 1928 onwards, her last being in 1978 at the age of 80 when she appeared as a surprise guest in the finale, in which she appeared and sang her theme song, "Sally" add something


She made the first of ten appearances in Royal Variety Performances in 1928, following a premiere stint at the London Palladium, gaining a devoted following with a mixture of self-deprecating jokes, comic songs and monologues, as well as cheerful "depression-era" songs all presented in a "no-airs-and-graces" Northern, working class style add something


She recorded her first record for HMV "Because I Love You" and "My Blue Heaven" in 1928 add something


Fields helped Rochdale F.C. in the 1930s when they were struggling to pay fees and buy sports equipment add something


She proved popular once more, though never regaining the status she enjoyed in the 1930s add something


Conrad Leonard - From the 1930s, he performed with stars like Fred Astaire, Cole Porter and Gracie Fields


Eileen Joyce - Her recordings made her popular internationally in the 1930s and 1940s, particularly during !World_War_II; at her zenith she was compared in popular esteem with Gracie Fields and Vera Lynn


Doris Hare - In 1930, the actress toured in "The Show's the Thing", taking the part made famous by Gracie Fields


In 1933 she set up the Gracie Fields Children's Home and Orphanage at Peacehaven in Sussex for children of those in the theatre profession who could not look after their children add something


Fields and Holloway first worked together on her film "Sing As We Go" in 1934 and the two remained close friends for the rest of their lives add something


Monty Banks - He met singer and actress Gracie Fields in 1935 and they married in March 1940


In 1939, she became seriously ill with cervical cancer add something


Following her divorce from Archie Pitt, she married Italian-born film director Monty Banks in March 1940 add something


Ingolf Dahl - He worked in the entertainment industry, touring as pianist to Edgar Bergen and his puppets in 1941 and later for comedian Gracie Fields in 1942 and 1956


Holy Matrimony (1943 film) - On February 2, 1943, Fox announced the Gracie Fields would co-star in the picture and that the title was being changed from its working title of "Buried Alive" to the more audience-friendly "Holy Matrimony"


Late 1945 saw her tour the South Pacific Islands add something


The BBC gave her her own radio show in 1947 dubbed "Our Gracie's Working Party" in which 12 towns were visited by Fields, and a live show of music and entertainment was broadcast weekly with Fields compering and performing, and local talents on the bill add something


She began performing in Britain again in 1948 headlining the London Palladium over Eartha Kitt who was on the bill add something


It was favoured by many Hollywood stars during the 1950s, with regular guests including Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Greta Garbo and Noël Coward add something


Like so many BBC shows at the time this show transferred to Radio luxembourg in 1950, sponsored by Wisk Soap Powder add something


Monty Banks died in 1950 of a heart attack while travelling on the Orient Express add something


Russ Conway - Conway was talent-spotted while playing in a London club, signed to EMI's Columbia label and spent the mid 1950s providing backing for artists on their roster, including Gracie Fields and Joan Regan


Festival of Britain - In 1951, Fields opened the Festival of Britain celebrations add something


Kenneth Sandford - In April 1955, he appeared in the Royal Variety Show supporting The Crazy Gang in a bill that featured Gracie Fields, George Formby and the young team of Morecambe and Wise


In 1956, Fields played Miss Marple in a US TV production of Agatha Christie's "A Murder is Announced" add something


In 1957, her single, "Around the World" peaked at No.8 in the UK Singles Chart, with her recording of "Little Donkey" reaching No.20 in November 1959 add something


Fields had two Christmas TV specials in 1960 and 1961, singing her old favourites and new songs in front of a studio audience add something


Her UK tours proved popular, and in the mid 1960s she performed farewell tours in Australia, Canada and America - the last performance was recorded and released years later add something


She kept this until 1967, when the home was no longer needed add something


In 1968, Fields headlined a two week Christmas stint at Yorkshire's prestigious Batley Variety Club add something


In 1975, her album, "The Golden Years", reached No.48 in the UK Albums Chart add something


In 1978, she opened the Gracie Fields Theatre, located next to Oulder Hill Community School, in her native Rochdale, performing a concert there recorded by the BBC to open the show add something


The local theater in Rochdale, the Gracie Fields Theatre, was opened by her in 1978 add something

Gracie Fields died in 1979 add something


Her final TV appearance came in January 1979 when she appeared in a special octogenarian edition of "The Merv Griffin Show" in America, in which she sang the song she popularised in America, "The Biggest Aspidistra In The World" add something


Fields' health declined in July 1979, when she contracted pneumonia after performing an open air concert on the Royal Yacht which was docked in Capri's harbour add something


After a spell in hospital, she seemed to be recovering, but died on 27 September 1979 add something


On 3 October 2009 the final train to run on the Oldham Loop before it closed to be converted to a tramway, a Class 156, was named in her honour add something


In September 2016, a statue of Fields was unveiled outside Rochdale Town Hall which is the first statue of a woman to be erected for over a century in Greater Manchester add something