1910 – 1979
A comedienne who, for a generation, symbolised a quintessential Englishness.
Joyce Grenfell (nee Phipps) was a niece of Lady Astor, and spent much of her childhood at Cliveden. She met her husband, Reginald Grenfell, at a party there. They married in 1929, and lived in a cottage on the Cliveden Estate.
During World War Two she entertained with ENSA. She appeared in several films, including the ‘St Trinian’s’ series. She also recorded several records of humourous songs, but it is for her comedy monologues that she is best remembered. In these she often played a harassed teacher, and her catchphrase “George – don’t do that!” is still recognised today.
Joyce died in 1979, and in 1980 she was honoured with a memorial service at Westminster Abbey, the first comedian ever to be given this honour.
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