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Muriel Angelus

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Years active  1928–1940
Name  Muriel Angelus

Role  Theatre actress
Children  Suzanne Lavalle
Muriel Angelus
Full Name  Muriel E S M Findlay
Born  10 March 1912 (1912-03-10) Lambeth, South London, England
Died  June 26, 2004, Harrisonburg, Virginia, United States
Spouse  Paul Lavalle (m. 1946–1997), John Stuart (m. 1928–1938)
Movies  The Great McGinty, The Light that Failed, Night Birds, The Way of All Flesh, The Wife's Family
Similar People  Preston Sturges, Paul Lavalle, John Stuart, William A Wellman, Louis King

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Muriel Angelus (10 March 1912 – 26 June 2004) was an English stage, musical theatre and film actress.


Born Muriel E S M Findlay in Lambeth, South London, to Scottish parentage, she developed a sweet-voiced soprano at an early age. She made her debut on stage at the age of twelve, appearing in a play she had written herself called The Sister Key. She went on to sing in music halls and to dance in a West End production of The Vagabond King (1927).

She entered films toward the end of the silent era with The Ringer (1928), the first of three movie versions of the Edgar Wallace play. Her second film, Sailor Don't Care (1928) was important only in that she met her first husband, Scots-born actor John Stuart on the set; her role was excised from the film.

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Though in her first sound picture, Night Birds (1930), she got to sing a number, most of her films did not use her musical talents. The sweet-natured actress who played both ingenues and 'other woman' roles co-starred with husband Stuart in No Exit (1930), Eve's Fall (1930) and Hindle Wakes (1931), and appeared with British star Monty Banks in some of his film farces, including My Wife's Family (1931) and So You Won't Talk (1935). Muriel received a career lift with the glossy musical London hit Balalaika.

This led to her securing the pivotal role of Adriana in the original Broadway production of The Boys From Syracuse, co-starring Eddie Albert. In turn, she received a contract with Paramount Pictures, but never became a star and is largely remembered solely by the acting buffs and nostalgists. Her last known film role was in The Great McGinty (1940). She then revived her Broadway career and had a great success in the musical comedy, Early to Bed (1943). Her final performance came in 1946, after her marriage to Paul Lavalle. In 1959 she resisted the efforts of Richard Rodgers to secure her for the part of the Mother Abbess in the first Broadway production of The Sound of Music.

Interviewed in 1996, she said it had been a mistake for her to leave England. "I was caught up in the glamour, but once in Hollywood I was nothing more than a tiny craft battling in an ocean beside much weightier ships."

Angelus died at a nursing home in Harrisonburg, Virginia, aged 92, survived by her daughter from her second marriage.

Partial filmography

  • The Infamous Lady (1928)
  • The Ringer (1928)
  • Mascots (1929)
  • Night Birds (1930)
  • No Exit (1930)
  • Let's Love and Laugh (1931)
  • Blind Spot (1932)
  • So You Won't Talk (1935)
  • The Light That Failed (1939)
  • The Great McGinty (1940)
  • References

    Muriel Angelus Wikipedia