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February 25, 2024

Gorgeous Photos of Dorothy Hyson in the 1930s and ’40s

Born 1914 as Dorothy Wardell Heisen in Chicago, Illinois, American actress Dorothy Hyson worked largely in England. She had her professional theatrical debut in Ivor Novello’s play Flies in the Sun (1933).

During the Second World War, Hyson made several films including You Will Remember with Robert Morley and the musical comedy Spare a Copper with George Formby. She also acted in revue, musical comedy and plays like the thriller Pink String and Sealing Wax in 1943 and an adaptation from Trollope Scandal at Barchester in 1944. In 1945, she played Lady Windermere in Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan.

Hyson worked at the secret codebreaking establishment Bletchley Park during World War II, She was part of a team of twelve led by Patricia Bartley who broke the German diplomatic code, Floradora.

Hyson was a “byword for theatrical West End glamor” and after the war returned to the West End, joining John Gielgud’s Haymarket Company in 1945.

Hyson was married twice—to actor Robert Douglas (1935–45) and then actor and director Sir Anthony Quayle (1947–89, his death). After marrying Quayle in 1947, she soon retired from the stage to concentrate on bringing up their three children. She died from a stroke in 1996, aged 81, in Britain, a year after the death of her mother, who died at age 102.

Take a look at these gorgeous photos to see the beauty of young Dorothy Hyson in the 1930s and 1940s.


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