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Ivor Novello

Ivor Novello

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Also Known As: David Ivor Davies Died: March 6, 1951
Born: January 15, 1893 Cause of Death: coronary thrombosis
Birth Place: United Kingdom Profession: singer, actor, composer, songwriter, playwright, screenwriter, piano teacher, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A matinee idol of the stage, Ivor Novello went on to duplicate that same success when he pursued a film career, becoming at one time Britain's most popular male movie star. Born in Cardiff, Wales as David Ivor Davies adopted his mother's maiden name as his stage name. (His mother, Clara Novello Davies, was a noted musician and singing teacher.) As early as age three, the youngster exhibited his singing abilities and by age ten was attending Magdalen College at Oxford on a music scholarship. When he left Oxford at age 16, Novello briefly taught piano in London, but within a year enjoyed his first success as a songwriter. Over the next few years, he eked out a living penning ditties until the outbreak of World War I when his patriotic song "Keep the Home Fires Burning" became an overnight hit, earning its composer-lyricist a small fortune. During the War, Novello made his theatrical debut providing more than a dozen songs for the 1913 revue "Theodore & Co." (Jerome Kern contributed four additional numbers.)

A matinee idol of the stage, Ivor Novello went on to duplicate that same success when he pursued a film career, becoming at one time Britain's most popular male movie star. Born in Cardiff, Wales as David Ivor Davies adopted his mother's maiden name as his stage name. (His mother, Clara Novello Davies, was a noted musician and singing teacher.) As early as age three, the youngster exhibited his singing abilities and by age ten was attending Magdalen College at Oxford on a music scholarship. When he left Oxford at age 16, Novello briefly taught piano in London, but within a year enjoyed his first success as a songwriter. Over the next few years, he eked out a living penning ditties until the outbreak of World War I when his patriotic song "Keep the Home Fires Burning" became an overnight hit, earning its composer-lyricist a small fortune. During the War, Novello made his theatrical debut providing more than a dozen songs for the 1913 revue "Theodore & Co." (Jerome Kern contributed four additional numbers.)

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Sleeping Car (1933)
2.
 Once a Lady (1931) Bennett Cloud
3.
 Constant Nymph, The (1928) Lewis Dodd
4.
 Downhill (1927)
5.
 The Lodger (1926)
6.
 The White Rose (1923) Joseph Beaugarde
7.
 Bohemian Girl (1922)
8.
 Carnival (1921)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1903:
Enrolled at Oxford on music scholarship
1909:
Worked briefly as a piano teacher
1910:
Had first song published
1914:
Composed one of the most popular songs of WWI, "Keep the Home Fires Burning"
:
Entertained British troops during the war
1916:
Enlisted as a pilot in the Royal Naval Air Service
1919:
Film acting debut in "Call of the Blood/L'Appel du sang", directed by Louis Mercanton
1921:
First English film, "Carnival"
1922:
Starred in "The Bohemian Girl" which catapulted him to prominence as a matinee idol
1923:
Cast opposite Mae Marsh in "The White Rose", helmed by D.W. Griffith
1924:
With Constance Collier, wrote the play "The Rat"
1924:
Produced the film "Lovers in Araby"
1925:
Adapted play "The Rat" into feature film; first of ten movies with Gainsborough Pictures
1926:
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock in "The Lodger"
1927:
Starred on stage in the Noel Coward play "Sirocco"
1927:
Second film with Hitchcock, "Downhill"
1928:
Play "The Truth Game" produced
1928:
Had starring role in "The Constant Nymph"
1930:
Wrote lyrics for the feature "Elstree Calling"
1932:
Co-wrote the screenplay of "Tarzan, the Ape Man"
1933:
Starred in and wrote "I Lived with You"
1935:
Starred in and wrote the stage musical "Glamorous Night"
1937:
Reprised stage role in film version of "Glamorous Night"
1939:
Wrote the stage musical "The Dancing Years"
1941:
Penned the screenplay for "Free and Easy"
1945:
Did the libretto for the stage musical "Perchance to Dream"
1948:
Wrote script and composed score for the film version "The Dancing Years"
1950:
Last stage musical, "Gay's the Word"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Magdalen College Choir School, Oxford University: - 1909

Notes

In 1956, the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors instituted the annual Ivor Novello Award to be presented for outstanding contributions to British music.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Gladys Cooper. Actor. Reportedly had relationship in the early 1920s.
companion:
Bobbie Andrews. Enjoyed long-term artistic collaboration.
companion:
Christopher Hassall. Lyricist.
companion:
Siegfried Sassoon. Poet. Had brief relationship.
companion:
J R Ackerley. Author.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
David Davies. Tax collector.
mother:
Clara Novello Davies. Singing instructor. Italian; born in 1861; died in 1943.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Ivor Novello: A Biography"

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