Family & Companions
Delicately lovely British actress, primarily on stage in light, brittle comedy from the mid-1920s until the late 50s. After training at RADA, Allen made her London stage debut in Noel Coward's "Easy Virtue" in 1926. She often brought her intelligence and grace to the Broadway stage, in productions ranging from the mournful romance "Cynara" (1931) to the high period comedy "Pride and Prejudice" (1935) to the intense family saga "Edward, My Son" (1948). From the mid-40s on, Allen primarily played mother roles, like her matchmaker in "The Reluctant Debutante" (1956).
Allen also made a dozen film appearances on both sides of the Atlantic between 1930 and 1954. Her busiest period in film came shortly after her debut in "Loose Ends" (1930), but the middling "The Stronger Sex" and "The Woman Between" (both 1931) failed to establish her in film. Decidedly better were the offbeat small-town drama, "The Night of June 13" (1932) and the superior British noir, "The October Man" (1947).