Vintage, Hollywood, Lolita, west end, broadway, movie stars

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Sheridan Morley (1941-2007) was the third generation of a celebrated theatrical family. His father was Robert Morley, the character actor, and his grandmother was Gladys Cooper, in her youth one of the great beauties of her day and a much sought-after actor in Britain and Hollywood. Sheridan was also a cousin of the actress and presenter Joanna Lumley and brother-in-law of the actor Robert Hardy.

Morley joined The Times as deputy features editor in 1973, and then Punch in 1975 as drama critic and arts editor, remaining with the magazine until 1989. In the late 1980s, he became a regular arts diarist for The Times and was its TV critic from 1989 to 1990. He worked as drama critic for the Spectator from 1990 to 2001, and after a short period at the New Statesman, he joined the Daily Express in 2004.

He married his first wife, Margaret Gudejko, in 1965, and they had three children together. He married his second wife, Ruth Leon, in 1995.

He authored a number of books including A Talent to Amuse: A Life of Noel Coward (1969); Gladys Cooper (1979); The Hollywood Raj (1983), The Other Side of the Moon: The Life of David Niven (1985), Odd Man Out: James Mason (1989) and Robert: My Father (1993). These are now all republished by Dean Street Press.

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“Forty years ago he was Slightly in Peter Pan, and you might say that he has been wholly in Peter Pan ever since.” Kenneth Tynan

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‘A highly readable work … Niven emerges as gallant and gracious.’ Chicago Tribune

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‘Incredibly good-looking, in a dark way … that curious quality of a man with an eternal secret. … That was what was so arresting. … That and the voice.’ Geraldine Fitzgerald

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‘If Robert had a mission, it was to emphasise that life was meant to be fun; he was one of the few men I knew who strode through life instead of circumnavigating it. He died without ever growing old.’ Michael Parkinson

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‘Hollywood is a chain gang and we lose the will to escape; the links of our chain are forged not of cruelties but of luxuries: we are pelted with orchids and roses; we are overpaid and underworked.’

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‘She had all the charm of an electric carving knife’ Dirk Bogarde

‘She was a darling girl’ Sybil Thorndike

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