Mrs Dale – Ellis Powell and Ralph Truman

Just following up on recent articles.

BELOW – This is a picture that was taken at the time of the 2,000 th episode of Mrs Dale’s Diary with Ellis Powell as Mrs Dale and James Dale as Dr Dale. This episode coincided with their son Bob’s wedding

In the last weeks of her life, Ellis Powell is reported to have worked at the Ideal Home Exhibition and as a hotel cleaner. She had been invited to become an announcer at boxer Freddie Mills’s Nite spot in London, but died before she could take the job.

On 19 February 1963, Ellis Powell a fifty-six-year-old character actress walked out of Broadcasting House for the last time. In fact she had earned less than £ 30 a week playing Mrs. Dale in Mrs Dale’s Diary but her voice was as well known in Britain as that of Queen Elizabeth II, for it was heard twice a day by seven million devoted listeners.

The BBC had decided the programme needed a facelift and got rid of Ellis Powell. Typical of the BBC – they haven’t changed much over the years – they have a successful programme like this one with 7 million listeners and then decide to get rid of the mainstay of the show – the leading actress. It defies belief but this is the way it is done there it seems.

Three months later, at the age of fifty-seven, she died. Her friends believed she never recovered from the shock and distress of her sudden departure from the BBC. In the last weeks of her life she worked as a demonstrator at the Ideal Home Exhibition and as a cleaner in a hotel.

Freddie Mills Nite Spot

Freddie Mills Nite Spot

Ellis Powell had been married to fellow actor Ralph Truman who I always remember for playing George Merry in Walt Disney’s ‘Treasure Island’ in 1950.

The Director Byron Haskin allowed and in fact encouraged Ralph Truman to go head to head with Robert Newton in the acting stakes and this he did with much success the resulting in making Robert Newton seem to be almost underplaying his role of Long John Silver at times when they were both on screen together.

Having said that Byron Haskin was full of praise for Robert Newton who had worked so hard on the film with barely a day off

Ralph Truman as George Merry in ‘Treasure Island’

Anyway, I digress – Ralph Truman had a long and successful career as a film actor and his wife too had a good career in Radio drama from before the War and during the War and afterwards.

Ralph Truman was also in a very good Hitchcock film ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’ in 1956 as Inspector Buchanan – and later he appeared in Ben Hur and El Cid

Ralph Truman on the Left in The Night My Number Came Up

As for his wife Ellis Powell, her treatment by the BBC afterwards was nothing short of shameful. They even seemed to go along and promote the story that she had a problem with alcohol – but when this is looked into there is very little evidence to support that

Ralph du Vergier Truman, 1900 – 1977

Ralph du Vergier Truman was born 7 May 1900, in London Ralph married Ellis Agnes Estelle Truman (born Powell).Ellis was born in 1905, in London, England.

After her death Ralph married Maria “Mimi” Vittoria H Truman (born Cooper).Maria was born on November 13 1918, in Brentford, Middlesex, England

Ralph Truman died in Ipswich in 1977

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