Rosamund John in Cleethorpes


List of the cast for a production of “Gaslight”at the Empire Theatre, Cleethorpes, 1953.


Rosamund John in Grimsby

The part of Mrs Manningham was played by Rosamund John, who was a major star of British stage and screen in the 1940s and 1950s. She had significant roles in two classic aviation-related films from the ‘40s: “The Way to the Stars” and “The First of the Few”.

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Here she is a decade later at the Westminster Theatre in London ABOVE – so it does seem that her marriage to politician John Silkin did not altogether stop her acting career as these two plays are well after they wed.

Back to her beginning  the  actor-producer Robert Donat  had spotted her while she was working at Stratford for C.B.Cochrane  doing walk on parts and understudying several Shakespearean roles, and he then cast her as an understudy in his production Red Night (1936).

Robert Donat’s biographer Kenneth Barrows recounts that the actor not only had great faith in  Rosamund John’s ability – he was to write in his journals, “One day I shall be proud to say I was one of the first to recognise her great gifts” – but he also fell deeply in love with her and, though he was married, by Christmas 1938 he was writing that  Rosamund John was “the first truly passionate affair of my life”.

Rosamund John did only a few  films .   Sadly this splendid actress is all, but forgotten nowadays.

Though her films were few, most were classics. The Gentle Sex directed by Leslie Howard was a tribute of the women in the ATS and then  The First Of The Few. She also played a nurse in The Lamp Still Burns with Stewart Granger. However, Rosamund John had a memorable role in The Way To The Stars were she played the films pivotal role of Toddy, playing the girlfriend, wife and widow of Michael Redgrave.

There was also Fame Is The Spur where she played the wife of Labour M.P Michael Redgrave, life.

Then one I remember more thany any other was Green For Danger, where she again plays a nurse, only a murdering one. She then  played a policewoman in Street Corner at a time when women Police Officers weren’t high profile

Rosamund John

Rosamund John ABOVE a letter to an fan after she had been appearing in a stage play in Nottingham.

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Rosamund John  – ABOVE a Signed picture

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ABOVE Rosamund John with James Mason in The Upturned Glass

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Rosamund John  – ABOVE – ‘Fame is the Spur’ 1947

Robert Donat

ABOVE – Rosamund John and Robert Donat – Lovers in real life- seen here in a stage performance of The Devils Disciple in London’s West End in 1938

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