Treasure Island

Joyce Grenfell


Biography of Joyce Grenfell

Joyce Irene Grenfell (née Phipps; 10 February 1910 – 30 November 1979) was an English actress, comedienne, monologist and singer-songwriter.

Born in London, Joyce was the daughter of architect Paul Phipps (1880–1953), the grandson of Charles Paul Phipps and a second cousin of Ruth Draper, and an eccentric American mother, Nora Langhorne (1889–1955), the daughter of Chiswell Langhorne, an American railway millionaire. Nancy Astor, née Nancy Langhorne, was her mother's sister and Grenfell often visited her at Astor's home, Cliveden.

Joyce Phipps grew up around money and privilege. She had a London childhood and considered herself a "townie". Joyce attended the Francis Holland School in Central London, and the Christian Science School, Clearview, in South Norwood, and then she was "finished" in Paris where she attended Mlle. Ozanne's finishing school at the age of 17.

In 1927, she met Reginald Pascoe Grenfell (1903–1993); they were married two years later at St. Margaret's, Westminster; they remained married for 50 years (until her death).

She made her stage debut in 1939 in the Little Revue. In 1942 she wrote what became her signature song, "I'm Going to See You Today."

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