Dora Bryan

Actor, Singer, Comedian
A petite, blonde with a Lancashire accent and expressive face adept at wide-eyed innocents whose naivete is played for laughs, Dora Bryan is a much-loved veteran character actress, often cast in films in eccentric or ... Read more »
Born: 02/06/1923 in Lancashire, England, GB

Filmography

other (20)

The Fallen Idol 2006 (Movie)

(Actor)

Mirrormask 2005 (Movie)

Nan (Actor)

An Angel For May 2003 (Movie)

(Actor)

Absolutely Fabulous: The Last Shout 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Apartment Zero 1989 (Movie)

Margaret McKinney (Actor)

Screamtime 1982 (Movie)

Emma (Actor)

Hands of the Ripper 1970 (Movie)

Mrs Golding (Actor)

The Great St. Trinian's Train Robbery 1966 (Movie)

Amber Spottiswood (Actor)

The Sandwich Man 1965 (Movie)

(Actor)

A Taste of Honey 1962 (Movie)

Helen (Actor)

Carry on Sergeant 1958 (Movie)

Nora (Actor)

As Long As They're Happy 1956 (Movie)

Mavis (Actor)

The Cockleshell Heroes 1956 (Movie)

Myrtie (Actor)

The Green Man 1956 (Movie)

Lily (Actor)

The Intruder 1955 (Movie)

(Actor)

You Know What Sailors Are 1953 (Movie)

(Actor)

High Treason 1950 (Movie)

(Actor)

Fast and Loose (Movie)

Rawlings (Actor)

Street Corner (Movie)

Daughter of Joy (Actor)

The Blue Lamp (Movie)

Maisie (Actor)

Biography

A petite, blonde with a Lancashire accent and expressive face adept at wide-eyed innocents whose naivete is played for laughs, Dora Bryan is a much-loved veteran character actress, often cast in films in eccentric or lower-class roles. She made her stage debut as a child in a pantomime in Manchester and encouraged by her mother joined the Oldham Repertory while still a teenager. After spending eight years honing her craft there, she headed for London to try her luck on stage. Cast in a production of Noel Coward's "Private Lives", the actress was encouraged to adopt a stage name by Coward himself. She opted for Dora Bryant but a typographical error left off the last 't' and she became Dora Bryan. She proved a versatile and popular performer, often in stage musicals like "Gentleman Prefer Blondes" (1962) and "Hello, Dolly!" (1966-68). Bryan also headlined a number of stage revues such as "The Dora Bryan Show" (1966) and "An Evening with Dora Bryan and Friends" (1968). Throughout the 1980s and 90s, she continued to work on stage, making her Broadway debut as Mrs. Pierce in "Pygmalion" (1987), starring Peter O'Toole and Amanda Plummer. Other notable credits include her first Shakespearean role, Mistress Quickly in "The Merry Wives of Windsor" (1984), Mrs. Malaprop in "She Stoops to Conquer" (1985), Carlotta Campion (singing "I'm Still Here") in the 1987 London production of the Stephen Sondheim-James Goldman musical "Follies" and more recently, the 1994 revival of Harold Pinter's "The Birthday Party".

Relationships

Daniel Lawton

Son

Albert Broadbent

Father

Georgina Broadbent

Mother

William Lawton

Husband
married in 1954

Georgina Lawton

Daughter
adopted

William Lawton

Son

EDUCATION

attend state school

Milestones

1994

Won acclaim for her performance in a revival of Harold Pinter's "The Birthday Party"

1994

Co-starred in the British sitcom "Mother's Ruin"

1987

Had featured role of Carlotta Campion in the London version of the Stephen Sondheim-James Goldman musical "Follies"

1987

Made American stage debut in the Broadway production of "Pygmalion" starring Peter O'Toole and Amanda Plummer

1985

Earned accolades and critical praise for her stage performance in "She Stoops to Conquer"

1984

First appearance in Shakespeare, played Mistress Quickly in "The Merry Wives of Windsor"

1972

Featured in the British sitcom "Both Ends Meets"

1968

Headlined the stage show "An Evening with Dora Bryan and Friends"

1968

Starred in her own British TV series "According to Dora"

1966

Replaced Mary Martin in the London production of "Hello, Dolly!"

1965

Starred in the stage production "The Dora Bryan Show"

1964

Headlined the stage variety show "Here's Dora"

1962

Played Lorelei Lee in the London production of "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes"

1961

Had one of her best screen roles as the mother in "A Taste of Honey"

1946

Film debut, "Odd Man Out"

1935

Made stage debut in a pantomime in Manchester, England

Raised in Oldham, England

Encouraged by her mother, joined the Oldham Repertory Theatre at age 14; remained with the company for eight years

Cast in a London production of Noel Coward's "Private Lives"; Coward advised her to adopt a stage name; she chose 'Bryant' but a typographical error in the program made it 'Bryan'

Bonus Trivia

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Some sources list 1923 as the year of Ms. Bryan's birth

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