Muriel Angelus

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British actress and singer on stage and screen, possessed a light soprano voice, suited to the sweet love song.
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b. Muriel Angelus Findlay, 10 March 1909, London, England, d. 22 August 2004, Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA. Born to Scottish parents Angelus began her stage acting career at the age of 12. She first sang in music halls and then, in 1928, appeared in the silent film, The Ringer. The following year, she appeared in a German silent, Maskottchen. Angelus continued making British and German films, now talkies, including Night Birds and Hindle Wakes. Her co-star in the latter was John Stuart. The couple were married during production and went on to make a number of films together. Other films in which Angelus appeared during this period include My Wife’s Family, Blind Spot, and So You Won’t Talk.

Angleus returned to the stage in 1936, starring in Eric Maschwitz’s musical, Balalaika, in London’s West End. The play was a success as was Angelus and she was next offered a play in New York and a Hollywood contract. The play, one of her most important stage appearances, was the 1938 Broadway production of The Boys From Syracuse by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart from which came the nightly show-stopper, ‘Sing For Your Supper’, performed by Angelus, Marcy Wescott, and Wynn Murray. Angelus also memorably sang ‘Falling In Love With Love’, her light soprano being admirably suited to this sweet love song. Despite her well-received stage performances, Angelus was only rarely called upon to sing in her Hollywood film appearances. These were usually straight dramas: The Light That Failed, directed by William A. Wellman and starring Ronald Colman and Ida Lupino, Safari, with Douglas Fairbanks Jnr., and The Great McGinty, directed by Preston Sturges and starring Brian Donlevy. Back on Broadway, Angelus appeared in the Sigmund Romberg - Oscar Hammerstein II musical, Sunny River, which ran for a month over Christmas 1941, and Early To Bed, which ran for about a year from mid-summer 1943.

In 1946, by now divorced from Stuart, Angelus married Paul Lavalle, at the time orchestral conductor at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. Following this marriage, Angelus retired from performing although she and Lavalle did later record a tribute to Rodgers and Hammerstein. Angelus’ charming singing voice and her luminous physical presence suggest that she could have had a much longer career. Instead, she and her husband, who died in 1997, settled for the peaceful life, first in Connecticut and from 1989 in Virginia.