Wendy Toye

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b. 1 May 1917, London, England. Appearing on the stage from the age of four, at nine she presented her own ballet, ‘The Japanese Legend Of The Rainbow’, at the London Palladium. She danced in a 1929…
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Artist Biography by

b. 1 May 1917, London, England. Appearing on the stage from the age of four, at nine she presented her own ballet, ‘The Japanese Legend Of The Rainbow’, at the London Palladium. She danced in a 1929 Old Vic production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and through the 30s also danced in numerous London shows. She was also with the ballet troupes of Vic-Wells, Markova-Dolin and Serge Diaghilev. Toye also worked on dance routines for the Crazy Gang and for numerous George Black productions, including Black Velvet (1939), in which she also danced. In 1931, she had a role in the film Dance Pretty Lady and worked on other films in the 30s and 40s, including The Young Mr. Pitt (1942), I’ll Be Your Sweetheart (1945), and Piccadilly Incident (1946). In the West End she appeared in and directed Follow The Girls (1945) and was in Annie Get Your Gun (1947). Among shows she directed in the West End are Bless The Bride (1947) and And So To Bed (1951). In 1949, she worked on Broadway as co-director of Peter Pan.

In the West End in 1964 Toye directed Robert And Elizabeth and in 1973 Show Boat, starring Cleo Laine and Lorna Dallas. Toye also directed productions of Bluebeard’s Castle and Die Fledermaus, The Land Of Smiles, The Italian Girl In Algiers and Moll Flanders. Toye also made the film short, The Stranger Left No Card (1952), which was voted Best Short Film at the Cannes Film Festival. Also in the early 50s, for Alexander Korda, she made one of the three episodes that made up Three Cases Of Murder (1955), as well as directing The Teckman Mystery (1954) and Raising A Riot (1955). In the late 50s and early 60s, and now for J. Arthur Rank, Toye directed All For Mary (1955), True As A Turtle (1957), We Joined The Navy (1962), and The King’s Breakfast (1963), the latter another short. In television, she directed The Stranger Left No Card, an episode of Tales Of The Unexpected, and in 1986 was associate producer on the television film version of Barnum, which starred Michael Crawford. Toye was also active in the production of a world tour by ice skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean. Involved also in education, Toye has also been recipient of numerous awards recognizing her considerable contribution to the theatre.