Henry Kendall born 28 May 1897 (d. 1962)
Henry Kendall was an English stage and film actor, theatre director and an immaculately stylish revue artiste.
Kendall was educated at the City of London School, and made his first appearance on the stage in September 1914 at the Lyceum Theatre. He had a distinguished war career, serving as a Captain in the Royal Air Force from 1916 to 1919, and on demobilisation was awarded the Air Force Cross.
He played the leading role of Reggie Ogden in the film The Shadow in 1933, and also starred in Alfred Hitchcock's 'bravest failure', Rich and Strange, US title East of Shanghai (1931).
Kendall dismissed his own cinematic work, although he appeared in a number of films in the 1930s and after. His appearances on the London stage were many however throughout the 1930s, 40s and 50s.
As a gifted West End revue artiste he appeared in Charlot's Revue at the Prince of Wales Theatre in 1924 and Charlot's Masquerade at the Cambridge Theatre in 1930. He also enjoyed great success co-starring with Hermione Gingold in the three long-running Sweet and Low revues; this was followed in June 1948 by the A la Carte revue at the Savoy Theatre.
But a greater contribution in this field was his appearance with Hermione Baddeley and Hermione Gingold ('The Two Hermiones'), Walter Crisham and Wilfred Hyde-White, in Leslie Julian Jones's revue Rise Above It, first at the Q Theatre in January 1941, when Hedley Briggs was nominally directing; then in two West End editions of the show which ran for a total of 380 performances at the Comedy Theatre opening in June 1941 and again in December 1941, when he was both starring and directing show.
As he reports in his autobiography: 'Of all forms of theatrical entertainment, revue is the most bitchy. The material is bitchy, the artists are bitchy and, strangely enough, the average revue audience is bitchy.'
In addition to a busy career as an actor and entertainer, he was frequently engaged as a director, notably staging the first productions of See How They Run (Peterborough Rep, tour and Q Theatre 1944; Comedy Theatre 1945), and The Shop at Sly Corner (St Martin's Theatre 1945).
He also directed numerous plays at the Embassy Theatre and Q Theatre.
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