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Shelley, Frank (I) Biography




biography of Shelley, Frank (I)

6 February 1912, Clerkenwell, London, England, UK
8 November 2004, London, England, UK


-   'Susan Dowdall' (qv) (1952 - 1962) (divorced); 4 children


-   Educated at Oxford and London Universities and while at university encountered Sybil Thorndike who persuaded him to join the Embassey Theatre School of Acting (now The Central School of Speech and Drama).

-   Started the show business career of 'Ronnie Barker' (qv), the comedian who, upon Shelley's encouragement, left his job as a bank clerk in Oxford to join the Oxford Playhouse. Barker's 1993 autobiography was dedicated to Frank Shelley.

-   Worked with Dame 'Maggie Smith (I)' (qv) at the Oxford Playhouse.

-   Proposed to his wife, 'Susan Dowdall' (qv), on stage during a performance of "100 Years Old" in 1952.


-   "The Cherry Orchard" with 'Claire Bloom (I)' (qv) and 'Joss Ackland' (qv).

-   "The Merchant of Venice" with 'Alec Guinness' (qv).

-   "Nurse Cavell" with 'Joan Plowright' (qv).

-   (1979) He acted in 'Mary O'Malley (I)' (qv)'s play, "Once a Catholic", at the Wyndham's Theatre in London, England with 'James Ellis (I)' (qv), 'Angela Vale' (qv), 'Kevin Elyot' (qv), 'Janette Foggo' (qv), 'Clare Travers-Deacon' (qv), 'Patricia Heneghan' (qv) and 'Christopher Ellison' (qv) in the cast. 'Mike Ockrent' (qv) was the director.


-   "The Guardian" (UK), 9 December 2004, pg. 29, by: Eric Shorter, "Oxford Playhouse actor-manager of great versatility"

-   "The Times" (UK), 6 December 2004, by: Anonymous, "Frank Shelley"

-   "The Independent" (UK), 20 November 2004, by: Alan Strachan, "Frank Shelley: Talent-spotting artistic director of the Oxford Playhouse"

-   "The Daily Telegraph" (UK), 20 November 2004, "Frank Shelley"

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