Dulcie GRAY (1915-2011)

Dulcie Gray This Is Your Life

programme details...

  • Edition No: 351
  • Subject No: 352
  • Broadcast date: Wed 7 Mar 1973
  • Broadcast time: 7.00-7.30pm
  • Recorded: Thu 1 Mar 1973
  • Venue: Richmond Theatre
  • Series: 13
  • Edition: 17

on the guest list...

  • Michael Denison - husband
  • Roger - brother
  • Rosamund - sister
  • Jane Boulenger
  • Joyce Green
  • Jeremy Green
  • June Reeve-Tucker
  • Pete Murray
  • Alan Melville
  • Barbara Mullen
  • Hayley Mills
  • Richard Attenborough
  • Filmed tributes:
  • James Mason
  • Hermione Baddeley
  • Tito Gobbi

production team...

  • Researcher: unknown
  • Writer: unknown
  • Director: Margery Baker
  • Producer: Malcolm Morris
  • names above in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
related pages...

Michael Denison and Dulcie Gray

joint tribute

An Actor's Life For Me

spotlight on the stars

Life Second Time Around

surprised again!

A Double Life

two's company

Family Life

keeping it in the family

The Night of 1000 Lives

a celebration of a thousand editions

Richard Attenborough

Michael Denison

Hayley Mills

Barbara Mullen

Pete Murray

Dulcie Gray This Is Your Life

Dulcie Gray and Michael Denison on This Is Your Life

Dulcie Gray autobiography

Dulcie Gray recalls her experience of This Is Your Life in her autobiography, Looking Forward, Looking Back...

In the spring Michael Codron asked us to do Absurd Person Singular, but we felt ourselves in honour bound to stay with Duncan although we had as yet no contracts; and, in fact, we did resume The Dragon Variation, this time directed by Richard Digby Day.

At the Richmond theatre, I was caught for This Is Your Life. Michael had had a very difficult time keeping it secret, but to my amazement I thoroughly enjoyed it.

They found Jane Boulenger, Joyce and Jeremy Green with whom I had come back from Malaya, June Reeve-Tucker, one of my ex-pupils, Barbara Mullen, Hayley Mills, Tito Gobbi and James Mason (on film), Totie (on film) and Dickie Attenborough in person from his home across the Green, so it was a very happy gathering.

Michael Denison autobiography

Michael Denison recalls this edition of This Is Your Life in his autobiography, Double Act...

Unaware of what was to come we set off on the resumed tour of Dragon Variation (now directed by Richard Digby Day) in good heart, and were immediately rewarded with a sensational reception at Stratford-on-Avon. Jack and Jacquetta Priestley came to see it and were amused – which enabled me to pay a tribute to Jack in a curtain speech from the stage of the Memorial Theatre.

Also during the week, I received a guarded phone call from This Is Your Life saying that they wished to 'do' Dulcie and requesting my assistance.

I arranged to meet a researcher at Amersham station the following Monday when we would be en route for our next date in Bournemouth.

(Dulcie never suspected anything, any more than I did when my turn came four years later. The organisation by Eamonn and his team is superb and if individual programmes occasionally topple over into sentimentality the aim of presenting a life with warmth and humour and gratitude is far more often achieved.)

Getting her to the starting line was not easy. My rendezvous at Amersham station was on a day of continuous downpour. I had said that I was walking Prospero, whom I took in the car with me. Fifty yards from the house on the way back, I realised that we were both bone-dry – so that had to be rectified in the interests of my cover story. A projected radio series for me (about which Dulcie became most enthusiastic) had to be invented to justify various clandestine meetings for me with the researcher.

At my request it was agreed that the 'pick-up' should be on stage at the Richmond Theatre at the end of a performance of Dragon Variation. To explain the presence of cameras in the auditorium, a television series on historic theatres was invented. I asked that we should be jointly informed of this the night before, and that no one should be surprised if I objected strongly on the grounds that our audience might be inconvenienced. The ruse worked. 'Oh, for God's sake, Michael,' said Dulcie, 'I think it's a splendid idea. Can't you forget Equity for once?'

So, all unsuspectingly, she was presented with her red book. Her brother and sister were there; and among theatre friends were Pete Murray, Alan Melville, Barbara Mullen, Hayley Mills and Dickie Attenborough, with filmed messages from Hermione Baddeley, Tito Gobbi and James Mason. After the initial shock, Dulcie much enjoyed herself.

Roy Bottomley This Is Your Life book

Scriptwriter Roy Bottomley recalls Dulcie Gray's and Michael Denison's editions of This Is Your Life in his book, This Is Your Life: The Story of Television's Famous Big Red Book...

When we surprised Dulcie at the Richmond Theatre on stage in March 1973, she and Michael had been married for thirty-five years...

Dulcie co-starred with James Mason in They Were Sisters, and the great film actor spoke from his home in Switzerland.

Richard Attenborough spoke of the play Brighton Rock, which made stars of them both; her big film success with husband Michael was in 1948 in The Glass Mountain featuring opera star Tito Gobbi.

When the tables were turned four years later, Michael was at London's Inn on the Park, believing Dulcie was at home. His name was paged and he was called to a foyer telephone booth to take a call from Dulcie.

Over the phone, Dulcie told him, 'I've got someone with me. Eamonn Andrews.' She put Eamonn on the line, and he said, 'Michael, take a look in the next phone booth.'

When he did, there was Dulcie - and Eamonn with the Big Red Book.

Series 13 subjects

Pat Phoenix | Bill Griffiths | Shirley Bassey | Warren Mitchell | Dudley Moore | Phyllis Calvert | Larry Grayson | Clive Sullivan
Bill Shankly | Willie Carson | Jack Smethurst | Mary Peters | Noele Gordon | James Corrigan | Pat Reid | Diana Coupland
Dulcie Gray | Janet Adams | Rita Hunter | Leslie Crowther | Jimmy Logan | Spike Milligan | Jackie Pallo
John Gregson | Jackie Charlton | Francis O'Leary