He was the epitome of the effete Englishman – all surface polish – silk dressing gown, cigarette holder and clipped diction. But his recently published correspondence reveals more: Noel Coward was a British spy during the Second World War. The fact that much of the world viewed him as a bon vivant playboy-entertainer allowed him access to high places and highly-placed people who often talked freely in front of him.
But primarily he was an entertainer who self-deprecatingly said his only skill was “A Talent to Amuse.” But it was one of the most brilliant talents of the 20th century – song writer, playwright, stage director, screenplay writer, film director, actor, singer, dancer and raconteur. There is a good reason he was called “The Master.”
This clip is taken from a live 90 minutes special he and Mary Martin did on CBS back in 1955 – he said it was the most nerve-wracking 90 minutes of his life.
21 aprile – Sant’Anselmo