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Gielgud, Val

Page history last edited by Jon 13 years, 7 months ago
Source: Wikipedia

Val Henry Gielgud (born April 28, 1900 in London, England, UK; died November 30, 1981 in London, England, UK) was a English actor, writer, director and broadcaster. He was a pioneer of radio drama for the BBC, and also directed the first ever drama to be produced in the newer medium of television.

Val Gielgud came of a theatrical family, being the brother of Sir John Gielgud (who appeared in several of his productions) and a great-nephew of the Victorian actress, Ellen Terry.

Following education at Oxford University, Giegud began his career as a secretary to a Member of Parliament, before moving into writing when he took a job as the sub-editor of a comic book / magazine. It was this job that led him to work for the BBC's own listings the magazine, the Radio Times, as the assistant to the editor Eric Maschwitz. This was Gielgud's first connection to the Corporation, and although he was not involved in any radio production, he often used his position at the magazine to make his thoughts on radio dramas felt: in his autobiograpy, he later confessed to having written several of the letters appearing on the magazine's correspondence page, supposedly from listeners, criticising various aspects of the Corporation's programming.

Maschwitz and Gielgud were close friends, and wrote detective fiction together - Gielgud would later on go on to be responsible in whole or part for twenty-six detective / mystery novels, one short story collection, two historical novels, nineteen stage plays, four film screenplays, forty radio plays, seven non-fiction books and be the editor of a further two books.

Gielgud was married five times, the first in 1921 while he was still an undergraduate at Oxford, where he married Nathalie Momantov (1903-1969), daughter of Sergei Momantov and Nathalie Sheremetievskya; her mother's third husband was Grand Duke Michael, brother of Tsar Nicholas II.This lasted for only two years, however, and they divorced in 1923. His following three marriages, to Rita Vale, Monica Grey and Vivienne June Bailey, produced two sons.

He published his autobiography in 1957, and died in 1981 at the age of eighty-one.

Gielgud's series characters were Antony Havilland, Inspector Gregory Pellew, Viscount Clymping and Inspector Simon Spears.


Detective Bibliography

Imperial Treasure (1931)

The Broken Men (1932)

Gravelhanger (1934) aka The Ruse of the Vanished Women

Outrage in Manchuoko (1937)

The Red Account (1938)

Confident Morning (1943)

Fall of a Sparrow (1949) aka Stalking Horse

Special Delivery (1950)

The High Jump (1953) aka Ride For a Fall

Cat (1956)

Gallows Foot (1958)

To Bed at Noon (1960)

And Died So? (1961)

The Goggle Box Affair (1963) aka Through a Glass Darkly

Prinvest-London (1965)

Conduct of A Member (1967)

A Necessary End (1969)

The Candle-Holders (1970)

The Black Sambo Affair (1972)

In Such A Night (1974)

A Fearful Thing (1975)



with Holt Marvell aka Eric Maschwitz

Under London (1933)

Death at Broadcasting House (1934)

Death As An Extra (1935)

Death in Budapest (1937)

The First Television Murder (1940)


with John Dickson Carr

13 to the Gallows (2008)

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