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Basil Dean

Basil Herbert Dean CBE (27 September 1888 – 22 April 1978) was an English actor, writer, film producer/film director and theatrical producer/director.[1][2]


Born in Croydon, Surrey, Dean started his career in showbusiness in London as a West End stage actor, and then later became a theatrical producer. He later moved into the film industry and in the early 1930s founded Associated Talking Pictures, which later became Ealing Studios. He publicised and worked alongside Gracie Fields and George Formby, among other entertainers. When the war started he left the film industry and became the head of ENSA, the government-sponsored body responsible for bringing live performances to the armed services. He was awarded the CBE for his work with ENSA, which he described in a book called The Theatre at War.

His wives included Lady Mercy Greville and Esther Van Gruisen. From August 1934 until 1939 he was married to British stage and film actress, Victoria Hopper. Dean had a relationship with one of his theatre and film stars Meggie Albanesi and after her early death in 1923 continued to be obsessed with her.

His son Winton (1916-2013) become a noted musicologist.[3]

Dean died in Westminster, London from a heart attack at the age of 89.[2]

Producer filmography[edit]

Director filmography[edit]

Writer filmography[edit]

  • The Constant Nymph (1928) (play)
  • The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1929)
  • Escape (1930)
  • Birds of Prey (1930)
  • Looking on the Bright Side (1932)
  • The Water Gipsies (1932)
  • A Honeymoon Adventure (1932)
  • The Constant Nymph (1933) (play) (dialogue)
  • Autumn Crocus (1934)
  • Sensation (1936) (play Murder Gang)
  • The Show Goes On (1937)
  • Penny Paradise (1938) (story)
  • The Constant Nymph (1938) (TV) (play)
  • 21 Days (1940)
  • The Constant Nymph (1943) (play)


  1. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 20 September 2011. 
  2. ^ a b BFI biodata
  3. ^ Sadie, Stanley. Winton (Basil) Dean. In: The New Grove Dictionary of Opera. Macmillan, London & New York, 1997.

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basil_Dean — Please support Wikipedia.
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52 news items

Alt Film Guide (blog)

Alt Film Guide (blog)
Tue, 18 Aug 2015 19:38:27 -0700

It was Basil Dean's last directorial effort. Dean's previous credits included the 1933 version of The Constant Nymph, starring Brian Aherne and Victoria Hopper, and Look Up and Laugh (1935), starring British icon Gracie Fields and featuring a very ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 04:51:06 -0700

An 11-year-old James Fox – later, of course, to make his name in the likes of The Servant and Performance – was given his first starring role in this Ealing comedy set largely in Liverpool and the Wirral. Fox (still acting under his actual first name ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 19:31:51 -0700

Eltham Palace and Gardens, the 1930s south east London home of Stephen and Virginia Courtauld, is undergoing a major refurbishment led by English Heritage. Visitors to the property, which reopens on Friday, will be able dress up in 1930s party wear in ...
Mon, 28 Feb 2011 18:32:02 -0800

Nassau, Bahamas - Retired Assistant Commissioner of Police Basil Dean was accorded a full military funeral during a Mass of Resurrection on Tuesday, February 22 at Christ Church Cathedral. Minister of National Security the Hon. Tommy Turnquest paid ...


Tue, 09 Sep 2014 23:05:02 -0700

The fine Grade II-listed eight-bedroom house became a thespian playground when it was bought by film producer Basil Dean of Pearl & Dean fame, who founded Ealing Studios in the 1930s. He had the former tithe barn converted into his own theatre and ...
Alt Film Guide (blog)
Tue, 28 Oct 2014 17:06:59 -0700

“Yes” and “No,” according to Basil Dean's fine 1934 British film Autumn Crocus, which marked the last film appearance of British stage and screen superstar Ivor Novello (Alfred Hitchcok's The Lodger). Autumn Crocus starts out during the holiday season, ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Fri, 12 Sep 2014 07:42:43 -0700

In 1925 famed film director Basil Dean acquired the manor through his marriage to the Countess' daughter Lady Mercy Greville before embarking on a grand renovation project. Dean sold the manor in 1939 after his marriage to Lady Greville broke down and ...


Sat, 28 Feb 2015 11:36:03 -0800

Chief Meteorologist Basil Dean called it “radiation fog” resulting from “calm winds coupled with clear skies” and with “moist conditions near the surface”…“coupled with heat that was absorbed from the earth during the day ( Monday)” that collectively ...

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