On This Day

Noël Coward

Playwright, Director and Singer Noël Coward

Full Name: Sir Noël Peirce Coward
Profession: Playwright, Director and Singer


Biography: Noël Coward began his theatrical career as a child actor on the London stage before coming one of its most successful playwrights, actors, directors, producers and composers. His plays were deceptively light, witty, urbane and amusing and Coward cultivated a persona that went with them. he was frequently depicted with a cigarette holder on hand or silk dressing gown.

Coward wrote 27 plays, his most famous include "Private Lives” with Laurence Olivier in his first major role, “Blithe Spirit”, “Cavalcade” and “Bitter Sweet". He wrote for film also, “In Which We Serve” was a WWII epic for which he was awarded an honorary Academy Award and the classic romantic film “Brief Encounter”, directed by David Lean.

Coward also composed musicals and songs that have become standards, such as “Someday I'll, Find You,” “I'll See You Again,” “Mad About the Boy” and “Mad Dogs and Englishmen.” He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1970.

Born: December 16, 1899
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom

Generation: Lost Generation
Star Sign: Sagittarius

Died: March 26, 1973 (aged 73)
Cause of Death: Heart failure after suffering from arteriosclerosis

Historical Events

  • 1923-02-01 Noël Coward's stage comedy "The Young Idea" premieres at the Savoy Theatre, London; runs for 60 performances
  • 1924-12-16 Noël Coward's "Vortex" premieres in London
  • 1925-04-21 Noël Coward's "Fallen Angels" premieres in London
  • 1925-12-07 Noël Coward's "Easy Virtue" premieres in NYC
  • 1926-11-23 Noël Coward's "This Was a Man" premieres in NYC
  • 1927-02-16 Noël Coward's "Marquise" premieres in London
  • 1928-03-22 Noël Coward's musical "This Year of Grace" premieres in London
  • 1930-09-24 Noël Coward's play "Private Lives" premieres in London
  • 1931-10-13 Noël Coward's "Cavalcade" premieres in London
  • 1933-01-05 "Cavalcade" based on the play by Noël Coward, directed by Frank Lloyd and starring Diana Wynyard and Clive Brook premieres in New York (Best Production/Picture 1934)
  • 1933-01-24 Noël Coward's "Design for Living" premieres in NYC
  • 1936-01-09 Noël Coward's stage drama "Astonished Heart" premieres in London
  • 1936-11-24 Noël Coward's anthology "Tonight at 8:30" premieres in NYC, runs for 118 performances
  • 1938-03-16 Noël Coward's musical "Operette" premieres in London
  • 1941-07-02 Noël Coward's "Blithe Spirit" premieres in London
  • 1943-04-29 Noël Coward's comic play "Present Laughter" premieres in London
  • 1943-04-30 Noël Coward's play "This Happy Breed" premieres in London
  • 1945-08-22 Noël Coward's revue "Sigh no More" premieres in London
  • 1945-11-26 "Brief Encounter", based on Noël Coward's one-act play "Still Life", directed by David Lean and starring Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard is released
  • 1946-12-19 Noël Coward's musical "Pacific 1860" premieres in London
  • 1952-09-12 Noël Coward's "Quadrille," premieres in London
  • 1956-04-25 Noël Coward's musical "South Sea Bubble" premieres in London
  • 1964-04-07 Hugh Martin and Timothy Gray's musical "High Spirits", based on Noel Coward's "Blithe Spirit", opens at Alvin Theater, NYC; runs for 375 performances
  • 1965-02-27 Hugh Martin and Timothy Gray's musical "High Spirits", based on Noel Coward's "Blithe Spirit", closes at Alvin Theater, NYC, after 375 performances
  • 1968-09-28 "Noël Coward's Sweet Potato" opens at Barrymore NYC for 17 performances
  • 1968-10-12 "Noël Coward's Sweet Potato" closes at Barrymore Theater, NYC, after 17 performances
  • 1968-11-01 Noël Coward's "Sweet Potato" opens at Booth Theater NYC for 36 performances
  • 1968-11-23 Musical revue "Noël Coward's Sweet Potato" closes at Booth Theatre, NYC, after 44 performances
  • 1992-02-20 Revival of Noël Coward's stage comedy "Private Lives" opens at Broadhurst Theater, NYC; runs for 37 performances