Fields, Dame Gracie [Stansfield, Grace]
- John Snelson
(b Rochdale, June 9, 1898; d Capri, Sept 27, 1979). English singer. As a child she appeared in music hall and then toured with revue before appearing in London at the Middlesex Music Hall (1915). She had her first major success in the long-running Mr. Tower of London (1918–25) alongside the comedian Archie Pitt, who also became her first husband in 1923. After a single straight acting role as Lady Weir in SOS (1928) she returned to revue, made the first of many appearances at Royal Variety performances, and in 1930 successfully launched her career in America. During the 1930s she consolidated her position as one of the highest earning performers in the world with stage appearances, tours and recordings. Through her 16 films (1931–46), particularly those of the 1930s, her public persona was set as a working class ‘Lancashire lass’, optimistic and generous of heart. The song ‘Sally’ (...