Star Archive

Kay Walsh (1914 - 2005)

Kay Walsh occupied that difficult ground between being a star and being a character player. For over forty years she worked steadily, building up a portfolio of memorable roles in some of the best films of the period (and one or two of the worst too).   

She was born in London and started in show business as a dancer. Like so many pretty young things at the time, she got bit parts in quota films. In 1936 she met David Lean, then the hottest film editor of the day, and fell in love. Their careers blossomed and she spent the rest of the thirties as the sparky ingénue in a dozen or so films, including a couple of Formby comedies.

By the time war broke out she was ready to retire to be a full-time wife, but her husband persuaded her to take a role in his co-directing debut In Which We Serve and later in his This Happy Breed. Her best role for him was as Nancy in Oliver Twist, and for which she wrote the opening sequence. The marriage ended in 1949 because he had fallen for Ann Todd.

The fifties and sixties were a busy period for her. Despite the dearth of decent roles for women, she managed to get the best of what was on offer and made the most of them. She continued to act until quite late in life.

Still of Kay Walsh in I See IceStill of Kay Walsh in Oliver Twist


1934 How's Chances
1934 Get Your Man
1935 Smith's Wives
1936 Secret of Stamboul
1936 If I Were Rich
1936 The Luck of the Irish
1937 The Last Adventurers
1937 Keep Fit
1937 All That Glitters
1938 Meet Mr Penny
1938 I See Ice
1939 The Mind of Mr Reeder
1939 Sons of the Sea
1940 The Missing People
1940 All at Sea
1940 The Chinese Bungalow
1940 The Second Mr Bush
1940 The Middle Watch
1942 In Which We Serve
1944 This Happy Breed
1947 The October Man
1948 Vice Versa
1948 Oliver Twist
1950 Stage Fright
1950 The Magnet
1950 Last Holiday
1951 The Magic Box
1952 Hunted
1952 Encore
1952 Meet Me Tonight
1953 Young Bess (US)
1954 Gilbert Harding Speaking of Murder
1954 The Rainbow Jacket
1954 Lease of Life
1955 Now and Forever
1957 Cast a Dark Shadow
1958 The Horse's Mouth
1960 Tunes of Glory
1961 Lunch Hour
1961 Greyfriars Bobby
1962 Reach for Glory
1962 The L-Shaped Room
1963 80,000 Suspects
1964 The Beauty Jungle
1964 Circus World
1965 A Study in Terror
1965 He Who Rides a Tiger
1966 The Witches
1967 Bikini Paradise
1969 Taste of Excitement
1970 Connecting Rooms
1970 The Virgin and the Gypsy
1970 Scrooge
1972 The Ruling Class
1981 Night Crossing

 Kay Walsh at Amazon UK

 Kay Walsh at Amazon US