The One and Only Phyllis Dixey

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The One and Only Phyllis Dixey

The One and Only Phyllis Dixey

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In 1968 he produced what many consider his best thriller, Night of Glass, about four Cambridge undergraduates, one of them, like him, a provincial grammar school boy, who turn a rag-week dare into a genuine attempt to break a prisoner out of Dachau concentration camp in 1938.

A journalist on the News Chronicle until its demise in 1960, Philip vowed never to be “on anyone’s staff” again and became a dedicated freelance. Having reviewed television for the Chronicle and the Daily Mail, he decided to specialise and became the television critic for the Sunday Telegraph from its birth in 1961. He was to hold the post for 26 years, combining his critical viewing with careers as a novelist and dramatist. Phyllis Dixey started her career as a child dancer in pantomime. Later, Phyllis secured a job in the chorus line with the impresario Wallace Parnell. This was a time of the grand revues and Wallace Parnell was famous for his glamorous productions. Later Phyllis found employment with the comedian and actor-manager Ernie Lotinga and toured Britain in a show called, “ The Means Test“. A new British tour was arranged but there were many new touring companies with tableau and fan dancing routines. A young Paul Raymond had entered the world of the nude tableau show in 1951 and there were also a number of competing revues. The 1950’s were the last years for many provincial variety theatres which were closing down due to the onslaught of television and many artistes were leaving the theatre at this time. Phyllis and her brother were first educated at Fircroft Road Elementary School Tooting before the family moved to Surbiton Surrey.Phyllis’s mother was known as Selina who died aged 87 in 1978. Phyllis’s father worked away a lot as a ship’s steward and later as a train carriage attendant.

She then worked as a researcher with Rediffusion Television and its successor broadcaster, Thames TV. She mostly made children’s programmes, but in 1978 she was the associate producer on the film The One and Only Phyllis Dixey, about the famous fan dancer and entertainer; she also co-authored, with Philip Purser, a book based on the film. In search of more professional autonomy, she returned to college in 1977 to train as a film director at the National Film School. The drama is interspersed with occasional interview footage of people who knew the real Phyllis Dixey. In 1978 Thames Television produced a drama documentary on the life on Phyllis Dixey. The documentary was televised and had a memorable performance by Lesley Anne-Down in the role of an adult Phyllis Dixey.

The Exorcist: Believer (2023)

The true-life story of aspiring dancer Phyllis Dixey who joins a theatre company in the 1930?s and soon becomes a star turn with her naughty fan dance routine which initially courted controversy. As her fame and success grew in the 1940’s she went on to form her own dance company with her American husband and they took the show on tour which featured nude tableau scenes where the dancers had to stand perfectly still; and Phyllis Dixey’s strip routines which (by today’s standard) were actually fairly coy – her company eventually failed in bankruptcy. Phyllis Dixey’s life was immortalized in the 1978 film The One and Only Phyllis Dixey and in a 2009 play called Barely Phillis. And this plaque, placed on her former home after much controversy:

Jenny’s life was transformed in the early 1980s when she met and married the radical American historian Bradley Smith. For many years the couple alternated their lives between his teaching base in California and her apartment overlooking Primrose Hill, in north London. Jerry Roberts Encyclopedia of Television Film Directors, Lanham Maryland & Plymouth, UK: Scarecrow Press, 2009, p.600 In 1959 Dixey and Tracy declared bankruptcy. She became a professional cook and Tracy became a milkman. In 1961 she discovered that she had breast cancer. It killed her in 1964. One of her last, and happier, projects was Imogen and Kanishka’s Wedding in Kolkata, the film she directed of my daughter and son-in-law’s wedding in 2015.Phyllis Dixey is not forgotten today, her legacy in revue theatre was glamour and style. A play on Phyllis Dixey called, “ Barely Phyllis” was produced in March, 2009 and staged at the Pomegranate Theatre in Chesterfield. Today, Phyllis Dixey is thought of as a fan dancer but this was only a part of her life on the stage and film.

Philip Purser and Jenny Wilkes: "The One And Only Phyllis Dixey", 1978, Futura Publications, London; ISBN 0-7088-1436-0 Roye: "Phyllis in Censorland", 1942, Elstree Publications Ltd. and The Camera Studies Club, a larger edition 1950s.Wilful, capricious, determined and bossy, Jenny had a lovely voice and a joyous laugh. The loyalty and support of friends and family during her final illness testified to her ability to inspire respect and affection. By 1947 the tastes of the London audience had changed, and Phyllis Dixey was forced to return to the provinces. She was not able to adapt to the direction that the public required; leaving the stage in the late 1950s, bankrupt. [4] In the early 1960s she worked as a cook at Loseley Park near Guildford. She died of cancer in 1964, aged 50, [4] in Epsom, Surrey. [5] Posthumous [ edit ] During 1943 Phyllis appeared in Brighton in a straight play called, “ Trilby” and then in the play, “ While Parents Sleep“. There came now a period Phyllis is most remember with her time in London’s Whitehall Theatre. War time revues at the Whitehall Theatre were ,” Good Night Ladies’!”, During this time the well know photographer Roye produced a book of Phyllis Dixey figure studies. This was the “ Phyllis Dixey Album” and was followed shortly by another book, “ Phyllis in Censorland“.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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