Sunday, December 27, 2009

Character Thespian Dies Peacefully

I wept buckets to learn that an old family friend, the prolific character actress Marianne Stone (in real life Mary Noble), who appeared in hundreds of movies including nine Carry On films died just before Christmas. She was the wife of the late showbiz writer Peter Noble whose last job was the editor of Screen International.

I loved Mary to bits! Before Peter got his job at Screen International, the Nobles entertained constantly at their Sunset Boulevard styled house in St Johns Wood. At every party, they roped their daughters Katina and Kara - the LA based ex-Capital Radio breakfast DJ, who now owns the property empire Noble Apartments, and their teenage friends (including me and my sisters) to serve the drinks and canap├ęs to their show business friends.

'Give a peanut to Dudley Moore,' Mary used to say giving us a bowl of nuts, pushing us in his direction.

Going round to the Nobles' house was heaven, especially as each time there were friends like Paul McCartney, Shelley Winters (once I walked in on her when she was on the loo), and Peter O' Toole there.

And as my family lived round the corner from the Nobles, I daily used to run down the road to their house and have lengthy one to one sessions with Mary/Marianne discussing showbiz and men (one of her admirers was Donald Sutherland).

So, naturally I was devastated when Kara told me just before Christmas that Mary (87 years old) had peacefully popped off at home surrounded by her daughters Katina and Kara, plus her grandson, the video director Nick Frewe.

'I've had a fabulous life,' she said before she expired.

It was true, as she and Peter reigned as King and Queen at Cannes for years when the film festival was at its most glamorous, and were even the pampered guests of Imelda Marcos at the Philippine Film Festival in its hey day.

In typical showbiz Noble fashion, Kara has already organised an over subscribed memorial party for her late Mum in January and armed with waterproof mascara, I shall be there.
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