Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

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LAWRENCE, Gertrude

(b 4 July 1898, London; d 6 Sep. '52, NYC) Singer, dancer, actress, the most successful British import ever to appear on the Broadway stage. She began as a child dancer '10, first appeared in NY '24, was famous for songs 'Limehouse Blues' and 'Poor Little Rich Girl'. She appeared in Gershwin's Oh, Kay! in NY and London '26--7 (incl. 'Someone To Watch Over Me'), and had a unique friendship with NoČl Coward (incl. Private Lives '30, Tonight At 8:30 '36). Cole Porter wrote Nymph Errant '33 for her in London. She starred in NY in Kurt Weill's Lady In The Dark '41, and Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote The King And I for her '51, but during its run she died of cancer. Julie Andrews played her in the biopic Star! '68.