Diana Josephine <I>Churchill</I> Johns

Diana Josephine Churchill Johns

Wembley, London Borough of Brent, Greater London, England
Death 8 Oct 1994 (aged 81)
Northwood, London Borough of Hillingdon, Greater London, England
Burial Ruislip, London Borough of Hillingdon, Greater London, England
Memorial ID 182538713 · View Source
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On 8th October peacefully at Denville Hall after a debilitating illness bourne with fortitude, selflessness and humor. Diana (nee Churchill) beloved wife of the late Mervyn Johns and sister of Elaine and the late Cynthia. Funeral Service at Holy Trinity Church, Northwood on Friday 14th October at 2:30 pm.

Followed by cremation at Breakspear Crematorium, Ruislip and afterwards at Denville Hall, Ducks Hill Lane, Northwood. Family Flowers only or donations please to The Acts Charitable Trust C/O T.A. Ellement & Son Ltd., 21 Bridge Street, Pinner Middlesex HA5 3HR.

- The Stage - Thursday 13 October


IF EVER there was an actress for all theatrical seasons it was surely Diana Churchill. As brilliant and acerbic in satirical review with Max Adrian or Ian Carmichael (Oranges and Lemons, High Spirits), as she was authoritative in Shakespeare (Gertrude to Alan Badel's Hamlet, Paulina to Laurence Harvey's Leontes in The Winter's Tale) or effervescent in restoration comedy - The Country Wife being, as George Devine put it, the classical revival which in 1956 'saved' the contemporary theatre at the Royal Court Theatre from bankruptcy - she cast a spell on both sides of the footlights for nearly 40 years.

With her large blue eyes, blonde hair, good looks, striking personality and demure charm, she was something of an enchantress from the start, which was at one of those Canterbury Cricket Weeks where the Old Stagers put on light- hearted stuff to while away the evenings, and the 18-year-old Churchill, pretty as a picture, found favour in Coward's Hay Fever.

Thereafter, though she spent years in fluffy West End comedies and farces before taking her art more seriously, she was never out of work. What made the work so remarkable however, was not only its consistency but its variety.

People may have talked about the Diana Churchill part as if it were definable after her first big hit in the mid-1930s as the uppity young wife in The Dominant Sex, but as time went on and musicals and thrillers and Chekhov and revues came and went it soon became a job to say what the Churchill part was.

INDEPENDENT – Adam Benedick – Thursday 13 October 1994

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  • Created by: Allen Goodwin-Hancock
  • Added: 19 Aug 2017
  • Find a Grave Memorial 182538713
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Diana Josephine Churchill Johns (21 Aug 1913–8 Oct 1994), Find a Grave Memorial no. 182538713, citing Breakspear Crematorium, Ruislip, London Borough of Hillingdon, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Allen Goodwin-Hancock (contributor 48233480) .