Sheridan Morley; Critic, Broadcaster and Author of Biographies

Associated Press
Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sheridan Morley, 65, the son of actor Robert Morley and a theater critic, broadcaster and author of many show business biographies, died Feb. 16 at his home in London. No cause of death was reported.

Mr. Morley wrote for such publications as the Times of London, Punch, the Spectator and the International Herald Tribune.

He grew up surrounded by film and theater personalities. Actress Gladys Cooper was his grandmother, and Noel Coward was his godfather. He was named Sheridan after the character Sheridan Whiteside in the George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart comedy "The Man Who Came to Dinner," in which his father was appearing when his son was born.

Mr. Morley began his career as a news reader for ITN and worked for a variety of British broadcast outlets, including BBC2's "Late Night Line-Up," "Kaleidoscope" on Radio 4 and "Theatreland" on LWT. He also wrote for such newspapers as the Evening Standard, the Sunday Telegraph and the Daily and Sunday Express.

In addition to a book about Coward, "A Talent to Amuse," Mr. Morley wrote biographies of Oscar Wilde, Sybil Thorndike, Gertrude Lawrence, Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers and Dirk Bogarde, among others. He published his memoirs, "Asking for Trouble," in 2002.

Mr. Morley also wrote several theatrical pieces, including "Noel and Gertie," about Noel Coward and Gertrude Lawrence, as well as a celebration of musical-theater composer Vivian Ellis called "Spread a Little Happiness."

His marriage to Margaret Gudejko Morley ended in divorce.

Survivors include his second wife, critic and writer Ruth Leon; and three children from his first marriage.

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