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Noel Coward Biography | Author of Hay Fever

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Noel Peirce Coward—the celebrated actor, composer, and playwright once described as the person who "invented the '20s"—was born on December 16, 1899, in Teddington-on-Thames, Middlesex, England, to Arthur Sabin and Violet Agnes (Veitch) Coward. His father worked as both a clerk for a music publishing company and a piano salesman. Young Noel attended Chapel Royal School in Clapham but learned his most vocational lessons while studying acting with Sir Charles Hawtrey's drama company. Working with this theater group, he developed comic timing and his trademark casual demeanor. Encouraged by his mother, Coward made his first professional theatrical appearance when he was only twelve. He continued to act in London throughout his teens, while also making both his first attempts at playwriting and his film debut in director D. W. Griffith's 1917 feature Hearts of the World.

Coward's first play was produced in 1920; three more of his compositions went...

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This section contains 509 words
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Buy the Hay Fever Study Guide
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Hay Fever from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.