The Ivy Close Tribute Page
(left) Poster for the 1912 Hepworth film "The Sleeping Beauty".
Ivy Close Biographies:
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Or see her Britmovie Biography.
Ivy Close Filmographies:
Ivy Close began a dynasty that has now covered four generations of the history of Cinema and Television. She married the photographer Elwin Neame (1885-1923) and reared two sons Ronald Neame (1911- ), a successful cinematographer, screenwriter, producer and director and Derek Neame (1915-1979), an author who scripted several films. Her grandson Christopher Neame (1942- ) and her great-grandson Gareth Neame (1967- ) have become successful producers. Her second husband was the Australian-born make-up artist and former stuntman Curly Batson, who died in 1957. [IMDB]
100 YEARS AGO THE DAILY MIRROR HELD A COMPETITION TO FIND..
"The story itself is already emotion-charged and very powerful, focussing on a humble working family in the early days of the railway, but with a twist even modern filmmakers seem reluctant to tackle: the father suddenly finds himself in love with his charming adopted daughter, and later, when learning of the girl's adoption, the son realizes he is also in love with her! Along comes a suitor and finds the perfect material for emotional blackmail, but despite these complex issues, the story is beautifully told without obvious excess or melodrama, depicted by talented actors who convey their characters brilliantly, and photographed in settings with lighting and techniques only few outstanding directors have mastered so successfully. It is no wonder that Abel Gance's name stands alongside other legendary filmmaking pioneers such as D.W. Griffith and Eisenstein, with his use of various photographic effects and rapid montage sequences at just the right time to express thoughts and emotions, not merely actions and events. "
Buy this epic now!
More sadly, also in 1923, her beloved Elwin was killed in a motorcycle accident leaving Ivy a struggling widow at 33, with two young boys and not much money.
At 14, Ronald was sent to earn his keep at Elstree studios in Hertfordshire, working on Alfred Hitchcock's first talking film, "Blackmail".
The looks that had been Ivy's meal ticket were beginning to fade, but the final blow to her career was the advent of the "talkies". Her British accent was considered unsuitable for American audiences and Ivy's star waned as she played an extra in crowd scenes in her final films.
Gareth remembers: "I went with my grandfather Ronald, who's now 96, and my father to see a film of her playing 'Sleeping Beauty' which was showing in a little museum in Stockton. It was amazing to see my grandfather watch his mother as a young woman".
"I've got a picture from a magazine cutting taken at the time of female aviators like Amy Johnson, with her in flying goggles. It says Ivy Close: A Woman From The Skies. It's wonderfully evocative of its time."
Ivy eventually married Australian make-up artist Curly Batson, who died of lung cancer in 1957. Sadly, Ivy died alone in a nursing home in Goring, Oxfordshire, in 1968. "I believe she ended her days as an grumpy old lady," says Gareth. "She would sit there and say, 'It wasn't like this in my day'."
A plaque now hangs on the wall of the Stockton Swallow Hotel, the only reminder of the town's most famous woman.
Ivy Lillian Close married Elwin Neame in 1910. They had two sons.
Their first, Ronald Neame, born April 23, 1911, was an Oscar-nominated film director and producer whose works included "Brief Encounter" (below), "Great Expectations", "The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie" and "The Poseidon Adventure".
Their second son Derek, born in 1915, was a writer on three films in the late 30s and 40s.
Ronald had one child from his first marriage to Beryl Heanly, Christopher Neame.
Christopher, 65, is a successful film and television producer who worked on "Soldier Soldier" and was nominated for a Bafta in 1987 for Great Performances: "Monsignor Quixote".
Christopher's son, Gareth Neame, 40, is currently the executive producer on BBC1's "Hotel Babylon". Gareth won a Bafta Scotland award in 1996 for Best Single Drama for "Truth Or Dare".
Printed in the Daily Mirror in 1908:
Clothes are an aid to the beautiful and of great importance to the plain. I don't mean expensive or showy things - but pretty.
Don't buy a pink blouse, a red blouse, a green and a blue so as to have "plenty of change". Think rather of skirts and neckties and the hats you're going to wear them with.
If you're fair, choose browns, blues, greens and mauves and violets. If you're dark, you have a choice of pink, yellow, red, biscuit and navy blue.
Dress according to temperature. The girl who wears a "pneumonia blouse" on a cold day will have a red nose and blue lips - what could be uglier?
When the face is oval or narrow, hair should be par ted in the middle and arranged in puf fs at the side. A round face needs no width, but rather height.
It is absurd to blindly follow a prevailing fashion in hairdressing. Find a style that suits you and wear it always.
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