Dorothy Ward

Dorothy Ward (26 April 1890 – 30 March 1987) was an English actress who specialised in pantomime performances - she would play the principal boy, while her husband Shaun Glenville would play the dame.[1][2]

Ward was born in Aston (now part of Birmingham), Warwickshire, England, on 26 April 1890,[1] to Eliza (née Millichamp) and Edwin Ward.[2] She made her stage debut at the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham in 1905, playing Zenobia in Bluebeard.[1]

She appeared as a "castaway" on the BBC Radio programme Desert Island Discs on 23 December 1954.[3] She retired in 1957.[4]

During her career, Ward performed a number of songs by her and Glenville's friend, Fred Godfrey.[5]

Ward died on 30 March 1987; Glenville, whom she married on 13 May 1911, having pre-deceased her in 1966, following their joint retirement to London in 1957.[1] Their son was the actor and director Peter Glenville.[1]

Music Hall historian W. Macqueen-Pope called her:[6]

a handsome and striking woman, with auburn hair, wonderful carriage and fine figure... Tights become her, they are second nature to her and she understands pantomime and its topsy turviness. To see her as "Jack" in Jack and the Beanstalk defy the giant outside his castle, wearing shining armour and then join in mortal combat with him in his own kitchen, clad in trailing clouds of gauze and silk, is to witness true pantomime... [She] left the halls plenty of fine songs.


  1. "The Home of Dorothy Ward". Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  2. "It's Behind You - Dorothy Ward and Shaun Glenville". Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  3. "Desert Island Discs - Castaway : Dorothy Ward". BBC Online. BBC. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  4. The Daily Telegraph Third Book of Obituaries: Entertainers, ed. Hugh Massingberd, Pan Books, 1998 (Macmillan, 1997), p. 10
  5. "Dorothy Ward (1890–1987)". Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  6. MacQueen-Pope, W. (1950). The Melodies Linger On: The Story of Music Hall. London: W.H. Allen. pp. 339–340.
  • Tribute site by a family member, with many pictures. (Link now via Internet Archive]

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