Micheline Patton

Micheline Patton (1912–2001) was an Irish actress who worked on radio, stage and television from the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s.


Micheline Elizabeth Patton was born in Belfast in 1912, and died on 30 June 2001 in Godalming, Surrey. Her father was Billy Patton, a surgeon.[1] She went to school in Malvern Girls' College, and studied Modern History at St Hugh's College, Oxford, graduating in 1935.[2][3] One of her cousins was the Irish playwright, BBC producer and war correspondent Denis Johnston.[1][4]


Between 1935 and 1947, Patton read several short stories for BBC Radio, including works by Katherine Mansfield,[5] Anton Chekhov,[6] and Helen Colvill.[7] She acted in radio plays, including playing the role of Winifred in the 1947 BBC Radio adaptation of In Chancery from The Forsyte Saga.[8]


Patton acted in early BBC television broadcasts. In December 1937, she appeared in a backless dress in the final episode of the early fashion documentary Clothes-Line. Patton was shot from behind, giving an illusion of nudity, which led to outraged viewers writing in to complain.[9] The episode was titled Grandmamma Looks Back, inspiring the co-presenter Pearl Binder's quip, "Grandmamma looks back but Micheline has no back to be seen."[9]

Clothes-Line (9 Dec 1937) [10]
Producer Mary Adams
The grand-mother Nesta Sawyer
The grand-daughter Micheline Patton
The album by Pearl Binder
The diary by James Laver

She went on to appear in a November 1938 adaptation of Robert J. Flaherty's book The Captain's Chair (produced as The Last Voyage of Captain Grant).

The Last Voyage of Captain Grant (9 Nov 1938) [11]
A narrative of the Arctic based upon Robert Flaherty's novel The Captain's Chair, adapted for television and produced by Denis Johnston.
The narration will be spoken by the author, Robert Flaherty.
Writer/narrator Robert Flaherty
Adapted for television and produced by Denis Johnston
Captain Grant John Laurie
Catlin David Marsh
McDougall Graveley Edwards
Timmins Rupert Siddons
The Factor Cyril Gardiner
Quartermaster William Heilbronn
First Director Douglas Allen
Second Director
Guy Glover
Third Director
Second Officer
Ian Aylmer
Second Factor
John Thompson
Girl Micheline Patton

and in July 1939, a drama based on the Parnell Commission.

The Parnell Commission (18 Jul 1939) [12]
A reconstruction of the famous forgery investigation of 1888–89
Producer Denis Johnston
Piggott Eliot Makeham
Sir Charles Russel Felix Aylmer
Parnell Mark Dignam
Attorney General Wilfrid Walter
Eye Witness Brefni O'Rorke
Mrs O'Shea Olga Edwardes
President of the Court Graveley Edwards
Timothy Harrington Blake Giffard
Doctor Maguire Nigel Fitzgerald
Henniker Heaton Lionel Dymoke
Frank Hugh O'Donnell Harry Hutchinson
Court Registrar Leo McCabe
Captain O'Shea Charles Oliver
Friend Micheline Patton
Servant at Eltham Moya Devlin
Solicitor's Clerk Russell Hogarth
Spanish Policeman Rafael Terry
Houston's Voice
Kenneth Barton
[Actor] Jack Clifford

In 1947 Patton had a small role in Weep for the Cyclops, a biographical 1947 television drama on Jonathan Swift, which was written and produced by her cousin Denis Johnston.[4]

Weep for the Cyclops (21 Aug 1947) [13]
The true history of Dr. Jonathan Swift,
 Dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin}}
Writer / Producer Denis Johnston
Setting Barry Learoyd
Jonathan Swift Fred O'Donovan[upper-alpha 1]
Esther Johnson (Stella) Joyce Heron
Esther Vanhomrigh (Vanessa) Muriel Pavlow
Charles Ford Godfrey Kenton
Dr Berkeley Ivan Samson
Rebecca Dingley Jean Anderson
Richard Brennan Harry Fine
Rev Mr Tisdall Stuart Latham
John Gay Oliver Burt
Mrs Vanhomrigh Marjorie Gresley
Moll Vanhomrigh Ursula Harby
A curate John Chandos
First trollop Sally Travers
Second trollop Micheline Patton

Patton's final recorded BBC appearance was in 1958, with a role in The Ordeal of Christabel Pankhurst.

The Ordeal of Christabel Pankhurst (4 Jun 1958) [14]
Written by Arthur Swinson
in which television brings you great moments of history with the news coverage of today.}}
Writer Arthur Swinson
Designer Stephen Bundy
Producer Michael Mills
News Editor Frank Owen
News Reporter Francis Williams
News Reporter Raymond Baxter
[Actor] Tony Britton
Christabel Pankhurst Sarah Lawson
[Actor] Elwyn Brook-Jones
[Actor] Leslie Perrins
[Actress] Marian Spencer
[Actress] Edna Morris
[Actor] Alfred Burke
[Actress] Christine Lindsay
[Actor] Jack Stewart
[Actress] Olga Dickie
[Actress] Micheline Patton
[Actress] Hazel Jennings


Patton's best received role was probably as Emily Brontë in The Brontës, by Alfred Sangster, produced by the Sheffield Repertory Company.[15] She played this role from 1946–1949, receiving generally good notices. in 1946 a reviewer for the Brontë Society noted that Patton was so "exceptionally good that one suspected (perhaps too artlessly) a spiritual affinity. What strength that pale, frigid face reflected!"[16] A reviewer for Punch commented on the "interesting" Patton's ability to "suggest dark churnings of the soul."[17] Less enthusiastically, in 1947, a reviewer for Theatre World commented "Micheline Patton does all that could be done with her material," calling the part "poorly written."[15]

1936 on the London stage
  • Stubble Before Swords at Globe
  • A Bride for the Unicorn at Westminster Theatre
1940 in Dublin
  • Roly Poly (Boule de Suif) was withdrawn until Wartime Emergency Legislation
1941 in Belfast
  • The Passing of the Third Floor Plan was concurrently with the first Luftwaffe air-raid
1944-1945 in various provincial Scottish theatres
  • Dundee Repertory Theatre
    • The Patsy
    • The Housemaster
    • A Soldier for Christmas
    • Seven Bottles for the Maestro
  • Perth Repertory Theatre
    • Charley's Aunt
    • Androcles and the Lion
    • Caste
    • Hamlet
    • Sheppey
1946 English provincial theatre
  • Bristol Old Vic
    • Weep for the Cyclops
1946-1949 Sheffield Repertory Theatre and touring - most saliently, St James Theatre London
  • The Brontes
1949 London Players
  • Aftermath
1950 St James Theatre
  • Venus Observed
1951 Citizens Theatre Glasgow
  • As You Like It
1954 Hythe Summer Theatre
  • The Powder Magazine
1957 Piccadilly Theatre
  • The Rape of the Belt
1960 Richmond Theatre
  • Gracious Living


Patton appeared as Mrs. Broome in The Yellow Teddy Bears in 1963.[18]



  1. Adams, Bernard. Denis Johnston: a life. Lilliput. pp. 205, 207, 240, 268, 283. ISBN 978-1901866674.
  2. St Hugh's College, Oxford - Chronicle 1935-1936 p.28
  3. "Oxford University Gazette: Colleges, Halls and Sections Obituaries". Oxford University. 22 Nov 2001. Archived from the original on 3 Feb 2002.
  4. Stewart, Bruce. "Denis Johnston: Life". RICORSO: A Knowledge of Irish Literature. Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte. Retrieved 19 Nov 2014.
  5. "Feuille d'Album, 31 January 1938". Genome: Radio Times 1923-2009. BBC. Retrieved 19 Nov 2014.
  6. "Rothschild's Fiddle, 16 August 1938". Genome: Radio Times 1923-2009. BBC. Retrieved 19 Nov 2014.; "The Kiss, 16 March 1939". Genome: Radio Times 1923-2009. BBC. Retrieved 19 Nov 2014.
  7. "Short Story (Angelina of Intro d'Acqua), 24 November 1935". Genome: Radio Times 1923-2009. BBC. Retrieved 19 Nov 2014.
  8. "In Chancery". Genome: Radio Times 1923-2009. BBC. Retrieved 19 Nov 2014.
  9. Taylor, Lou (2004). "Ch 1: Dress history debates from 1900". Establishing Dress History. Manchester UP. pp. 56–57. ISBN 978-0719066399.
  10. Radio Times (9 Dec 1937), "No 6: Grandmamma Looks Back", Clothes-Line (Ep 6), 57, BBC Television, p. 19
  11. Radio Times (9 Nov 1938), The Last Voyage of Captain Grant, 61, BBC Television, p. 18
  12. Radio Times (18 Jul 1939), The Parnell Commission, 64, BBC Television, p. 16
  13. Radio Times (21 Aug 1947), Weep for the Cyclops, 96, BBC Television, p. 32
  14. Radio Times (4 Jun 1958), The Ordeal of Christabel Pankhurst, You Are There, 139, BBC Television, p. 13
  15. "The Brontes, St. James, 25th June". Theatre World. Iliffe Specialist Publications Ltd. 43-44: 6. 1947.
  16. "Brontë Society Publications". 10-12, Part 61. Brontë Society. 1946. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  17. "Punch". 215. Punch Publications Limited. 1 Jan 1948: 16. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  18. "The Yellow Teddy Bears (1963)". BFI. British Film Institute. Retrieved 19 Nov 2014.

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