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Betty Balfour
Born 27 March 1903(1903-03-27)
London, England
Died 4 November 1977 (aged 74)
Weybridge, Surrey, England
Spouse(s) Jimmy Campbell (1931– 1941) (divorced)

Betty Balfour (27 March 1903 – 4 November 1977) was a silent English screen actress, known as the British Mary Pickford and as Britain's Queen of Happiness.

Biography

Balfour was the most popular actress in Britain in the 1920s, and in 1927 she was named by the Daily Mirror as the country's favorite world star. She was a consummate screen actress, whose sympathetic portrayals were often tinged with pathos.

Her talent was most evident in the Squibs comedy series produced by George Pearson, while in his 1923's Love, Life and Laughter and 1924's Reveille, she demonstrated a serious side to her character.

She made her stage debut in 1913, and was appearing in Medora at the Alhambra Theatre when T. A. Welsh and Pearson saw and signed her for Nothing Else Matters in 1920. After replacing Gertrude Lawrence on stage in The Midnight Follies, Balfour was back with Pearson with her first starring role in Mary Find the Gold.

Balfour made no attempt to break into Hollywood but like Ivor Novello she was able to export her talents to mainland Europe. She starred in the German films, Die sieben Töchter der Frau Gyurkovics and Die Regimentstochter she worked for Marcel L'Herbier in Le Diable au Coeur for Louis Mercanton in Monkeynuts and for Géza von Bolváry in Bright Eyes.

Back in Britain, she also starred in Alfred Hitchcock's Champagne. Balfour's sound debut, The Brat, based on the Squibs character, was only moderately successful, and her popularity diminished in the 1930s, though she played a supporting role to Jessie Matthews in Evergreen in 1934, appeared with John Mills in Forever England in 1935 and played the matriarch in 29 Acacia Avenue (1945).

Balfour had less fortune in her private life. Her marriage with composer Jimmy Campbell went on the rocks in 1941 after ten years, a try of a comeback at the theater failed in 1952 and she experienced the low with an attempted suicide. She died at age 74 and is interred at Weybridge Cemetery, Surrey, England.

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