Olga was a South African-born British actress and artist. She appeared in several films and plays from the mid-1930s to the mid-1950s, including Contraband (1940), The Angel with the Trumpet (1950) and Scrooge (1951), where she played the unnamed wife of Scrooge’s nephew Fred. She was also a major character in Black Orchid (1953). Olga also appeared on British television in 1939, in teleplays such as Condemned to Be Shot and was also, for a time, a television announcer.

On stage she first danced in a company of Anton Dolin. As an actress, her work included leading roles in the West End theatre, in Shakespeare at the Memorial Theatre, Stratford-on-Avon, as well as in films, radio and television. During the war, she spent a year with the BBC Repertory Company and appeared with John Gielgud in Landslide.

She starred in the Oxford Repertory Company before returning to cinema where she appeared in Gabriel Pascal’s film adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s Caesar and Cleopatra (1945), amongst other films. She worked with Alexander Korda, starring in his The Angel with the Trumpet (1950).

When eventually she returned to painting, leaving behind her acting career, Gielgud wrote to her to say that he thought it a great pity she had given up the theatre. Olga was married first to Anthony Baerlein, who died in 1941, and then to Nicholas Davenport, an economist.

She died in 2008, aged 91.

With thanks to Simon Vaughan, Alexandra Palace Television Society for the following information: “Olga first appeared on 12th February 1938 as The Maiden in The Manchester Marionettes. She appeared in a number of drama productions before being listed as an announcer on 30th March 1939, with her last appearance on 20th August 1939. I have an audio recording of her in-vision announcement for 3rd August 1939.”


Personal Information

Date of Birth: 26th May 1917
Date of Death: 23rd July 2008
Age: 91
Honours: Not Applicable

Online Presence

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PICTURED: Olga Edwardes. SUPPLIED BY: Paul R. Jackson. COPYRIGHT: Unknown.

  1. John Martin Perry 19th December 2019 at 5:58 pm

    I think it was Lanchester Marionettes, not Manchester. I don’t understand though, what actual people are involved.


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