Saturday, 10 March 2012


Graham Payn (born 25th April, 1918 – died 4th November, 2005) was born in Pietermaritzburg in South Africa. He was a British actor and singer, gay and the life partner of the late Sir Noel Coward.
Payn moved with his family to England when he was about ten years old (circa 1928). He became a boy soprano in concerts and in boy's choirs. He made his first stage appearance at thirteen at the Palladium, as "Curly" in Peter Pan. At the age of fourteen he appeared in Noel Coward's revue Words and Music. Payn's audition consisted of a tap dance routine which he performed while singing "Nearer, My God, to Thee".
In 1945, Coward wrote a leading role in Sigh No More specifically for Payn.
Payn appeared nearly continuously in the West End for the next twenty years of his life. He appeared on Broadway in Coward's Tonight at 8:30, and in films including The Italian Job.
Payn died at the couple's home in Switzerland, aged 87 on 4th November, 2005.

My Graham Payn autograph display.

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