Dion Titheradge was born on 30 March 1889 in Melbourne Australia into a theatrical family. He was the fourth son of George Sutton Titheradge, actor, but the only son from George’s second marriage to Alma Santon (Saegert). One of Dion’s sister was the famous actress Madge Titheradge.
Dion’s first marriage was to Margaret Ann Bolton on 16 October 1909 in New South Wales. They had two children, Peter Dion born 1910 and Margaret Dianna (known as Meg) born in 1918. Peter was well known for his work on radio and worked with the BBC and Meg appeared on the stage.
During World War 1 Dion was call up in November 1917. He was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery. He served on the Eastern front, where he suffered from malaria, which impaired his health in later life.
After the war Dion’s marriage to Margaret was dissolved and he married a second time to Anne Stuart (known as Madge) on 6.02.1928 in the St George Hanover Square area of London. Madge was also part of the theatrical world and was an actress appearing mainly in films.
Although born in Australia Dion moved to London but also spent time in America and back in Australia.
Dion made his career in the theatre. He was an all-round actor of real talent. He made his initial debut on the stage at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle-on-Tyne on 2 March 1908 in “The Woman of Kranstadt”. Subsequently he took up his first long engagement touring his native Australia and New Zealand, playing a variety of roles. In 1910 he was a member of Lewis Waller’s Company and toured with him as Eugene de la Fosse in “Bordelys the Magnificent.
Although Dion was an actor, he was also a skilled producer, but he is best known as a writer for stage, especially plays, revues, sketches, film scenarios and songs.
One of his most famous songs is “And Mother came too” with the music written by Ivor Novello and words by Dion Titheradge. His most successful play was the Crooked Billet. This had a long run at the Royalty Theatre in 1927.
In 1934 he had a long tour of the provinces as lead in “Invitation to Murder” but was taken ill towards the end of the year. Dion died on 16 November 1934, aged just 45. He died at The Empire Nursing Home, London. The cause of death was stomach cancer. Newspapers commented on the great loss sustained by the stage in his passing.
His obituary in “The Stage” magazine reads
“We deeply regret to announce the death of Dion Titheradge, the well-known actor, author and producer, which took place last Friday (November 16) at a London nursing home, following an internal operation. He had been in an unsatisfactory state of health for some considerable time. The funeral took place at Golders Green Crematorium on Tuesday morning.
The death of Dion Titheradge – who was, of course, a brother of Madge Titheradge – at the early age of 45 is a distinct loss to the theatre. As an author and producer of plays, revues, and variety theatre sketches he was both a man of ideas and a man of the theatre in the real all-round sense of the term. He was also a markedly competent, well-graced actor and there can be little doubt that he would have achieved greater things behind the footlights but for his continual fight against ill-health.”
Below I have listed his achievements and these show how talented he was as an actor, a writer and producer.
Dion’s Theatre Acting Roles
1911 part in De Mortemer at the Globe Theatre.
Later in 1911 he joined The Liverpool Repertory Company and played many parts
1912 he joined The Lewis Wallers Company at Dalys Theatre, New York
Later in 1912 he had a part in The Whip at Manhatten
1914 he had a part in Life in Manhattan Opera
1915 he had a part in Husband and Wife at 44th St Theatre, New York
1916 part in Paganini and later a part in Harp of Life at The Globe New York
For the next several years he devoted himself to authorship and production
1925 part in The Valliant & The Rakashi at His Majesty’s
Later in 1925 a part in Jim Quixote at The Grand, Croydon
1926 a part in Loose Ends at Duke of York and later at the Ritz New York
1929 part in The Tiger in Men at The Adelphi
1934 lead role in Invitation to Murder which toured the provinces
Plays Written by Dion Titheradge
1910 Jim the Rat
1915 Taken on Trust
1917 A Girl of Today
1917 Peg for Short
1918 A Wife’s dilemma
1918 The KC
1918 Something to His Advantage
1920 The Name
1924 The Odd Spot
1925 Jim Quixote
1925 The Blue Kitten (review)
1926 Loose Ends
1926 The Apache
1927 The Crooked Billet
1928 The End
1929 The Tiger Man
1930 Rich man, Poor Man
1931 Folly to be Wise
Plays which Dion co- wrote with others
1921 A to Z
1927 The Blue Train
1929 Dear Love
1930 Silver Wings
1930 Follow a Star
1932 Bow Bells
Films written by Dion (generally as co-author)
1919 His Last Defence
1919 (play The KC)
1928 The Rising Generation
1930 Loose Ends
1931 The Shadow Between
1932 Mr Bill the Conqueror
1933 Fires of Fate
1933 Her First Affaire
1933 The Fortunate Fool
1934 Dangerous Ground
1934 Lilies of the Field
Dion acted in the following Films
1916 Husband and Wife
1916 Parisian Romanced
1917 Crimson Dove
1917 The Whip
Some of the productions which Dion produced
Now and Then
The 9 o’clock Revue
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