Noelle Middleton, 1926-2016 – A Tribute

The theatre world of Sligo Born, Noelle Middleton, was the zenith of Classic Irish and West End Production. Noelle was a founding member of Irish Actor Equity and began her career in the Gate Theatre in 1947. She then joined the RTE Players before the ‘Silver Screen’ beckoned. Noelle was also one of the first women BBC TV Presenters.

Having attained the height of fame by being immortalised on collector card issues, by starring with David Niven in Happy Ever After and Carrington VC., more film roles followed including Three Men in a Boat, The Vicious Circle, The Iron Petticoat and 27 other film and TV appearances.

I had the honour of working with her in her last Gate Theatre appearance as Gwendoline, in Hilton Edward’s 1971 production of The Importance of Being Earnest and, of directing her in her last radio performance for RTE in Terence Rattigan’s Table Number Seven, in 1992. A year later, she read ‘The Life of Peg Woffington’ for RTE Radio’s Book on One.

Her professionalism, her charm and charisma were unparalleled and she was joy to work with. The stardom she had attained never affected her attitude to life or to her many friends and colleagues.

A warm, genuine lady, Noelle will be missed by all who knew her. Another chapter of the halcyon days of theatre and film sadly closed when she died on 30th January, 2016, aged 89.

Laurence Foster,
February 8th 2016