Page last updated at 00:14 GMT, Sunday, 28 February 2010

British film-maker Wendy Toye dies aged 92

Wendy Toye in 1959
Wendy Toye: Dancer, actress, choreographer and film-maker

British film-maker Wendy Toye, who enjoyed a varied career spanning nearly eight decades, has died aged 92.

Ms Toye initially worked as a dancer and choreographer on both stage and screen before directing films herself.

She first appeared on stage aged three at the Royal Albert Hall, where her solo turn made headlines.

She turned professional in 1929 and made her film debut in 1931, working with the likes of Jean Cocteau and British entertainers, the Crazy Gang.

Six years after her debut at the Royal Albert Hall, she appeared at the Palladium in a ballet she had choreographed herself.

She was soon much in demand, both as a performer and as a choreographer.

She choreographed numerous productions on both sides of the Atlantic including a Broadway production of Peter Pan starring Boris Karloff.

'Responsible example'

After successes as an actress, dancer and choreographer, she turned her attention to film-making.

In 1952 she directed her first short film, The Stranger Left No Card, which won an award at that year's Cannes Film Festival.

She returned to the story in 1981, directing a version as part of the Tales of the Unexpected series for Anglia Television.

During her film-making career she never went over budget, and her responsible example is said to have paved the way for other female directors in an era when women had to fight for the same opportunities as their male counterparts.

In later life, she lectured in Australia and was an adviser for the Arts Council.

She was made a CBE in 1992 having previously been awarded the Queen's Silver Jubilee medal.

She died at Hillingdon hospital in Middlesex.

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