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In World War II, he talked Winston Churchill into making him an agent for British inteligence, and proved to be surprisingly good at it; his reputation as a comic celebrity helped loosen a lot of lips of the enemy. In the fifties he had a resurgence as a singer, singing his own comic songs.
He was also an actor, mostly on stage, but with several film roles, including a memorable turn as the criminal mastermind Mr Bridger in the original The Italian Job.
The other thing that's inevitably going to come up at some point is that he was as Camp as a row of tents, and although he refused to discuss his private life while he was alive, nobody was much surprised when his authorized biographer confirmed after his death that he was homosexual.
Works by Noël Coward include:
Other works by Noël Coward provide examples of:
- Drowning Our Romantic Sorrows: Tom and George empty a decanter of brandy this way in Design for Living.
- List Song: "I've Been to a Marvellous Party" and "Mad Dogs and Englishmen", among others.
- Stage Mom: "(Don't Put Your Daughter On The Stage,) Mrs. Worthington" is addressed to a stage mother whose aspirations are greater than her daughter's potential.
Noël Coward in fiction:
- Appears as a recurring character in the last two seasons of Goodnight Sweetheart, set in the 1940s.
- The Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Mad Dogs and Englishmen (named after one of Coward's songs) features time-travelling Noël Coward.
- The Red Dwarf episode "Meltdown" features an abandoned museum occupied by robot duplicates of famous historical figures, including Coward.
- The character Beverly Carlton in The Man Who Came to Dinner is a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Coward.
- Likewise Eric Dare from the little-known Cole Porter musical Jubilee.
- Apparantly Lucifer from The Sandman and, well, Lucifer is a fan.