Wilfred Noy (1883-1948)

Wilfred Noy Blumberg

Wilfred Noy was born in 1883, South Kensington, London. His sister was Lilian Blumberg, Leslie Howard’s mother.

Wilfred Noy appeared on the stage in 1906-1907 in The Withered Hand by Charles Baldwin and in 1908-1909 in The Christian by Hall Caine, at the Grand Theatre, Southampton.

He soon became interested in the moving pictures, and during the years 1910-1918 he directed a huge series of short films, for Clarendon Film Company. In 1915, he directed The Heroine of Mons and  gave a small part to his nephew Leslie. His work for Clarendon allowed him to help Leslie to get a role in   The Lackey and the Lady, directed by Thomas Bentley, 1919). He also directed films for Harma Photoplay (Noy helped Leslie Howard to get a role in The Happy Warrior produced by Harma and directed by F. Martin Thornton, 1917) and for Carlton Films.

In 1924 Noy moved to the United States, where he got a small role in Janice Meredith. He then worked as screenwriter and director until 1929, while acting in various films. He usually played stock characters like butlers and doctors.

In 1933 Wilfred Noy went back to England. From 1934 to 1939 he produced and directed several films: The Broken Rosary, Father O’ Flynn, City of Beautiful Nonsense, Well Done, Henry, Melody of My Heart. Song of the Forge, Annie Laurie .

He died in 1948.

wilfred noy dorothy mackay basil rathbone green stockings

Dorothy Mackay Basil Rathbone  and Wilfred Noy in The Flirting Widow

Up at the Jackson Studios, I discovered Alice Lake, Niles Welch, Barney Sherry and Maurice Costello making The Fast Pace. The title is very apropos, as the director, Wilfred Noy, had shot forty-one scenes the day before. Mr. Noy has been in this country only a few months. He came here with the idea of learning American directorial methods. He secured small roles in Janice Meredith, and in one or two other pictures where he might watch our directors work at first hand. Then he made The Lost Chord, for Whitman Bennett. Now, immediately on its heels, comes The Fast Pace. (Motion Picture Magazine, March 1925)