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Who's Who at Ealing

Meet the team at 'the studio with team spirit'

In 1938, producer Michael Balcon took over the reins of the struggling Associated Talking Pictures studio, established in 1931 at Ealing in West London by theatre impresario Basil Dean. Balcon was already well established in in British film, as production head at Gainsborough Pictures and Gaumont-British and an early mentor of Alfred Hitchcock, and he had strong ideas about how a successful studio should operate.

Balcon set about fostering a collaborative atmosphere, exemplified by regular meetings around the famous round table, where attendees were encouraged to comment on each others' projects. Balcon's Ealing became "the studio with the team spirit", and inspired great loyalty among its tightly-knit crew of directors, writers, technicians and performers, despite their comparatively humble salaries. These were the men and women who made Ealing Britain's best-loved studio.

Main image of Who's Who at Ealing
Thumbnail image of Auric, Georges (1899-1983)Auric, Georges (1899-1983)

French composer who brought European sophistication to Ealing's films

Thumbnail image of Baker, Reginald (1896-1985)Baker, Reginald (1896-1985)

Producer and senior executive at Ealing Studios for some 30 years

Thumbnail image of Balcon, Michael (1896-1977)Balcon, Michael (1896-1977)

Hitchcock mentor, Ealing head and all-round film industry giant

Thumbnail image of Barker, Will (1867-1951)Barker, Will (1867-1951)

Pioneer who brought film production to Ealing in 1902

Thumbnail image of Cavalcanti, Alberto (1897-1982)Cavalcanti, Alberto (1897-1982)

Inspirational Brazilian who was a vital creative force at GPO and Ealing Studios

Thumbnail image of Clarke, T.E.B. (1907-1989)Clarke, T.E.B. (1907-1989)

Tireless writer whose 15 Ealing scripts included Passport to Pimlico, The Lavender Hill Mob and The Blue Lamp

Thumbnail image of Cole, Sidney (1908-1998)Cole, Sidney (1908-1998)

Politically-committed editor and producer who was a prolific figure at Ealing and at early ITV

Thumbnail image of Cornelius, Henry (1913-1958)Cornelius, Henry (1913-1958)

Producer-turned-director who oversaw the classic Passport to Pimlico

Thumbnail image of Courtauld, Stephen (1883-1967)Courtauld, Stephen (1883-1967)

Textiles scion who financed Ealing for more than two decades

Thumbnail image of Crichton, Charles (1910-1999)Crichton, Charles (1910-1999)

Former editor who became a director specialising in comedy

Thumbnail image of Danischewsky, Monja (1911-1994)Danischewsky, Monja (1911-1994)

Colourful Russian who was a genius of a publicist at Ealing

Thumbnail image of Dean, Basil (1888-1978)Dean, Basil (1888-1978)

Sound-era pioneer who built and ran Ealing for eight years, before Balcon took over

Thumbnail image of Dearden, Basil (1911-1971)Dearden, Basil (1911-1971)

Ealing's most prolific director, who moved from wartime comedy to 'social problem' films

Thumbnail image of Forde, Walter (1898-1984)Forde, Walter (1898-1984)

Veteran director who was Ealing's first comedy specialist in the early Balcon era

Thumbnail image of Formby, George (1904-1961)Formby, George (1904-1961)

Wigan-born ukelele-playing comic who was a prolific Ealing actor until 1941

Thumbnail image of Fowler, Harry (1926-2012)Fowler, Harry (1926-2012)

High-spirited Cockney actor who had a series of youthful roles at Ealing

Thumbnail image of Frend, Charles (1909-1977)Frend, Charles (1909-1977)

Underrated director of low-key epics San Demetrio London and Scott of the Antarctic

Thumbnail image of Greenwood, Joan (1921-1987)Greenwood, Joan (1921-1987)

Seductive, honey-voiced actress who brought sex appeal to usually dowdy Ealing

Thumbnail image of Guinness, Alec (1914-2000)Guinness, Alec (1914-2000)

Best known face of Ealing comedy, who played no fewer than 19 roles in six films

Thumbnail image of Hamer, Robert (1911-63)Hamer, Robert (1911-63)

Visionary director of It Always Rains on Sunday and Kind Hearts and Coronets

Thumbnail image of Hawkins, Jack (1910-1973)Hawkins, Jack (1910-1973)

Authoritative actor who was an Ealing favourite in the 1950s

Thumbnail image of Hay, Will (1888-1949)Hay, Will (1888-1949)

Former music-hall star who made five comic features at Ealing

Thumbnail image of Holloway, Stanley (1890-1982)Holloway, Stanley (1890-1982)

Exuberant former music hall star who was an Ealing regular from 1944

Thumbnail image of Jackson, Gordon (1923-1990)Jackson, Gordon (1923-1990)

Scots actor who played naive youths at Ealing, then stern authority figures on TV

Thumbnail image of James, Sidney (1913-1976)James, Sidney (1913-1976)

Familiar bit-part actor at Ealing, who found greater fame in Carry On

Thumbnail image of Johns, Mervyn (1899-1992)Johns, Mervyn (1899-1992)

Welsh character actor who was one of Ealing's most versatile players

Thumbnail image of MacPhail, Angus (1903-1962)MacPhail, Angus (1903-1962)

Influential writer, Hitchcock collaborator and a key Ealing figure in the 40s

Thumbnail image of Mackendrick, Alexander (1912-1993)Mackendrick, Alexander (1912-1993)

Maverick outsider who directed some of the darkest of Ealing's comedies

Thumbnail image of Morgan, Diana (1908-1996)Morgan, Diana (1908-1996)

Welsh-born writer who struggled for recognition in Ealing's male world

Thumbnail image of Relph, Michael (1915-2004)Relph, Michael (1915-2004)

Designer, producer and director who formed a lasting partnership with Basil Dearden

Thumbnail image of Rose, William (1918-1987)Rose, William (1918-1987)

American-born writer of The Ladykillers and The Maggie

Thumbnail image of Slater, John (1916-1975)Slater, John (1916-1975)

Long-faced actor who made an impression in several Ealing roles

Thumbnail image of Slocombe, Douglas (1913-)Slocombe, Douglas (1913-)

Technical wizard who photographed countless Ealing classics

Thumbnail image of Stevenson, Robert (1905-1986)Stevenson, Robert (1905-1986)

Early Ealing director who left in 1939 for Hollywood and later had huge success at Disney

Thumbnail image of Trinder, Tommy (1909-1989)Trinder, Tommy (1909-1989)

Cheeky Cockney comic who played drama and comedy in Ealing's wartime films

Thumbnail image of Warner, Jack (1896-1981)Warner, Jack (1896-1981)

Regular Ealing actor, forever remembered as PC George Dixon

Thumbnail image of Watt, Harry (1906-1987)Watt, Harry (1906-1987)

Gifted GPO mainstay who directed Night Mail and carried documentary values to Ealing

Thumbnail image of Withers, Googie (1917-2011)Withers, Googie (1917-2011)

Fascinating actress who played a string of powerful women in Ealing films