BiographyLondon, England, UK
Born in London, England on February 28, 1922, the very lovely and light-haired British actress Joyce Howard left school at age 17 and initially studied at the RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts). One of her first professional starring roles was in the play "Temporary Residence" at the Embassy Theatre in London. Pretty Joyce's first film was as a second female lead opposite Derek Farr in the propaganda war drama A Voice in the Night (1941) (aka A Voice in the Night) directed by Anthony Asquith and starring Clive Brook and Diana Wynyard. Read more... of WWII-era films, including noteworthy supports in the working class drama Love on the Dole (1941), The Common Touch (1941) (as another love interest), and the Arthur Askey comedy Back-Room Boy (1942), before co-starring opposite James Mason in the mystery thriller The Night Has Eyes (1942) (aka Terror House). Their pairing proved so compatible that they were signed up again to co-star in another effective mystery thriller They Met in the Dark (1943). During WWII, Joyce continued to co-star in a host of London stage plays, including "Romeo and Juliet" at the Old Vic and "A Streetcar Named Desire." Following the war, Joyce made a return to films with lead and second lead roles in They Knew Mr. Knight (1946), Woman to Woman (1946) opposite Douglass Montgomery, Mrs. Fitzherbert (1947) (in the title role with Peter Graves starring as the Prince of Wales), and her final movie Shadow of the Past (1950) earning top billing as the "Lady in Black." Save for a few TV roles in the late 1950s, Joyce pretty much abandoned her acting career following her marriage to actor Basil Sydney and the raising of their three children. Instead she extended her talents off camera to that of author, novelist and playwright. She first worked in the writing field with such plays as the BBC-produced "Broken Silence" and the novels "Two Persons Singular" and "A Private View." Following her divorce from actor Sydney, who later died from pleurisy in 1968 at age 73, Joyce remarried in 1962 and made a transcontinental move with her family to the U.S. She worked as a story analyst in Burbank, then was hired as executive assistant at Paramount. She moved up the ladder with a position as executive story editor for Paramount TV and was also responsible for property acquisition and development. She would continue to write for TV from time to time. Joyce died in Santa Monica, CA of natural causes at age 88 and is survived by her three children by Sydney.