Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, the Manchester born Adrianne Allen was the ideal actress for the sharp witted comedy of the 1930s. She was intelligent, verbally deft, and calculated in her expressions. She premiered on the London stage in Noel Coward's "Easy Virtue" (1926) and crossed the Atlantic in 1931 to play "Cynara." Throughout the 1930s she alternated between stage and screen roles. In "The Shining Hour" she worked with her husband Raymond Massey, and the highly praised 1935 stage adaptation of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" her Elizabeth Bennett was deemed one of the most exquisitely managed historical character roles of the decade.
None of her twelve feature films shot in the U.S. and U.K. proved a unqualified triumph upon release, although "The October Man" (1947) is now regarded by film aficionados as an overlooked gem of the immediate post-World War II period. David S. Shields/ALS