Frances Grace Newley was born in Poplar, London, on September 23, 1902. She was the mother of Anthony George Newley, an English actor, filmmaker, singer, and songwriter. Frances was the grandmother to Tara, Alexander, Simon, Shelby, and Christopher Newley.
In her personal life, Frances was in a relationship with George Kirby, with whom she had her son Anthony Newley. After the birth of their son, they were no longer in love and broke up.
Anthony Newley gained popularity for his success in various fields, including stage and screen acting, singing, and songwriting. When Frances Grace’s son was young, his parents separated, and he had to be raised by his aunt and uncle, who adopted him unofficially until the second world war when he was moved to foster care in the countryside.
Despite being a bright student, Frances’ son dropped out of school at 14 and started working as an office boy in Hannaford and Goodman advertising agency. While working as an office boy, Anthony Newley came across an advertisement titled Boys Actors Urgently Wanted in Italia Conti Stage School. Frances Newley applied, but the fees at the school were too high.
After auditioning, Frances Newley’s son was offered a job at the school to work as an office boy. One day while on his duties, producer Geoffrey de Barkus noticed him, and Anthony was cast in The Adventures of Dusty Bates as the title character.
Frances Grace’s Son’s Career
After making his appearance in Dusty Bates, Frances Grace’s son featured as Dick Bultitude in Vice Versa. Given his versatility and hard work, Anthony transitioned from a child actor to an adult actor, where he featured in several radio programs, including Floggits, alongside Doris and Elsie Waters.
In 1958, Anthony was featured in the film No Time to Die, and in 1959, he featured in Idol on Parade, a comedy film as a rock singer launching his career as a pop singer. He released the song I’ve Waited So Long which reached number 3 on the UK charts. Given the success of the first song, he released other beautiful hits, including Personality, Why, Do You Mind, and many other songs which hit international heights.
Anthony Newley greatly succeeded in filmography and singing; he received several awards, including the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain for Best British Original Screenplay and the Grammy Awards for Song of the Year.
Her Son’s Illness and Death
Frances’ son was diagnosed with renal cancer in 1985, for which he was treated and managed, and they believed the disease had gone, but then it returned in 1997, and this time, it had spread to the lungs and liver. He was managed palliatively, and on April 1999, he passed away aged 67. It is said that Frances Grace’s son died in the arms of his lover Gina Fratini, his third wife.
Frances Grace Newley died in 2002, aged 99. Her cause of death is unknown, but it is worth believing it was due to old age. She was buried in the Municipal Cemetery, Long Ditton, Surrey, England.