As time goes on I find that I now watch the news on the telly only on rare occasions, but a while back I was delighted to catch an item on the ‘And finally’ slot, which proved fascinating. I was introduced to the life and work of Renée Glynne, and she is my latest nomination for damehood.
Recent research undertaken by the BFI confirms that the British film industry is dominated by men. One example of this is that less than a third of the names in more than a century of film credits are female. One of the women who managed to buck this trend is Renée Glynne, whose name has appeared in film credits a total of 114 times.
She was born in 1926 and entered the film industry at 17, working as a film production secretary in the scenario department at Welwyn Studios. It was wartime, and as Glynne freely admits, with the men away at the front it was easier for women to get work in roles that had previously been entirely handled by men.
Over the next 60+ years Renée Glynne rose to become one of the most respected continuity/script supervisors in the business. Her first screen credit was for Brass Monkey (1948), at the age of twenty – still under her maiden name. Her films include: Caesar and Cleopatra, The Quatermass Experiment, Casino Royale, One Plus One, Song Remains The Same or Sir Henry At Rawlinson End and The Krays.
As well as a long association with Hammer Films, Renee worked with the likes of George Bernard Shaw, David Lean, Bette Davis, Jean Luc Godard, The Rolling Stones, Vivian Stanshall and Led Zeppelin.
Even with such an illustrious career there have been particular highlights; she cites working with the Beatles on the film Yellow Submarine as one such example. Her throwaway line is ‘Brief Encounter – I worked on that.’
As well as the work behind the scenes, Glynne made cameo appearances in a number of films including Jean Luc Godard’s 1968 film One Plus One. She also has done the voice-over for a number of short films by Amsterdam filmmaker Ansuya Blom.
Despite her advancing years, she continues to travel, attending the 2016 Los Angeles BAFTA showing of Denial to talk about her years working with Hammer Films.
She has been painting for the last 18 years. She has exhibited her work in a variety of locations in London, and has a regular stand at the Bayswater Road exhibition held every Sunday: http://www.bayswater-road-artists.co.uk/. Her pitch is #274, opposite the Swan Pub at Lancaster Gate.
She is currently writing her memoirs, forthcoming from Avalard Publishing. Full details of her extraordinary career and current activities are on her website: http://www.reneeglynne.com/
When looking at her many and varied achievements, one wonders if Renée Glynne ever draws breath. Though she is in her 90s, there seem to be no signs of her slowing down. In 2016 she was a volunteer actor, with her dog, for a scene in You Me Bumbum Train Immersive Theatre in London. Her life is truly one that we at damesnet would be happy to emulate, if only we could find the energy.