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Il 'on star rale after ttvo years af struygle\

By BILL STRUTTON of our London statt

AUSTRALIAN actress Thelma Gngg, director Francis Searle, and "Tinker," mascot of "The Lady Craves Ex-

citement" company.

British film stardom has come to Aus- tralian radio, stage, and screen actress Thelma Grigg after two years of near heartbreak in London.

II is stardom after two years of haunt-

ing agents' offices, besieging casting bureaus, and working as a typist-at the dazzling speed of five words a minute.

I'M lusive Films have cast Thelma Grigg for the lead in a thriller comedy, 'The Lady Craves Excitement"

Her leading man is John Longden, the English star who plays the lead in "The Sileni e of Dean Maitland" and "Thorough

bird."

I helnia's last rule in an Australian-made film was .is the mother in "Bush Christmas."

In it she played a homely role so different from her apparent "type" that English pro dim is viere unwilling to believe she was the same girl.

Willi her sleek, raven-dark hair, and air of a siren, those whose minds do not range

\

beyond type-casting think of her inevitably as

a "femme fatale."

FACH Sir Michael Balcon, head' of Ealing Studios, was confounded when Thelma walked into his office and told him she was the star of "Bush Christmas.''

"Sir Michael was awfully sweet to me," Thelma said. "He let me have a screen test,! and made me a present of it.

"That's what finally landed mc this job. Bul u was only after toting it through the

him offices of Piccadilly and all along War ! dour Stieet during one dreadful year that' 1 finally yoi the < hame.

"To keep nu self going I got a job as a t\pisi io a famous clothing house.

"They were absolute dears. They didn't mind my royal rate of five words a minute.

"It was the paper 1 used' B) inicĂ­elas nu

waste-paper basket would be choked withe mistakes, and they'd tiptoe up \eiy timidly and say, 'We're- supposed to be helping in lice i ampaign to save paper.' "

Before landing her starring role, there were S two bit parts to keep her spirits np. |

Now she is playing a slinky crook in a film j being made in a home on the Thames near j Windsor Castle. )

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