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Actor Graham Payn dead at 87

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LES AVANTS, Switzerland, Nov 14, 2005 (UPI via COMTEX) -- Actor, singer, author and longtime companion of the late playwright Noel Coward, Graham Payn, has died in the Swiss Alps at age 87.

Payn died Nov. 4 at the couple's home in Les Avants above Montreaux, Switzerland, The New York Times reported Monday.

Payn, a native of South Africa and familiar face on the British stage, co-edited Coward's diaries, which was published in 1982, and wrote the 1994 memoir "My Life With Noel Coward," The Times said.

His first major stage appearance was a 1931 production of "Peter Pan" as a 13-year-old and, a year later, he sang in a Coward revue, "Words and Music."

He was in Coward's first postwar revue, the 1945 "Sigh No More" in which he sang "Matelot." The next year, Coward wrote a major part for him in "Pacific 1860" starring Mary Martin.

Among his film roles were the adaptation of Coward's "Astonished Heart" and the 1969 version of "The Italian Job."

Payn oversaw Coward's estate after the playwright's death in 1973 and often gave talks about their life together.


Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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