Louise Hampton

Louise Hampton as Tyb

Louise Hampton only appeared in the opening scenes of Walt Disney’s Story of Robin Hood (1952) as Maid Marian’s comical nurse, Tyb. This traditional character has her roots in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, when the Nurse provides not only comic relief during the play but is also Juliet’s faithful confidante. This formula was used to great comedic affect again in Warner Brothers ‘Adventures of Robin Hood’ (1938) when Una O’Connor played Marian’s nurse, Bess.

Sadly I can find very little about the life of Louise Hampton, other than what is mainly on IMDb. It states that Louise was born in Stockport, Cheshire in 1877. She was a obviously a very accomplished actress and during her long career appeared in three of my all-time favourite films, ‘Scrooge’(1951) alongside Alistair Sim, ‘Goodbye Mr Chips’ (1939) as Mrs Wicket and of course the 'Story of Robin Hood ' (1952).

Louise Hampton in 'Goodbye Mr Chips' (1939)

Her movie debut was in 1911, it was a silent thriller called ‘Driving a Girl to Destruction’ and after a long interlude she was back on the silver screen in ‘Brown Sugar’ (1922) and ‘The Eleventh Commandment’ (1924).

It is said that Louise looked upon film making as a secondary importance. It was the stage that was her first love and where she gained her most success. From September 7th, 1922 to the end of February 1923 she acted in Rudolf Besier and May Edginton's play, ‘Secrets,’ at the Comedy Theatre in London. The cast also included Fay Compton, Doris Mansell, Fabia Drake, Bobbie Andrews, Cecil Trouncer and Ian Fleming.

In 1933 she appeared in the play, 'The Late Christopher Bean,' at the St. James' Theatre in London, with Edith Evans and Cedric Hardwick.

But by this time motion pictures were being made with sound and Louise’s’ first ‘talky’ was ‘Nine Till Six’ in 1932. After this she made a whole string of movies, including ‘Tobias and the Angel' (1938), ‘The Silver Box’ (1939) 'Sheppey' (1939) ‘Goodbye, Mr. Chips’ (1939), ‘His Lordship Goes to Press’ (1939), ‘Castle of Crimes’ (1940), ‘Busman’s Holiday’ (1940) ‘The Middle Watch' (1940) and ‘The Saint Meets the Tiger’ (1941).

During February 1935 and April 1936 Louise appeared in the play, ‘Lady Precious Stream,’ at the Little Theatre in John Street, London. In 1938 she also acted in ‘Babes in the Wood' at the Embassy Theatre in London, with Angela Baddeley, Alexander Knox, Ellen Pollock, and Richard Caldicot.
A year later, along with making a host of movies, Louise was treading the boards again in Carel Kapek’s play, ‘The Mother’ at the Garrick Theatre in London. It was directed by Miles Malleson and had Nigel Stock in the cast.
Her later movies included 'Bedelia' (1946), ‘The Gentle Gunman’ (1950), ‘Files From Scotland Yard’ (1951), ‘Scrooge’ (1951), ‘The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men’ (as Tyb) (1952), ‘The Oracle’, (1953) and ‘Background' (1953).

Louise passed away on 11th February 1954 aged 76. She was married to Edward Thane.

If you have any more information on the life of Louise Hampton, please get in touch at disneysrobin@googlemail.com. I would be pleased to hear from you.


Clement of the Glen said...

Louise Hampton (1877-1954)


Tyb..........in Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood (1952)

Neil said...

Louise Hampton as Tyb as you say only appears in the opening part of the film. I thought she appeared a little stagey in her acting certainly when shouting 'Marian' although such a comment sounds a bit unkind in view of her long career. She certainly appeared in the woodland set part with Joan Rice and Richard Todd. It would be nice to know more about her though. There must have been many actors who worked in the Theatre and the early days of films and made a decent living. Also it must be said, that like so many of the time, she was unfortunate in that her career would also span two World Wars and most of us have mercifully not seen confict like that. This must have had a big bearing on their lives

Clement of the Glen said...

Interesting comments as usual Neil.

Yes I agree, the part where she calls "Marian!" does sound very stagey. It is a shame we never saw more of her character in the movie. I hope we hear from someone who knew her or can supply some more information about her life.

Louise, like so many others of her generation witnessed incredible times and suffering. But also like so many of her time, carried on with such charm and dignity.