Donald Stewart

A versatile actor . . .

a charming stage presence and a great singer.

He might have struck gold in Hollywood.

But he fell in love with England

 . . . and with his stage partner, Renée Houston.

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This photo dates from December 1938. He and Renée look closer than ever. They had just returned from their South African tour.



Donald Stewart’s career began on Broadway. A desire to see the world was the trigger that took him to Europe and landed him in Britain where, as well as partnering Renée, he appeared in films and latterly television. 

He was a lead player in several West End productions:

This was after a long career in Variety.


Here are a few moments from Donald’s film and television career
. . . from 1962 and before:


Title: Man of the World (TV Series)
UK Release Date: 1962
Directed by: Harry Booth
Production Company: ITC



Title: A for Andromeda (TV Series)
UK Release Date: 1962
Directed by: Michael Hayes
Production Company: BBC


Title: The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone
UK Release Date: 1962
Directed by: José Quintero
Production Company: Louis De Rochemont Associates



Title: The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw
UK Release Date: 1958
Directed by: Raoul Walsh
Production Company: Twentieth Century Fox



Title: I’ll Get You for This (aka Lucky Nick Cain)
UK Release Date: 1951
Directed by: Joseph M. Newman
Production Company: Kaydor, Romulus Films




Title: One Exciting Night
UK Release Date: 1944
Directed by: Walter Forde
Production Company: Columbia British Productions



Title: Welcome, Mr. Washington
UK Release Date: 1944
Directed by: Leslie S. Hiscott
Production Company: British National Films


Title: The Peterville Diamond
UK Release Date: 11 January 1943
Directed by: Walter Forde
Producer: Max Milner
Production Company: Warner Brothers



Title: Flying Fortress
UK Release Date: 1942
Directed by: Walter Forde
Production Company: Warner Brothers-First National Productions

Title: Old Bill and Son
UK Release Date: 10 March 1941
Director: Ian Dalrymple
Producer: Josef Somlo and Harold Boxall
Production Company: Legeran Films


Title: Fine Feathers
UK Release Date: December 6, 1937
Director: Leslie S. Hiscott
Producer: Herbert Smith
Production Company: British Lion Film Corporation


       “Tomorrow’s the day and I’ll be there.
        And I’ll meet my lad at the top of the stair”


Title: Soft Lights and Sweet Music
UK Release Date: December 6, 1936
Director: Herbert Smith
Production Company: British Lion Film Corporation



Title: First a Girl
UK Release Date: 1936
Directed by: Victor Saville
Production Company: Gaumont British Studios



Donald is an American citizen who makes the UK his home.

Donald is from Wilkes-Barre in the north eastern part of Pennsylvania. Nicknamed “The Keystone State” for holding a key position in the economic, social and political development of the United States, Pennsylvania is where the US Constitution, the Declaration of independence and the Gettysburg Address were all written.


Donald’s flair for song and dance sees him follow High School in Wilkes-Barre with training at the American Academy of Dramatic Art from which he graduates.

He side-tracks an operatic career and spends five years in Broadway musicals alongside Bob Hope and many other performers who go on to become stars of the Broadway stage and Hollywood.


Below: Donald’s Broadway producer: the legendary George White.

Donald Stewart arrives in England in 1935 and works in revue. He makes films and sings vocals with popular dance bands including Ambrose’s band. He records a number of gramophone records.

Listen to Donald and Elsie Carlisle sing “Fare thee well, Annabelle” with Ambrose and his Orchestra, recorded at The Embassy Club (29 Old Burlington Street, London) in 1935. Listen

Or what about the hot rhumba “South American Joe” – again with Ambrose and his Orchestra.Listen

He meets  Renée Houston in early 1936 and becomes her stage partner and new ‘feed’, providing the song, sophistication and pizazz that helps make ‘Houston and Stewart’ or ‘Variety’s Sweethearts’ an act quite like no other.


The perfect partnership!