For many, the name Noel Coward conjures the image a smoking jacket-clad bon vivant, tickling the ivories and tossing off bons mots between sips of a cocktail.
But a new exhibit that opened on Monday at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center takes a comprehensive look at the many, sometimes lesser-known lives of Coward the celebrated playwright. He was, for instance, a spy.
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Note: I passed by Noel Coward's Jamaican home Firefly some years ago. I was staying at Ian Fleming's nearby Jamaican villa Goldeneye, where Noel Coward was often a guest.
Fleming, like Coward, served in intelligence during WWII, and the two were good friends. Coward served as Fleming's best man when Fleming married Anne in Jamaica.