Wednesday 23 January 2019

'The Saint' writer's widow left almost €400,000 in Irish estate

Film noir: Audrey Charteris
Film noir: Audrey Charteris
Liam Collins

Liam Collins

Audrey Charteris, wife of the creator of debonair television sleuth Simon Templar from The Saint, has left estate in Ireland valued at nearly €400,000.

Leslie Charteris sold millions of copies of his books and The Saint became a hit television series starring Roger Moore, who later became the cinema's third James Bond.

Audrey Charteris was a film star in her own right and, as Audrey Long, was leading lady opposite John Wayne in Hollywood movies Tall in the Saddle and Wanderer of the Wasteland in the mid-1940s.

She was also noted for her performances in film noir movies in the 1940s .

Audrey Charteris died in Egham, Surrey, England on September 19, 2014, aged 92. Her estate in Ireland was valued at €375,000 according to documents lodged in the Probate Office in Dublin last week by solicitor Paul Brennan and the Thomas Eggar Trust Corporation.

In accordance with Mrs Charteris's will, her ashes, in an urn with the inscription 'Love Never Dies', will join her husband's under a commemorative tree.

Funds from her Irish estate will be administered by her trustees for the benefit of her daughter, Patricia Charteris Higgins.

Born Audrey Long in Orlando, Florida in April, 1922, she made her acting debut in 1942, the same year she appeared in the film Yankee Doodle Dandy. Audrey had a varied career in Hollywood, acting in over 30 films, including Song of My Heart, Stage Struck, Born to Kill and Blue Blood. She made her last film, Indian Uprising, in 1952.

Her first marriage ended in divorce in 1945 and she married Leslie Charteris, a British-Chinese writer born into a wealthy Singapore family and originally christened Leslie Charles Boyer-Yin.

While attending Cambridge University, he changed his name to Charteris, which his daughter later claimed was picked from the phone book.

He emigrated to the United States in 1932 where, after various adventures, he became a Hollywood screen writer and met Audrey Long. They married in 1952 - the same year she gave up acting.

In the years that followed they travelled extensively, as he could stay in the US for only six months at a time due to his Chinese origin. Eventually Charteris became so influential, Congress passed an act giving him and his daughter permanent residency. They later became US citizens.

The writer's most famous character Simon Templar first appeared in Meet The Tiger in 1928, but became fully formed in Enter The Saint (1930).

Charteris went on to write hundreds of novels, radio and television scripts, screenplays and cookery columns.

International success came when Roger Moore starred in the British-produced television series The Saint, which ran from 1962-1969 and in the 1980s, when Return of the Saint, starring Ian Ogilvy, achieved further acclaim. Their daughter, Patricia Charteris Higgins, wrote an introduction to a reissued version of her father's books in 2012.

Leslie and Audrey Charteris settled in England in the 1960s and he died in 1993.

Audrey Charteris's will gives no indication of the contents of her Irish estate, but it is likely to have been investments and royalties held in the family trust.

Sunday Independent

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