Daphne Du Maurier (1907 - 1989)

Daphne Du Maurier
1907 - 1989
updated October 14, 2019
Daphne Du Maurier was born on May 13, 1907 in London, United Kingdom. She died on April 19, 1989 in Fowey, England United Kingdom at 81 years of age.

Born: May 13, 1907, London, United Kingdom
Died: April 19, 1989, Fowey, United Kingdom
Dame Daphne du Maurier
BIRTH 13 May 1907
London, City of London, Greater London, England
DEATH 19 Apr 1989 (aged 81)
Par, Cornwall Unitary Authority, Cornwall, England
BURIAL Cremated, Ashes scattered, Specifically: Her ashes were scattered on the cliffs near to her home ŒMenabilly House¹, Fowey, Cornwall, England.
Dame Daphne du Maurier was the daughter of the actor Sir Gerald du Maurier and the granddaughter of the novelist George du Maurier. She was born in London but was educated in Paris. She returned to England and lived most of her life in Cornwall, whose climate and dramatic beauty was the backdrop for so many of her successful novels. Her works include "Jamaica Inn" (1936), "Rebecca" (1938), "Frenchmans Creek" (1942) and "My Cousin Rachel" (1951). Her novel "Rebecca" was made into a film by Sir Alfred Hitchcock, as was "The Birds", which is arguably her greatest literary legacy. She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1969.

Family Members
Gerald Hubert Edward Busson du Maurier
Frederick Arthur Montague Browning

Daphne Du Maurier Biography

Vital facts & highlights of Daphne's life to share with the world

Most Commonly Known Name

Daphne Du Maurier

First name


Middle name


Maiden name


Last Name(s)

Nickname(s) or aliases




Daphne Du Maurier was born on in London, United Kingdom


Daphne Du Maurier died on in Fowey, Cornwall County, England United Kingdom

Cause of death

There is no cause of death listed for Daphne.

Burial / Funeral

Do you know the final resting place - gravesite in a cemetery or location of cremation - of Daphne Du Maurier?


Ethnicity & Lineage

What is Daphne's ethnicity and where did her parents, grandparents & great-grandparents come from?

Nationality & Locations Lived



Unknown. Was Daphne a religious woman?

Last Known Residence

Unknown. Did Daphne move a lot? Where was her last known location?


Did Daphne finish grade school, get a GED, go to high school, get a college degree or masters? What schools or universities did Daphne attend?


Famous Author

Personal Life & Organizations

Share some highlights of Daphne's personal life & organizations in which they participated.

Military Service

Did Daphne serve in the military or did a war or conflict interfere with her life?

Average Age

Life Expectancy

Back to Top

Daphne Du Maurier Family Tree

Daphne's immediate relatives including parents, siblings, partnerships and children in the Du Maurier family tree.

Daphne's Family

Add a parent
Add a parent
Daphne Du Maurier
Add a partner
Add a child
Add a partner
Add a child
Add a sibling


Click to add friends & family.

Daphne's Family Photos

Photos and snapshots taken of Daphne Du Maurier, her Du Maurier family, and locations and places or events from her life.


Share Memories about Daphne

What do you remember about Daphne Du Maurier? Share your memories of special moments and stories you have heard about her. Or just leave a comment to show the world that Daphne is remembered.

Daphne Du Maurier Obituary

This obit of Daphne Du Maurier is maintained by Daphne's followers. Contribute to her obituary and include details such as cemetery, burial, newspaper obituary and grave or marker inscription if available.

Dame Daphne du Maurier, the author of ''Rebecca'' and other highly popular Gothic and romantic novels that were turned into films, plays and documentaries, died yesterday in her sleep at home in the village of Par in Cornwall, on the rugged southwestern coast of England, a setting she had peopled with characters who were cherished by readers all over the world. She was 81 years old.
''Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . . I came upon it suddenly; the approach masked by the unnatural growth of a vast shrub that spread in all directions . . . There was Manderley, our Manderley, secretive and silent as it had always been, the gray stone shining in the moonlight of my dream, the mullioned windows reflecting the green lawns and terrace. Time could not wreck the perfect symmetry of those walls, nor the site itself, a jewel in the hollow of a hand.'' With 'Rebecca,' a Classic
With those famous opening lines of ''Rebecca,'' written by Miss du Maurier when she was 31, she created one of the classic Gothic romances. It is a story about a young woman who marries a widower and becomes the new mistress of a mansion haunted by the image of his first wife. Trying to solve the mystery, she is drawn into a psychological labyrinth. As the model for Manderley, Miss du Maurier used Menabilly, a 70-room manor on the Cornwall coast. Later, fulfilling a childhood dream, she and her husband moved into the mansion that had served as the setting for her novel.
One British critic called the novel ''a Charlotte Bronte story minus Bronte,'' but found it had its own appeal. Another critic, Basil Davenport, called it a ''melodrama, unashamed, glorying its own quality, such as we have hardly had since that other dependent, Jane Eyre, found that her house too had a first wife.'' In The New York Herald Tribune, Lewis Gannett wrote, ''You know the end before you know the beginning; you never know the beginning until, almost, the end. That is a writer's art. Call it a trick, if you like; a trick performed as well as Miss du Maurier performs this trick is art.'' 'I Lose Myself in the Plot'
Although she had lived in Cornwall quietly, with occasional visits from her son and two daughters, to her neighbors she was known for her interest in protecting the integrity of the land and seascape around her against exploitation. Up to two weeks ago, she took her dog for daily walks along the beach. Several Films From Other Books
Friends said she carried her authorial fame and honors lightly. As the wife of Lieut. Gen. Sir Frederick A. M. Browning, who died in 1965 after serving as treasurer to the Duke of Edinburgh, she was also known as Lady Browning. In 1969, Miss du Maurier was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire.
In addition to ''Rebecca'' (the 1940 film that starred Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine), other movies adapted from her novels included ''Jamaica Inn'' (1939), ''Frenchman's Creek'' (1944), ''The Years Between'' (1946), ''Hungry Hill'' (1947) and ''My Cousin Rachel'' (1953). ''The Birds,'' directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1963, was based on a short story by Miss du Maurier that appeared in a collection, ''Kiss Me Again, Stranger.''
Tinker, Tailor, Writer, Spy
She also wrote a biography of her father, ''Gerald,'' a famous actor and theater manager; ''The du Mauriers,'' a family history; ''The Infernal World of Branwell Bronte, a biography of Patrick Branwell Bronte; and several plays - ''Rebecca,'' based on her novel; ''The Years Between'' and ''September Tide.'' The End as Beginning
Once, talking about the technique of her writing genre, she said, ''What is a suspense novel? The term is a loose one, covering any story from a whodunit to a frivolity turning on which dark stranger gets the blonde. People in doubt, people mystified, people groping their way from one situation to another, from childhood to middle age, from joy to sorrow - these are the figures in a true suspense novel. They are traveling along a road of uncertainty toward an unseen goal. The suspense novel succeeds if the reader says to himself at the final page, 'Yes - it couldn't happen any other way.' In its end, to paraphrase Mary, Queen of Scots, is its beginning.''
Miss du Maurier spoke of her writing without pretension, according to her friends. Asked if one of her novels was about ''boy meets girl,'' the author replied, ''No, it's ghoul meets goon.''
She is survived by a son, Christian Frederick du Maurier-Browning, and two daughters, Lady Tessa Montgomery and Lady Flavia Leng.

Followers & Sources
Other Records of Daphne Du Maurier

1907 - 1989 World Events

Refresh this page to see various historical events that occurred during Daphne's lifetime

In 1907, in the year that Daphne Du Maurier was born, the showman Florenz Ziegfeld introduced his Ziegfeld Follies. Ziegfeld was inspired by the Folies Bergère of Paris and the show was a step up from the then current vaudeville shows. The top entertainers of the time played in the Follies but the stars were the Ziegfeld girls - beautiful chorus girls in elaborate costumes. For almost a quarter of a century, the Ziegfeld follies were the toast of Broadway.

In 1910, Daphne was merely 3 years old when Thomas Edison introduced his kinetophone, which he hoped would make "talkies" a reality. But the sound wasn't synchronized to the pictures and only 45 Kinetophones were made.

In 1948, at the age of 41 years old, Daphne was alive when on May 14th, the State of Israel was proclaimed by David Ben-Gurion, who became Israel's first Premier, and the U.S. officially recognized Israel. That evening, Egypt launched an air assault on Israel.

In 1951, at the age of 44 years old, Daphne was alive when on February 27th, the 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution (which limited the number of terms a president may serve to two) was ratified by 36 states, making it a part of the U.S. Constitution. The Amendment was both a reaction to the 4 term Roosevelt presidency and also the recognition of a long-standing tradition in American politics.

In 1989, in the year of Daphne Du Maurier's passing, on November 9th, the Berlin Wall fell. The Wall was built by the East Germans to keep East Berliners from escaping into West Berlin, separating families and friends. When the head of the East German Communist Party announced that day that East Berliners could cross whenever they pleased, happy crowds surged across the border. People brought tools and took parts of the hated wall.

Other Biographies

Other Bios

Unknown - Unknown
Unknown - Unknown
Unknown - Unknown
Unknown - Unknown
1891 - Unknown
Jan 2, 1880 - Jul 23, 1962
March 1990 - Unknown
Unknown - Unknown
Unknown - Unknown
1935 - 2001
Unknown - Unknown
Jun 14, 1881 - Jul 6, 1963
Jul 7, 1887 - Nov 8, 1932
Mar 14, 1929 - 2006
Unknown - Unknown
1960 - Unknown
Nov 19, 1942 - Unknown
Feb 23, 1962 - Unknown
Success Stories from Biographies like Daphne Du Maurier
I have to tell you a VERY special story about how AncientFaces helped to reunite our family. For 13 years, I have been searching for my grandmother's missing sister. She just disappeared from the family in the 1930s without a trace. No one ever knew where or when she died or where she was buried. My years of searching have just run into dead ends, so I had given up. Today, out-of-the-blue, a young lady called me and said that she had seen a photograph on AncientFaces and one of the women in the photo was her grandmother! Little did I know that she had left a small child behind when she died so young of TB. You can imagine our shock and excitement at finding each other and a whole new family that we never knew existed. We only live one state away from each other and very soon plan to have all family members meet to share our sides of "the story" and of course, many, many more picturesl AncientFaces...... without you, this family may never have been complete and Aunt Grace would have been lost to us forever. I hope you realize what a valuable service you provide and how grateful we are to have found you. Thank you!!!! -Lynda B.
I never knew my biological family. My family is my mother and father who raised me. But, as I got older I got curious about my heritage. It took me years of investigation to finally discover my parents’ names. Well, I get goosebumps just writing this, I have found my biological family because of AncientFaces. Yes!! I did a search for my [parents' names] and was shocked to find a photo of them on AncientFaces! I cannot tell you the feeling that came over me when I saw this photo - to see the faces of my biological parents…JUST LIKE THAT. I left a comment on the photo and you won’t believe this - the owner of the photo is MY SISTER!!! Yes, I have a LITTLE sister! It turns out my parents were too young when they had me and had to give me up. My little sister knew I existed and wanted to find me but had no way of doing it. Thanks to you I am meeting my little sister for the first time next month. GOD BLESS YOU ANCIENTFACES. -Anonymous
We have found our missing relative entirely thanks to AncientFaces. We have received a much clearer photo of Captain Grant from his Son. The picture we on AncientFaces is an old yellowed newspaper photo. I am attaching the new photo and ask that you take the old one out and put the new clear picture in its place. With our Canadian Remembrance Day here in 2 days - the timing could not be better. Thank You, AncientFaces. My long lost Aunt is now 86 years old and her Son and I are talking by phone and e-mails. Captain Grant was his Father and died in France in 1944 and is buried there. By posting pictures of the visit to his gravesite - we connected through one of his brothers. Amazing that our prayers have been answered. Thank you -Beth B.
I came home for lunch yesterday and decided to look at my email before going back to work. The weekly newsletter that I subscribe to from the Logan Family History Center had this message in it about AncientFaces. I clicked on the link and the first search I did was for Woodruff, and Mamie was the first picture that came up. I could hardly stand it. I was late getting back to work. I had to add comments and write to you. Thank you for noticing her in the store and for the website. I can't help but wonder how many other family pictures may have ended up in that store and why. I also can't help but feel that it was meant to be and that there is a purpose that this picture is coming home as you say. What are the chances of this all just happening? It's amazing that you even picked it up at the store and then went to all the extra effort to post it. It makes me feel as though you have been my friend forever. It certainly has given me a connection to you, and I have a love for what you do. I just can't tell you how excited I am. I can't even hold it in. -Cathy K., Utah
I have previously submitted several pictures of my grandfather August Zemidat. I have tried for many years to find anyone with that name, and I have searched many genealogy web sites to no avail. Recently I was contacted by someone who saw my pictures on AncientFaces who may well be a cousin. She also provided me with information that seems to indicate her grandparents were my grandfather’s siblings. Considering the many years I have been searching for the name Zemidat, I find this is absolutely amazing that I have finally found a family member. Thank you AncientFaces -Ron D.
I love AncientFaces, a while back I saw that you had labeled Garcia surname pictures. At the time I didn’t have all my family facts for my research. Anyway, I wandered into your site just to check it out AND NOW 1 YEAR LATER I received a picture from an 87 year old aunt and guess what you had this very same picture on your site!! (They were my great aunts and my great-grandmother!). Thank you… -Angela M.
I have loved AncientFaces since I first found it, it's the first thing I check when I turn on the computer. There was a time when even in the most modest households there were three cherished possessions, a family Bible. a family album and a fancy lamp. It was usual for the family to gather in the parlour, generally on Sunday and talk, tell stories of family and friends with the photos in the albums as illustration. Sadly in our modern electronic age we have fallen away from the oral tradition and interest in history has waned. I was quite shocked on the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic to see so many comments from younger people who were surprised to learn that the Titanic wasn't just a movie. This is why AncientFaces is so important, to me it's the electronic age version of the oral tradition on a global scale and the sheer volume of people who follow, comment and contribute seems to prove the point. We are all grateful to you all for providing us with this wonderful site. - Arba M.