Actress Phyllis Luckett Oliver Flax died May 26th at her home in Venice after a 16-year battle with cancer. She was 85.
Born in London, England on July 19th, 1921, Flax was the daughter of Alice Maude and Thomas Luckett, and sister of Elise Luckett Lloyd.
Her first professional job was performing for the League of Nations at the age of five. Due to Flax’s very young age, Vic Oliver and Sarah Churchill Oliver (Sir Winston Churchill’s daughter) were her legal guardians, which enabled Flax to travel throughout the country.
Schooled in London at the Royal Academy of Drama and Arts and trained at the De Vos School, at the Portland School of Dance, Flax was a resident dancer with the London Palladium, where she gave three Royal Command Performances from 1935 to 1937 in the presence of the king and queen of England.
During the World War II “blitz,” Flax served as an ambulance driver with the St. John Ambulance Brigade and volunteered with the American Red Cross.
She performed in London at the Hippodrome, and in E.N.S.A. /U.S.O. shows. Her radio career included live performances such as Hi Gang with Ben Lyons, BeBe Daniels and Vic Oliver on local radio programs.
Flax visited the U.S. shortly after the war in Europe and during her visit, met her husband, Dan Flax. They were married in New York City on December 19th, 1946. The family moved to Palm Springs in 1950.
While raising her family, she immersed herself in the community. She was a mainstay in the Palm Springs Playhouse (acting and directing), president of the PTA, narrator of the Desert Circus Parade, helping to raise funds for projects for the many service clubs, especially the Kiwanis and Elks.
After her husband’s death in 1972, Flax moved to Beverly Hills in 1974 to work in television, movies and theater. She appeared on many shows including Dallas, NYPD Blues, Wonder Woman and, most recently, ER.
Flax is survived by her daughter, Wendy P. Runyon, and son, L. Peter Flax and wife Pamela; grandsons Thomas Runyon and wife Elise, Daniel and Nicholas Flax; and great grandchildren Tara, Hanah and Christian Runyon.
Memorial services are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 30th, at Mount Olive Lutheran Church, 1343 Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to VISTA Hospice, 16830 Ventura Blvd. #315, Encino 91436.