Born Muriel East South M Findlay in Lambeth, South London, to Scottish parentage, she developed a sweet-voiced soprano at an early age. She made her debut on stage at the age of twelve, appearing in a play she had written herself called The Sister Key. She went on to sing in music halls and to dance in a West End production of The Vagabond King (1927).
She entered films toward the end of the silent era with, the first of three movie versions of the Edgar Wallace play.
Though in her first sound picture,, she got to sing a number, most of her films did not use her musical talents. The sweet-natured actress who played both ingenues and "other woman" roles co-starred with husband Stuart in, Eve"s Fall (1930) and Hindle Wakes (1931), and appeared with British star Monty Banks in some of his film farces, including My Wife"s Family (1931) and
Muriel received a career lift with the glossy musical London hit Balalaika. This led to her securing the pivotal role of Adriana in the original Broadway production of The Boys From Syracuse, co-starring Eddie Albert.
In turn, she received a contract with Paramount Pictures, but never became a star and is largely remembered solely by the acting buffs and nostalgists.
Her last known film role was in. She then revived her Broadway career and had a great success in the musical comedy, Early to Bed (1943). In 1959 she resisted the efforts of Richard Rodgers to secure her for the part of the Mother Abbess in the first Broadway production of The Sound of Music.
Interviewed in 1996, she said it had been a mistake for her to leave England.
"I was caught up in the glamour, but once in Hollywood I was nothing more than a tiny craft battling in an ocean beside much weightier ships.".