Marie Lohr

(1890-1975) Lohr was four years old when she first appeared on stage in her birthplace of Sydney, Australia. Her family moved to England, and she played at the Garrick Theatre in 1901 when she was eleven. Lohr married Anthony Leyland Val Prinsep and from 1918 to 1927, they co-managed the Globe Theatre in London. She was in dozens of stage performances in a long and busy career, including, between 1916 and 1968, fifty motion pictures. She played only one ShakespeareRead more

Nina de Silva

(1868-1949) Born Angelita Helena Margarita de Silva Ferro, Nina de Silva was known by the stage-name N. de Silva. Her first stage appearance was as a page in Sir Henry Irving‘s 1882 production of Much Ado About Nothing. She married Sir Martin Harvey and played in his company when he was based at the Lyceum in London in 1899. De Silva played in Hamlet as Ophelia, Richard III as Lady Anne, The Taming of the Shrew as Katerina, and inRead more

Lady Constance Benson

(1860-1946) Using the stage name Constance Featherstonhaugh in her first stage appearance she played Juliet with Kyrle Bellew in 1883. She soon after joined Frank Benson‘s company and they married in 1886. With Frank’s company she of course played a number of Shakespeare parts, almost all the female leads in the repertory in every major theatre in Great Britain. She married Benson in 1886 until they separated due to his affair with another actress, Genevieve Smeek. Constance became Lady BensonRead more

Hutin Britton

(1876-1965) Hutin “Nellie” Britton’s first appearance on stage was with Frank Benson‘s B Company at Brighton in 1901 in Henry V. She had a long, successful career stretching over four decades. She played the parts of Hero in Much Ado About Nothing (1903), Ophelia (1909), Lady Elizabeth in Richard III (1909), and Lady Macbeth at Stratford (1911). With her husband Matheson Lang, she toured South Africa in 1911 where she played Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew, Ophelia, LadyRead more

Lily Brayton

(1876-1953) Elizabeth “Lily” Brayton was born in England on June 23, 1876. She made her first stage appearance in 1896 with Frank Benson’s company in Richard II (see anecdote below). She remained with the troupe for some time, so as a “Bensonian” she played many roles in the plays of Shakespeare, appearing several seasons in the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Her last appearance on the stage was as Portia in┬áJulius Caesar. She married fellow actor Oscar Asche in 1898 and theyRead more

Maude Fealy

(1883-1971) Maude Fealy was born Maude Hawk; her mother divorced Hawk and took her maiden name. Maude was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on March 4, 1883 (some sources give the year 1886). Her first stage appearance when she was four was as an angel in Faust and Marguerite with her mother, Margaret Fealy, playing Marguerite. In her early years she played Juliet, and the producer Augustin Daly saw her perform the part when she was fourteen and invited her toRead more