Cornell, Katharine

born Feb. 16, 1893, Berlin, Ger.
died June 9, 1974, Martha's Vineyard, Mass., U.S.

U.S. actress.

Born to American parents in Germany, she toured with a stock company before winning acclaim in Little Women in London (1919). She made her Broadway debut in 1921 and became a star in A Bill of Divorcement that year. She managed her own productions after 1931 and toured widely; most of her plays were directed by her husband, Guthrie McClintic (1893–1961). She starred in plays such as Candida (1924), The Letter (1925), The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1931, 1945)
in which she played the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, her best-remembered role
and Dear Liar (1960). She was often called the first lady of the American theatre.

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▪ American actress
born Feb. 16, 1893, Berlin, Ger.
died June 9, 1974, Vineyard Haven, Martha's Vineyard, Mass., U.S.
 one of the most celebrated American stage actresses from the 1920s to the 1950s.

      Cornell was the daughter of American parents who were in Berlin at the time of her birth. Later that year the family returned to Buffalo, New York. Her interest in the theatre came naturally—her father was an amateur actor and an associate in theatrical management of Jessie Bonstelle. Cornell wrote, directed, and appeared in several plays in school and then joined the Washington Square Players (1916–18) in New York City. She later worked with a touring stock company and in October 1919 received favourable attention for her portrayal of Jo in the first London production of Little Women. In March 1921 she made her Broadway debut in Rachel Crothers's Nice People, and later in the year she won her first lead in Clemence Dane's A Bill of Divorcement, vaulting into stardom with the role. Subsequently she appeared in Will Shakespeare (1923), George Bernard Shaw's Candida (1924), and Michael Arlen's The Green Hat (1925), among others. The Green Hat was directed by Guthrie McClintic, who was her husband from 1921 and thereafter the director of nearly all her plays.

      After performances in Somerset Maugham's The Letter (1927), The Age of Innocence (1928; an adaptation from Edith Wharton), and Dishonored Lady (1930), Cornell began managing her own productions and immediately scored a triumph in Rudolf Besier's The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1931), in which she played Elizabeth Barrett Browning. After a long Broadway run she broke with theatrical practice by taking the production's first-string cast on an extended and highly successful road tour (1933–34).

      Celebrated for their excellence, her later productions included Thornton Wilder's Lucrece (1932), Sidney Howard's Alien Corn (1933), William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (1934), Maxwell Anderson's The Wingless Victory (1936), and Anton Chekhov's The Three Sisters (1942). During World War II she entertained troops in Europe with The Barretts of Wimpole Street and in 1943 appeared in a movie, Stage Door Canteen. She returned to Broadway in 1946 with Antigone and a revival of Candida and followed with such others as Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra (1947), Maugham's The Constant Wife (1951), and Jerome Kilty's Dear Liar (1960). She also appeared on television in productions of The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1956) and There Shall Be No Night (1957).

      During her 30 years of stardom Cornell was often called the first lady of the American theatre. Following the death of her husband in 1961 she retired from the stage. Her autobiography, I Wanted To Be an Actress, was published in 1939.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cornell,Katharine — Cornell, Katharine. 1893 1974. American actress known for her Broadway performances in A Bill of Divorcement (1921) and The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1931). * * * …   Universalium

  • Cornell, Katharine — (1893 1974)    Katharine Cornell was among the most versatile, respected stage actresses of the early 20th century, moving easily from comedy to drama, from the classics to contemporary plays. Her father had been a theatre manager, but moved to… …   The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater

  • Cornell, Katharine — (16 feb. 1893, Berlín, Alemania–9 jun. 1974, Martha s Vineyard, Mass., EE.UU.). Actriz estadounidense. Nacida en Alemania de padres estadounidenses, realizó giras con una compañía de repertorio antes de ser aclamada en Londres por Mujercitas… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Katharine Cornell — en La edad de la inocencia Nacimiento 16 de febrero de 1893 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Cornell — Cornell, Joseph * * * (as used in expressions) Cornell, Joseph Cornell, Katharine Cornell, Universidad de …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Cornell — /kawr nel /, n. 1. Ezra, 1809 74, U.S. capitalist and philanthropist. 2. Katharine, 1898 1974, U.S. actress. 3. a male given name. * * * (as used in expressions) Cornell University Cornell Joseph Cornell Katharine * * * …   Universalium

  • Katharine — (as used in expressions) Cornell Katharine Graham Katharine Katharine Meyer Hepburn Katharine Houghton * * * …   Universalium

  • Katharine — (as used in expressions) Cornell, Katharine Graham, Katharine Katharine Meyer Hepburn, Katharine (Houghton) …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Katharine Cornell — en 1927 Katharine Cornell est une actrice, écrivaine et productrice américaine née le 16 février 1898 à Berlin et décédée le 9 juin 1974. Biographie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cornell — ist der Name mehrerer Orte in den Vereinigten Staaten: Cornell (Illinois) Cornell (Iowa) Cornell (Kalifornien) Cornell (Kansas) Cornell (Michigan) Cornell (Wisconsin) Cornell Township (Michigan) Cornell Township (North Dakota) Cornell ist der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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