Katharine Cornell

Katharine Cornell

Actor
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Katharine Cornell

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Katharine Cornell (February 16, 1893 – June 9, 1974) was an American stage actress, writer, theater owner and producer. She was born to American parents and raised in Buffalo, New York.

Cornell is known as the greatest American stage actress of the 20th century. She was nicknamed "First Lady of the Theatre," a title also bestowed upon her friend Helen Hayes, though each demurred to the other. Nonetheless, her contributions to acting and to the theater are unparalleled. Cornell is noted for her major Broadway roles in serious dramas, often directed by her husband, Guthrie McClintic. Together, they formed a production company, which gave them complete artistic freedom in choosing and producing plays. Their production company gave first or prominent Broadway roles to some of the greatest actors of the 20th century, including many of the great British Shakespearean actors. In addition, the strength of her acting and the quality of the productions brought popular success to such authors as George Bernard Shaw and William Shakespeare, who until then were not often performed, thereby paving the way for their eventual popularity throughout the country for the rest of the century and beyond.

Acting career

Katharine Cornell's most famous role was as English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning in the 1931 Broadway production of The Barretts of Wimpole Street. Other appearances on Broadway included: W. Somerset Maugham's The Letter (1927), Sidney Howard's The Alien Corn...
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