Sybil Thorndike (1882-1976), Actress; wife of Sir Lewis Casson
Dame Sybil Thorndike
Sitter in 45 portraits
Best known for playing the title-role in Saint Joan which Bernard Shaw wrote for her Thorndike was also acclaimed for performances in Greek tragedy and in Shakespeare. She spent her early years touring with Ben Greet's company in America, and playing seasons at the Gaiety theatre in Manchester and was the leading lady at the Old Vic during the Great War, when she played both male and female parts. In the second world war she toured classics such as Macbeth and Medea around the mining areas of Wales and the North-East. A suffragist, pacifist and socialist, she was married to the actor and director Lewis Casson, a celebrated theatrical partnership that lasted sixty years.