Sybil Thorndike (1882-1976), Actress; wife of Sir Lewis Casson
Dame Sybil Thorndike
Sitter in 43 portraits
As a star actress of the twentieth century she was best known for playing the title-role in Saint Joan which Bernard Shaw wrote for her. But she was also acclaimed for her 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. She was the leading lady at the Old Vic throughout the first world 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, a pacifist and socialist, she was married to the leading actor and director Lewis Casson, a celebrated theatrical partnership that lasted sixty years. She was created a Dame in 1931 and a Companion of Honour in 1970. Her ashes were buried in Westminster Abbey.
Theatre and Live Entertainment
Actors and actresses