Search the Collection

Elsa Lanchester

(1902-1986), Actress

Sitter in 14 portraits
Taking her mother's name as her stage name, in 1921 Lanchester co-founded the Cave of Harmony in Gower Street, a night club devoted to cabaret and avant-garde plays. Her first theatrical appearance was in Thirty Minutes in a Street at the Kingsway Theatre (1922). She married Charles Laughton in 1929, and in 1932 they moved to Hollywood. She co-starred with Laughton in a number of films including The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933) and Rembrandt (1936), but was best known for the title role in the film The Bride of Frankenstein (1935). Post-war films included Mary Poppins. She became an American citizen in 1950.

Tell us More

List Thumbnail

Elsa Lanchester, by Doris Zinkeisen - NPG 6488

Elsa Lanchester

by Doris Zinkeisen
oil on canvas, exhibited 1925
On display in Room 31 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 6488

Elsa Lanchester, by Angus McBean - NPG P921

Elsa Lanchester

by Angus McBean
bromide print, 1938
NPG P921

Elsa Lanchester, by Yvonne Gregory - NPG x133274

Elsa Lanchester

by Yvonne Gregory
vintage bromide print, 1927
NPG x133274

Charles Laughton; Elsa Lanchester, by Sasha (Alexander Stewart) - NPG x193443

Charles Laughton; Elsa Lanchester

by Sasha (Alexander Stewart)
halftone reproduction tear sheet, published 13 February 1929
NPG x193443

Elsa Lanchester; Charles Laughton, by Yvonne Gregory - NPG x11868

Elsa Lanchester; Charles Laughton

by Yvonne Gregory
bromide print, July 1931
NPG x11868

The opening night of 'The Private Life of Henry VIII', by George Woodbine, for  Daily Herald - NPG x135050

The opening night of 'The Private Life of Henry VIII'

by George Woodbine, for Daily Herald
modern bromide print from original negative, 24 October 1933
NPG x135050

The opening night of 'The Private Life of Henry VIII', by George Woodbine, for  Daily Herald - NPG x135051

The opening night of 'The Private Life of Henry VIII'

by George Woodbine, for Daily Herald
modern bromide print from original negative, 24 October 1933
NPG x135051

Elsa Lanchester, by E.H. Eugene Pizey - NPG x125034

Elsa Lanchester

by E.H. Eugene Pizey
film publicity still, 1935
NPG x125034

Elsa Lanchester, by Ernest A. Bachrach - NPG x21558

Elsa Lanchester

by Ernest A. Bachrach
bromide print, 1939
NPG x21558

Elsa Lanchester, by Clarence Sinclair Bull - NPG x194121

Elsa Lanchester

by Clarence Sinclair Bull
vintage print, 1940s
NPG x194121

Diners at Denham Studios Restaurant, by Anthony Wysard - NPG D312

Diners at Denham Studios Restaurant

by Anthony Wysard
watercolour and pencil, published 1937
NPG D312

Web image not currently available

Elsa Lanchester

by Clarence Sinclair Bull
print, 1934
NPG x35329

Related People

Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this person? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. If you wish to license an image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.

Citationclose

How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.