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Zena Dare

(1887-1975), Actress

Zena Dare (Florence Harriette Zena Dones)

Sitter in 79 portraits
The daughter of Arthur Dones, a clerk in the Divorce Court, Zena Dare first appeared on stage at the age of 12 in the pantomime Bluebell in Fairyland. At her mother's insistence she continued her education, in Brussels, until she was launched as a major star in the musical comedy The Catch of the Season in 1905. With her younger sister Phyllis, Marie Studholme and Gabrielle Ray, Zena became one of the four reigning beauties of the picture-postcard era; at its height, in 1908, 860 million cards were posted. Further stage successes included The Beauty of Bath and The Gay Gordons, for which P. G. Wodehouse wrote some of the lyrics. In January 1911 Zena married the Hon. Maurice Brett, second son of Viscount Esher, and retired from the stage. After her husband's death in 1934 she started a second stage career in a number of Ivor Novello productions. Her final performances were at Drury Lane and in the celebrated musical production of My Fair Lady (1958), for which Cecil Beaton designed costumes based on the Edwardian postcard portraits that she and others had made so popular in the pre-1914 era.

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Zena Dare, by Angus McBean - NPG P888

Zena Dare

by Angus McBean
bromide print, 1938
NPG P888

Zena Dare, by Unknown photographer - NPG Ax45863

Zena Dare

by Unknown photographer
postcard print, early 1900s
NPG Ax45863

Zena Dare; Phyllis Dare, by Bassano Ltd, published by  The Philco Publishing Co - NPG x193749

Zena Dare; Phyllis Dare

by Bassano Ltd, published by The Philco Publishing Co
postcard print, 1900s
NPG x193749

Phyllis Dare; Zena Dare, by Bassano Ltd, published by  Rotary Photographic Co Ltd - NPG x193750

Phyllis Dare; Zena Dare

by Bassano Ltd, published by Rotary Photographic Co Ltd
bromide postcard print, 1900s
NPG x193750

Phyllis Dare; Zena Dare, by Bassano Ltd, published by  Rotary Photographic Co Ltd - NPG x193751

Phyllis Dare; Zena Dare

by Bassano Ltd, published by Rotary Photographic Co Ltd
bromide postcard print, early 1900s
NPG x193751

Phyllis Dare; Zena Dare, by Bassano Ltd, published by  Rotary Photographic Co Ltd - NPG x193752

Phyllis Dare; Zena Dare

by Bassano Ltd, published by Rotary Photographic Co Ltd
postcard print, early 1900s
NPG x193752

Phyllis Dare; Zena Dare, by Bassano Ltd, published by  Rotary Photographic Co Ltd - NPG x193753

Phyllis Dare; Zena Dare

by Bassano Ltd, published by Rotary Photographic Co Ltd
postcard print, early 1900s
NPG x193753

Zena Dare; Adrienne Augarde, by Bassano Ltd, published by  Davidson Brothers - NPG x193754

Zena Dare; Adrienne Augarde

by Bassano Ltd, published by Davidson Brothers
postcard print, early 1900s
NPG x193754

Zena Dare, by Bassano Ltd, published by  J. Beagles & Co - NPG x193769

Zena Dare

by Bassano Ltd, published by J. Beagles & Co
postcard print, 1900s
NPG x193769

Zena Dare, by Bassano Ltd, published by  Davidson Brothers - NPG x193770

Zena Dare

by Bassano Ltd, published by Davidson Brothers
postcard print, 1900s
NPG x193770

Zena Dare, by Bassano Ltd, published by  Davidson Brothers - NPG x193771

Zena Dare

by Bassano Ltd, published by Davidson Brothers
postcard print, 1900s
NPG x193771

Zena Dare, by Bassano Ltd, published by  Davidson Brothers - NPG x193772

Zena Dare

by Bassano Ltd, published by Davidson Brothers
halftone postcard print, 1900s
NPG x193772

Zena Dare, by Bassano Ltd, published by  Rapid Photo Co - NPG x193773

Zena Dare

by Bassano Ltd, published by Rapid Photo Co
postcard print, 1900s
NPG x193773

Zena Dare, by Bassano Ltd, published by  Rapid Photo Co - NPG x193774

Zena Dare

by Bassano Ltd, published by Rapid Photo Co
postcard print, 1900s
NPG x193774

Zena Dare, by Bassano Ltd, published by  Rotary Photographic Co Ltd - NPG x193775

Zena Dare

by Bassano Ltd, published by Rotary Photographic Co Ltd
postcard print, 1900s
NPG x193775

Zena Dare, by Bassano Ltd, published by  Rotary Photographic Co Ltd - NPG x193776

Zena Dare

by Bassano Ltd, published by Rotary Photographic Co Ltd
postcard print, 1900s
NPG x193776

Zena Dare, by Bassano Ltd, published by  Davidson Brothers - NPG x193777

Zena Dare

by Bassano Ltd, published by Davidson Brothers
postcard print, 1900s
NPG x193777

Zena Dare, by Bassano Ltd, published by  Rotary Photographic Co Ltd - NPG x193779

Zena Dare

by Bassano Ltd, published by Rotary Photographic Co Ltd
postcard print, 1900s
NPG x193779

Zena Dare, by Bassano Ltd, published by  The Rival Photographic Series - NPG x193780

Zena Dare

by Bassano Ltd, published by The Rival Photographic Series
postcard print, 1900s
NPG x193780

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