Mrs Patrick Campbell 1865 - 1940

Past display archive
15 June 2010 - 6 March 2011

Room 28 case display


Mrs Patrick Campbell
by George Charles Beresford
NPG x5039

Beatrice Stella Campbell (née Tanner) was considered to be one of the leading British actresses of her time. Known by her first husband's name, Campbell made her professional stage debut in 1888, driven by the need to provide money for her family. Her critical breakthrough (and possibly her greatest success) came in 1893 when she played the title role in Arthur Wing Pinero's The Second Mrs Tanqueray at the St James's Theatre, London. Great success followed including acclaimed performances opposite Johnston Forbes Robertson and, in 1914, as Eliza Doolittle in the original production of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion. Campbell was unafraid to play unconventional and controversial roles including Mrs Tanqueray, ‘a woman with a past' and later, Pinero's The Notorious Mrs Ebbsmith, a woman with radical views on marriage. Known for her striking dark looks which she had inherited from her Italian mother, and expressive voice, Campbell was compared by some to international leading actresses of the day including Sarah Bernhardt and Eleanora Duse.

This display includes photographs of Mrs Patrick Campbell from the 1890s and early 1900s including portraits by Frederick Hollyer (1837-1933) and George Charles Beresford (1864-1938), and a lithograph after a drawing of Campbell by Violet Manners, Duchess of Rutland (1856-1937).