Dame Sybil Thorndike CH DBE

Died aged c. 94

Dame Agnes Sybil Thorndike, Lady Casson CH DBE (24 October 1882 – 9 June 1976) was an English actress whose career lasted from 1904 to 1970. Trained in her youth as a concert pianist, Thorndike turned to the stage when a medical problem with her hands ruled out a musical career. She began her professional acting career with the company of the actor-manager Ben Greet, with whom she toured the US from 1904 to 1908. In Britain she played in old and new plays on tour and in the West End, often appearing with her husband, the actor and director Lewis Casson. She joined the Old Vic company during the First World War, and in the early 1920s Bernard Shaw, impressed by seeing her in a tragedy, wrote Saint Joan with her in mind. She starred in it with great success. She became known as Britain's leading tragedienne, but also appeared frequently in comedy. During the Second World War, Thorndike and her husband toured in Shakespeare productions, taking professional theatre to remote rural locations for the first time. Towards the end of the war she joined Ralph Richardson and Laurence Olivier for two seasons staged by the Old Vic company in the West End. After the war she and Casson made many overseas tours, playing in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. They also appeared on Broadway. Thorndike was mainly known as a stage actress, but made several films from the 1920s to the 1960s, among them The Prince and the Showgirl (1957) and Uncle Vanya (1963), both with Olivier. She also broadcast from time to time on radio and television. Her last stage appearances were in 1970 at the theatre named in her honour, the Thorndike Theatre, Leatherhead.

Wikidata Wikipedia

Commemorated on 3 plaques

Dame Sybil Thorndyke 1882-1976 actress lived here 1921-1932

6 Carlyle Square, Kensington and Chelsea, SW3, London, United Kingdom where they lived (1921-1932)

The Thorndike Theatre was designed by Roderick Ham and named after the actress Dame Sybil Thorndike. It was opened in 1969 by Princess Margaret. Formerly the site of the Crescent Cinema, the Thorndike replaced the old repertory theatre at No. 27 High Street, whcih itself had also previously been a cinema. The theatre was reopened as The Leatherhead Theatre in April 2001 and had been staging productions ever since.

Church Street, Leatherhead, United Kingdom where they was

Dame Sybil Thorndike, actress, Freeman of The City Of Rochester, and her brother, Russell Thorndike, author, lived in this house from 1884 until 1892 when their father, the Rev. A J.W. Thorndike was a minor Canon at the Cathedral

2 Minor Cannon Row, Rochester, United Kingdom where they was