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|Also Known As:||Died:||December 26, 1986|
|Born:||October 28, 1902||Cause of Death:||bronchial pneumonia following a stroke|
|Birth Place:||Lewisham, England, GB||Profession:||Cast ...|
RATE AND COMMENT
At age 16, organized the Children's Theatre (date approximate)
Founded The Cave of Harmony, a theatrical group whose members included James Whale, H G Wells and Charles Laughton
Stage acting debut alongside John Gielgud in "The Insect Play
Appeared in the musical revue "Riverside Nights"
Acted on stage opposite Laughton in "Mr. Prohack"
Made screen acting debut in the silents "One of the Best" and "The Constant Nymph"
Starred in three short films written by H G Wells, "Bluebottles", "The Tonic" and "Daydreams"
Played Laughton's 12-year-old daughter in the London stage play "Payment Deferred"; made Broadway debut in the role, although neither production was successful
Appeared as Anne of Cleves to Laughton's Tudor king in "The Private Life of Henry VIII"
Offered courtesy contract by MGM
Acted in several plays with Laughton at the Old Vic in London
Immigrated to USA
Played the maid Clickett in "David Copperfield"; Laughton had originally been offered role of Mr. Micawber but withdrew and was replaced by W C Fields
Portrayed author Mary Shelley and the titular "The Bride of Frankenstein"; film reunited her with James Whale who directed; role eventually became her best known
Starred with Laughton in "Rembrandt"
Had what she felt was her best her screen role in "The Beachcomber/Vessel of Wrath", playing a spinster missionary
Acted on Broadway in "They Walk Alone"
Worked with the L.A. theater company The Turnabout
Played leading role in the RKO film "Passport to Destiny"
Cast the cook in the thriller "The Spiral Staircase"
Appeared as a spinster secretary opposite Tyrone Power in "The Razor's Edge"
Played a maid in "The Bishop's Wife", starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven
Received first Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress for "Come to the Stable"; played an artista who allows a group of nuns to use her stable as a dispensary
Cast a circus bearded lady in the Martin & Lewis vehicle "Three-Ring Circus"
Played the stepmother in "The Glass Slipper", a musical retelling of the Cinderella story; Estelle Winwood also in cast
Acted in a TV musical version of "Heidi" (NBC)
Earned second Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for "Witness for the Prosecution"; Laughton also nominated as Best Actor
Returned to the stage opposite Laughton in "The Party"
Supported Kim Novak and James Stewart in "Bell, Book and Candle"
Debuted one-woman show "Elsa Lanchester in Person", staged by Laughton
Returned to acting after Laughton's 1962 death with guest appearance on the TV show "Burke's Law"
Appeared in the Disney feature "Mary Poppins"
Had recurring role as the school principal on the NBC sitcom "The John Forsythe Show"
Dueted with Elvis Presley in "Easy Come, Easy Go"
Had recurring role on the ABC sitcom "Nanny and the Professor"
Played Bruce Davison's nagging mother in "Willard"
Reteamed with Estelle Winwood in the Neil Simon-penned spoof of detective fiction "Murder By Death"; played Dame Jessie Marbles
Final film, "Die Laughing"
Suffered a stroke that left her incapacitated
Portrayed by Rosalind Ayres in Bill Condon's award-winning fictional biography of James Whale, "Gods and Monsters"
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