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Elsa Lanchester

Elsa Lanchester

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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 ...
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MILESTONES

1919:
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
1923:
Stage acting debut alongside John Gielgud in "The Insect Play
1926:
Appeared in the musical revue "Riverside Nights"
1927:
Acted on stage opposite Laughton in "Mr. Prohack"
1927:
Made screen acting debut in the silents "One of the Best" and "The Constant Nymph"
1928:
Starred in three short films written by H G Wells, "Bluebottles", "The Tonic" and "Daydreams"
1931:
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
1932:
Appeared as Anne of Cleves to Laughton's Tudor king in "The Private Life of Henry VIII"
1933:
Offered courtesy contract by MGM
1933:
Acted in several plays with Laughton at the Old Vic in London
1934:
Immigrated to USA
1934:
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
1935:
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
1936:
Starred with Laughton in "Rembrandt"
1938:
Had what she felt was her best her screen role in "The Beachcomber/Vessel of Wrath", playing a spinster missionary
1941:
Acted on Broadway in "They Walk Alone"
:
Worked with the L.A. theater company The Turnabout
1944:
Played leading role in the RKO film "Passport to Destiny"
1946:
Cast the cook in the thriller "The Spiral Staircase"
1946:
Appeared as a spinster secretary opposite Tyrone Power in "The Razor's Edge"
1947:
Played a maid in "The Bishop's Wife", starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven
1949:
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
1954:
Cast a circus bearded lady in the Martin & Lewis vehicle "Three-Ring Circus"
1955:
Played the stepmother in "The Glass Slipper", a musical retelling of the Cinderella story; Estelle Winwood also in cast
1955:
Acted in a TV musical version of "Heidi" (NBC)
1957:
Earned second Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for "Witness for the Prosecution"; Laughton also nominated as Best Actor
1958:
Returned to the stage opposite Laughton in "The Party"
1958:
Supported Kim Novak and James Stewart in "Bell, Book and Candle"
1959:
Debuted one-woman show "Elsa Lanchester in Person", staged by Laughton
1964:
Returned to acting after Laughton's 1962 death with guest appearance on the TV show "Burke's Law"
1964:
Appeared in the Disney feature "Mary Poppins"
:
Had recurring role as the school principal on the NBC sitcom "The John Forsythe Show"
1967:
Dueted with Elvis Presley in "Easy Come, Easy Go"
:
Had recurring role on the ABC sitcom "Nanny and the Professor"
1971:
Played Bruce Davison's nagging mother in "Willard"
1976:
Reteamed with Estelle Winwood in the Neil Simon-penned spoof of detective fiction "Murder By Death"; played Dame Jessie Marbles
1980:
Final film, "Die Laughing"
1983:
Suffered a stroke that left her incapacitated
1998:
Portrayed by Rosalind Ayres in Bill Condon's award-winning fictional biography of James Whale, "Gods and Monsters"

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