Eva Le Gallienne


Actor

About

Also Known As
Eva Legallienne
Birth Place
London, England, GB
Born
January 11, 1899
Died
June 03, 1991
Cause of Death
Heart Failure

Biography

This legendary stage star won renown for her performances on Broadway, in productions by the repertory theater she founded, including "Liliom" (1921) and "The Swan" (1923). In the 1930s, she played the lead in "Peter Pan," the White Queen in "Alice in Wonderland," Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet," and the lead in a summer production of "Hamlet" (1937) which she also staged.In 1926, Le Gallie...

Family & Companions

Alla Nazimova
Companion
Actor.
Mercedes de Acosta
Companion
Writer.
Marion Evensen
Companion
Moved together to an estate at Weston, Connecticut in 1926.
Josephine Hutchinson
Companion
Actor.

Bibliography

"Eva Le Gallienne: A Biography"
Helen Sheehy, Alfred A. Knopf (1996)
"Shattered Applause: The Lives of Eva Le Gallienne"
Robert A. Schanke, Southern Illinois University Press (1992)
"Eva Le Gallienne: A Bio-Bibliography"
Robert A Schanke, Greenwood Press (1989)
"The Mystic in the Theatre"
Eva Le Gallienne (1966)

Biography

This legendary stage star won renown for her performances on Broadway, in productions by the repertory theater she founded, including "Liliom" (1921) and "The Swan" (1923). In the 1930s, she played the lead in "Peter Pan," the White Queen in "Alice in Wonderland," Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet," and the lead in a summer production of "Hamlet" (1937) which she also staged.

In 1926, Le Gallienne founded a national repertory theater, the Civic Repertory Theater in New York, similar to England's Old Vic, which presented the classics at popular prices ($1.50 top ticket price). She not only starred in the majority of productions, until the company folded in 1933 as a consequence of the Depression, but she also staged, translated and produced most of the plays.

Le Gallienne then lectured at colleges and toured the country, returning to Broadway in "Uncle Harry" and "The Cherry Orchard." In 1946, she organized the short-lived American Repertory Theater with Margaret Webster and Cheryl Crawford. Later stage triumphs included "Mary Stuart" in which she toured from 1957 to 1962 and "The Royal Family" (1976). Le Gallienne reprised her role (the matriarch of a theatrical family modeled on the Barrymores) in an acclaimed television production which earned her an Emmy. She also produced and starred in an acclaimed TV version of "The Bridge of San Luis Rey" (1958). Le Gallienne appeared in a handful of films, perhaps most memorably as Ellen Burstyn's grandmother in "Resurrection" (1980), for which she received an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Resurrection (1980)

Cast (Special)

The Royal Family (1977)
Fanny

Life Events

1914

Stage debut (walk-on role) in Maeterlinck's "Monna Vanna" in London at age 15

1915

Left London during WWI with mother for New York

1915

New York stage debut, "Mrs. Boltay's Daughter"

1919

First stage success opposite Sidney Blackmer in "Not So Long Ago"

1926

Abandoned career as Broadway star to found the Civic Repertory Theater and stage classics at popular prices (top ticket price $1.50)

1930

Burned her hands in explosion of gasoline stove; use of hands restored after a series of operations

1946

Founded the American Repertory Theater with Margaret Webster and Cheryl Crawford

1955

Film acting debut, "Prince of Players"

1958

Produced and starred in TV production of "The Bridge of San Luis Rey"

1964

Translated, directed and starred in Chekhov's "Seagull"

1976

Starred in acclaimed revival of "The Royal Family" on tour and on Broadway

1980

Earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination as Ellen Burstyn's grandmother in "Resurrection"

1981

Returned to Broadway in "To Grandmother's House We Go" (ran 61 performances)

1982

Co-directed and starred as the White Queen in revival of "Alice in Wonderland" (closed after 21 regular performances)

Family

Richard Le Gallienne
Father
Poet, journalist.
Julie Norregaard
Mother
Journalist. Danish.

Companions

Alla Nazimova
Companion
Actor.
Mercedes de Acosta
Companion
Writer.
Marion Evensen
Companion
Moved together to an estate at Weston, Connecticut in 1926.
Josephine Hutchinson
Companion
Actor.

Bibliography

"Eva Le Gallienne: A Biography"
Helen Sheehy, Alfred A. Knopf (1996)
"Shattered Applause: The Lives of Eva Le Gallienne"
Robert A. Schanke, Southern Illinois University Press (1992)
"Eva Le Gallienne: A Bio-Bibliography"
Robert A Schanke, Greenwood Press (1989)
"The Mystic in the Theatre"
Eva Le Gallienne (1966)
"With a Quiet Heart"
Eva Le Gallienne, Viking (1953)
"At 33"
Eva Le Gallienne (1934)
"Flossie and Bossie: A Moral Tale"
Eva Le Gallienne
"Seven Tales by Hans Christian Andersen"