Constance Collier


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(1878–1955), English actress, on the stage as a child, who in 1893 became one of the famous Gaiety Girls. She made a great success as Chiara the Gypsy in Esmond's One Summer's Day (1898), and later joined Fred Terry to play Lady Castlemaine in Kester's Sweet Nell of Old Drury (1900). Engaged by Beerbohm Tree for Her (then His) Majesty's Theatre, she remained with him from 1901 to 1908, appearing in all his major productions, and then made her first appearance in New York, dividing her time thereafter between London and the United States. She was much admired as Nancy in a dramatization of Dickens's Oliver Twist (1905), as the Duchess of Towers in the dramatization of George Du Maurier's novel Peter Ibbetson (1915), and as the Duchesse de Surennes in Maugham's Our Betters (1923); in 1925 she played Gertrude to John Barrymore's Hamlet in London. The best of her later parts was Anastasia in the New York production of G. B. Stern's The Matriarch (1930). She was part-author with Ivor Novello, who appeared in both plays, of The Rat (1924) and Down Hill (1926), which she directed herself.

From The Concise Oxford Companion to the Theatre in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Theatre.

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