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Sybil Thorndike
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Actress
    (October 24, 1882-June 9, 1976)
    Born in Gainsborough, England, United Kingdom
    Birth name was Agnes Sybil Thorndike
    Appeared in the films 'Esmerelda' (1922), 'Macbeth' (1922), 'Saint Joan' (1927), 'Dawn' (1928), 'Tudor Rose' (1936), 'Major Barbara' (1941), 'Nicholas Nickleby' (1947), 'Stage Fright' (1950), ''The Lady with the Lamp' (1951), 'The Prince and the Showgirl' (1957) and 'Uncle Vanya' (1963)
    Member of the Old Vic repertory theater company
    Founded the Thorndike Theatre in Surrey, England (1969)
    She started as a pianist but had to give it up when she suffered hand cramps.
    She damaged her voice during an American tour (1905) and suffered vocal problems for the rest of her career.
    Despite her stage success, in movies she was usually typecast as old crones, dowagers and queens.
    She was superstitious about her stage costumes and refused to let anyone else wash them.
    George Bernard Shaw wrote 'Saint Joan' specifically for her.
    She was the first actress depicted on a British postage stamp.
    During World War II her son John was reported missing and presumed dead (1940). She had no further news about him until the war ended and she found out he had been captured and was still alive.
    She was married to Lewis Casson for 61 years until his death.
    Asked if she had ever considered leaving Casson, she replied, 'Divorce, never! Murder, often!'

Credit: C. Fishel


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