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Eva Le Gallienne
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Actress
    (January 11, 1899-June 3, 1991)
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    Theater actress, director and producer
    Appeared on Broadway in 'The Swan' (1923), 'The Master Builder' (1925), 'The Three Sisters' (1926), 'Twelfth Night' (1926), 'The Inheritors' (1927), 'Hedda Gabler' (1928), 'Peter Pan' (1928), 'The Seagull' (1929), 'The Cherry Orchard' (1929), 'Romeo and Juliet' (1930), 'Camille' (1931), 'Alice in Wonderland' (1932), 'Ah, Wilderness!' (1941), 'The Rivals' (1942), 'What Every Woman Knows' (1946), 'Mary Stuart' (1957), 'The Wild Duck' (1967) and 'The Royal Family' (1975)
    Founded the Civic Repertory Theatre (1926-36) and American Repertory Theater (1946-48)
    Appeared in the film 'Resurrection' (1980)
    Wrote the children's book 'Flossie and Bossie: A Moral Tale'
    Won a special Tony Award for her body of work (1964)
    Her name was sometimes misspelled in credits with a 'La' instead of 'Le.'
    While drunk, she wandered to a neighbor's house and told her, 'If you have any thoughts about being a lesbian, don't do it. Your life will be nothing but tragedy.'
    'Time' cattily noted that her theater productions attracted an audience that always included 'mannish-looking women in suits tailored like hers and carrying canes.'
    She rejected Bette Davis' application for the Civic Repertory Theatre, dismissing her as 'insincere' and 'frivolous.'
    She turned down an offer from Franklin Delano Roosevelt to head the National Theater Division of the Works Progress Administrations, explaining that she would rather work with 'true talent' than nurture struggling actors.
    She was the first Peter Pan to fly out over the heads of the audience (1928).
    She never fully regained use of her hands after they were burned in the explosion of a gas stove (1931), but she was so skilled an actress that few people ever noticed.
    She received the Norwegian Grand Cross for promoting the plays of Henrik Ibsen in America.
    She became the oldest Oscar nominee when she nominated for Best Supporting Actress for 'Resurrection.' (The record was later broken by Gloria Stuart in 'Titanic.')
    Her acting career lasted seventy years.
    Jane Alexander said, 'People called Helen Hayes the grand dame of the theater, but it really should be Le G. There is nobody else like her. She did it all.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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