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Lily Elsie
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Actress
    (April 8, 1886-December 16, 1962)
    Born in Armley, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
    Born Elsie Hodder
    Edwardian era stage actress and vocalist
    Stage credits include ‘A Chinese Honeymoon,’ ‘The Dollar Princess,’ ‘A Waltz Dream,’ ‘The Count of Luxembourg,’ ‘Malvourneen,’ ‘The Blue Train,’ and of course the eponymous ‘Merry Widow’
    Her birth certificate did not record a father (though her mother married about five years later).
    As seen on the wallpaper at the lily-elsie.com fan site, the ‘y’ in her signature was somewhat scraggly in comparison to the rest.
    Had theater owner George Edwardes not been the one to drop in for a matinee (he caught her tossing balloons at the crowd, and had her dismissed for civil disobedience), she might have followed a different career path.
    She did not have much of a head for business.
    Having witnessed a performance of the original German version (‘Die Lustige Witwe’) in Berlin, she considered her own voice far too light for the part.
    Her general apathy to males stemmed from a belief that ‘men only behaved tolerably to a woman who treated them coldly.’
    Following her divorce, after a reportedly unhappy 19 years of matrimony, she became a temperamental hypochondriac.
    Her mother was a dressmaker.
    Though she was described as painfully timid even in adulthood, she had scores of roles under her belt in childhood (and was also known as child impersonator ‘Little Elsie’).
    Despite the unhappy marriage, her husband was able to convince her to take several years off the stage — except for the war effort.
    She became an avid fox hunter.
    As one of the most photographed entertainers in Edwardian times, an Atlanta news column compared her face to Venus de Milo (even the women adored her).
    The title of her signature character would also be the unofficial name for her signature plumed hat.

Credit: Cool It All Right?


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