Born on 8th of February 1888
Died in Cranbrook, Kent
Died on 14th of October 1976
The great actress Edith Evans made her name on the English stage long before moving into films at the age of 61, becoming still more famous for her character roles on the screen.
Edith Mary Evans was born in London on February 8, 1888. She left school aged 15 to work as a milliner for a few years and it was during this time that she began to study acting at evening classes. Her first break came in 1912 with her appearance in an amateur Shakespeare production where her talent was immediately recognised. Following her acclaimed debut as a leading lady Edith Evans was confident enough to turn professional and was soon appearing alongside Ellen Terry and other leading thespians.
In 1921 Edith Evans appeared as Lady Utterwood in George Bernard Shaw’s Heartbreak House and later in 1923 in Back to Methuselah, another celebrated Shavian drama. She gained national recognition and acclaim for her role in Congreve’s The Way of the World in 1924 and went on to become a regular at the Old Vic playing many heroines of the Shakespearean repertoire. During the 1930s Edith Evans consolidated her success in contemporary plays while continuing to expand her range of classical roles.
In 1939 Edith Evans’ beautifully modulated and distinctive voice was used to great comic effect in her definitive portrayal of Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest. During the war Edith toured abroad to entertain troops and in 1946 was made a Dame of the British Empire. On reaching the age of 60 she began to perform great character roles of eccentric older women. These translated well into films and her transition from stage to screen brought her to an even wider audience. (She had actually been cast in two silent films at the beginning of her career before becoming a renowned stage actress). In the 1950s and 1960s Edith Evans appeared in the films Look Back in Anger; Tom Jones; and other major productions where she continued to produce outstanding characterizations. Her last performance was in 1974 and she died two years later on October 14, 1976 at Cranbrook in Kent.
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