Katharine Cornell
Actress
Katharine Cornell
Katharine Cornell was an American stage actress, writer, theater owner and producer. She was born to American parents and raised in Buffalo, New York. Cornell is regarded as one of the greatest American stage actress of the 20th century. She was nicknamed "First Lady of the Theatre," a title also bestowed upon her friend Helen Hayes, though each deferred to the other.
Biography
Katharine Cornell's personal information overview.
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Music : Ritchie Stearns, Willie Watson, & Rosie Newton at KCT - Martha's Vineyard Times
Google News - over 5 years
3, do yourself and your friends a favor: take them to see three of the finest musicians playing American roots-based music at the Katharine Cornell Theatre in Vineyard Haven. Headlined by the lynchpin of much of today's American roots music revival,
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VINEYARD GAZETTE | ONLINE - Martha's Vineyard Gazette
Google News - over 5 years
Martha's Vineyard Comedy Comedy: Damon Williams and AJ Jamal perform stand-up comedy as part of Martha's Vineyard Comedy at the Katharine Cornell Theatre in Vineyard Haven. Showtimes are at 7:30 and 9 pm Tickets are $30 at the door or $27.50 online
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Five Things You Need To Know Today: August 19 - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
Martha's Vineyard Comedy will present Damon Williams and Rudy Rush in stand-up at the Katharine Cornell Theater at 7:45 pm and 9:15 pm Tickets are $30 at the door., $40 for VIP. The show is 21+
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Martha's Vineyard Comedy Fest brings Damon Williams & Rudy Rush - Martha's Vineyard Times
Google News - over 5 years
For example, The Martha's Vineyard Comedy Fest, sponsored by HBO, will present Damon Williams and Rudy Rush at the Katharine Cornell Theatre in Vineyard Haven Friday and Saturday nights, Aug. 18 and 19, with two shows each evening
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Film : "Separate, But Equal" doc at Vineyard African American Film Festival - Martha's Vineyard Times
Google News - over 5 years
10, as part of the segment for the Nothing is Impossible Producer's Award Nominees, from 5 to 6:30 pm at the Katharine Cornell Theatre in Vineyard Haven. For more information, visit mvaaff.com
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9th Annual African-American Film Festival Returns - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
The film festival will take place at the Mansion House and the Katharine Cornell Theater in Vineyard Haven from August 9–13. Multiple films will be screened each day. Festival parties will take place August 10 at the Louisa Gould Gallery in Vineyard
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Our Other Sites - Martha's Vineyard Gazette
Google News - over 5 years
Theatre: The Amish Project, starring Taffy McCarthy and directed by Kaf Warman, begins at 8 pm at the Katharine Cornell Theatre in Vineyard Haven. Tickets are $20. For details, call 508-693-0950. The Yard The Bang Group performs at 8 pm at the Yard on
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This week on Martha's Vineyard - August 4 - Martha's Vineyard Times
Google News - over 5 years
The shows will start at 8 pm at the Katharine Cornell Theater in Vineyard Haven. On Friday August 5th, Paul Samuel Dolman will have a book signing event from 6 to 10 pm at Shindig Gallery in Edgartown. Mr. Dolman wrote "Hitchhiking with Larry David,"
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Airport SSA office on boatline agenda Tuesday in Tisbury - Martha's Vineyard Times
Google News - over 5 years
Steamship Authority (SSA) members will discuss the future of the Martha's Vineyard reservations office at the Martha's Vineyard Airport, when they meet at 9:30 am, Tuesday, in the Katharine Cornell Memorial Theatre in Vineyard Haven
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Theater Week - Artvoice
Google News - over 5 years
(I stare at photographs of Katharine Cornell as Masha with jealous yearning). Nonetheless, there is something exciting about this sprawling and misshapen Three Sisters, populated by astounding talent, including a crew of young actors who are,
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Dance : PigPen Theatre Co. casts spell at The Yard - Martha's Vineyard Times
Google News - over 5 years
They presented it here at the Katharine Cornell Theatre at the invitation of the Island Theatre Workshop two years ago. Says PigPen member Arya Shahi, "Now we want to go back to that show and see if we can do it one better
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Mink Meadows, the second oldest golf course on Martha's Vineyard - Martha's Vineyard Times
Google News - over 5 years
Jimmy Cagney played the course in his day, as did Katharine Cornell, who gave her caddy, Howard "Billy" Anderson, two tickets and a backstage pass to one of her performances, which impressed his date no end. As for President Obama's game,
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What's coming up at Vineyard film fests - Martha's Vineyard Times
Google News - over 5 years
The larger audiences the series draws in the summer necessitate its move to a larger venue than Vineyard Haven's Katharine Cornell Theatre, which remains its winter home. The Summer Institute will bring a black comedy, "Nora's Will" ("Cinco Dias Sin
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Theater : Forgiveness is the issue in "The Amish Project" - Martha's Vineyard Times
Google News - over 5 years
Theater: "The Amish Project" 8 pm, June 30, July 1-3, Katharine Cornell Theatre, Vineyard Haven. Island Theatre Workshop presents fictional one-woman show exploring Amish schoolhouse shooting in 2006; by Jessica Dickey, directed by Kaf Warman. $20
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Five Things You Need To Know Today: June 28 - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
Turning plants into paper, Musical Mondays and an Oscar-winning Civil War movie at the Katharine Cornell Theater. 1. The Martha's Vineyard Film Society and the Martha's Vineyard Museum will present the Oscar-winning Civil War movie “Glory” at 8 pm at
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Summer Film Festivals Are Blockbusters of Talent, Never Mind the Bottom Line - Martha's Vineyard Gazette
Google News - over 5 years
The Martha's Vineyard Film Society (yes, the names are quite similar, yet the offerings are completely different) is currently finishing up their June series at the Katharine Cornell Theatre in Vineyard Haven but will begin screening films again on
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Five Things You Need To Know: June 16 - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
Sharks take on the Nashua Knights; Katharine Cornell celebrates James Joyce; the Vineyard Square Hotel presents Thursday Night Music Series. By Vanessa Czarnecki | Email the author | 5:43am 1. The Martha's Vineyard Sharks seek to continue their 3-0
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Katharine Cornell
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1974
    Age 81
    Cornell died on June 9, 1974, in Tisbury, Massachusetts (on Martha's Vineyard), aged 81.
    More Details Hide Details Cornell was born into a prominent, wealthy Buffalo society family. Her great-grandfather, Samuel Garretson Cornell, a descendant of pioneer ancestor Thomas Cornell, came to Buffalo in the 1850s, and founded Cornell Lead Works. One of his grandsons, Peter, married Alice Gardner Plimpton, who gave birth to Katharine in Berlin, where Peter was studying medicine at the University of Berlin. Six months later, they returned to Buffalo and lived at 174 Mariner Street in Buffalo, New York. As a child, her relationship with her parents was troubled, due in part to her mother's alcoholism. She play acted in her backyard with imaginary friends. Soon, she was performing in school pageants and plays, and she would watch family productions in her grandfather's attic theater, still standing at 484 Delaware Ave. She played at the Buffalo Studio Club parlor theater, located at 508 Franklin St. She loved athletics and was a runner-up for city championship at tennis, and an amateur swimming champion. She attended the University of Buffalo (later the State University of New York at Buffalo).
    She died of pneumonia on June 9, 1974 at The Barn in Tisbury, Massachusetts.
    More Details Hide Details http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pv&GRid=235&PIpi=1456530 Cornell served on the Board of Directors of The Rehearsal Club. The club was a place for young actresses to stay while they looked for work, and offered support for their careers. Occasionally, she could be seen serving food to the women, and Guthrie often found minor roles in his productions for them. In her memoir, Cornell states: "I do think that the rapid success achieved by some people in pictures has seriously hurt the chances of a lot of young men and women who are studying for the stage. The success stories that we read in the Hollywood magazines make it all sound too easy. A youngster was a chauffeur yesterday and today he owns four swimming pools! It doesn't work that way on the stage... Some young actresses haven't been inclined to listen to me when I told that there was no royal road to success on the stage.
    The Katharine Cornell-Guthrie McClintic Special Collections Reading Room was dedicated in April 1974 at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.
    More Details Hide Details The Billy Rose Theatre Division at the library holds extensive archival and special collections materials related to Cornell and McClintic.
    On January 10, 1974, she received the American National Theater and Academy's National Artist Award for "her incomparable acting ability" and for "having elevated the theater throughout the world."
    More Details Hide Details In 1935, when the University of Buffalo was still a private institution, she was awarded the Chancellor's Medal of the University. The Artvoice, a weekly arts newspaper in Cornell's native Buffalo, each year awards the Katharine Cornell Award to a visiting artist for outstanding contribution to the Buffalo theatrical community. The townhouse at 33 Beekman Place that Cornell and her husband lived in for many years has a historical marker in honor of their importance to New York City.
  • 1973
    Age 80
    For her 80th birthday party in 1973, an assistant put together a tape of birthday greetings from Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, and Ralph Richardson, among many other actors whom she had known.
    More Details Hide Details The tape runs for seven and half hours.
  • 1972
    Age 79
    Katharine Cornell was one of the original members elected into the American Theatre Hall of Fame upon its establishment in 1972.
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  • 1963
    Age 70
    The Katharine Cornell Foundation was funded with profits from Barretts. The foundation was dissolved in 1963, distributing its assets to the Museum of Modern Art (to honor her close friend from Buffalo, A.
    More Details Hide Details Conger Goodyear, who was a founder of MoMA and its first president), Cornell University's theater department, and the Actor's Fund of America. Cornell is featured in a play by Buffalo born playwright A.R. Gurney entitled The Grand Manner. http://artvoice.com/issues/v9n26/theaterweek The play is about his encounter with Cornell as a young man when she was in the production of Antony and Cleopatra. The play ran during the summer of 2010 at Lincoln Center and starred Kate Burton as Cornell. http://www.lct.org/showMain.htm?id=192 In Buffalo, the play was produced by the Kavinoky Theatre in May 2011. Buffalo News Review Cornell is mentioned in the third chorus in the song, "Gee How I Wish I Was Back in the Army," by Irving Berlin: "Gee, I wish I was back in the Army/ The shows we got civilians couldn't see/ How we would yell for Dietrich and Cornell/ Jolson, Hope and Benny all for free."
  • 1961
    Age 68
    The Smithsonian Institution holds a bronze bust of Cornell from 1961 by artist Malvina Hoffman.
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  • 1959
    Age 66
    Cornell was awarded a medal "for good speech on the stage" by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and received a citation as Woman of the Year by the American Friends of the Hebrew University in 1959.
    More Details Hide Details After her role in St. Joan, she was awarded honorary degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Elmira College Smith College, the University of Pennsylvania, and Hobart. Clark University, Ithaca College and Princeton awarded degrees in the 1940s, and Baylor University, Middlebury College and Kenyon College awarded theirs in the 1950s.
  • 1957
    Age 64
    She was featured in Hallmark Hall of Fame's production of Robert E. Sherwood's play, There Shall Be No Night, which was broadcast on NBC on March 17, 1957.
    More Details Hide Details
    On January 6, 1957, Dave Garroway interviewed Cornell for Wide Wide World: A Woman's Story.
    More Details Hide Details She appeared on TV as herself for an NBC Symphony Orchestra broadcast on March 22, 1952 She was also interviewed three times for the radio program Stage Struck, hosted by Mike Wallace. Katharine Cornell was one of three actresses awarded in the first Tony awards (1937, award year 1948), her award was received for her performance in Antony and Cleopatra. She was also honored with the first New York Drama League Award in 1935 for her performance as Juliet. In March 1937, The Chi Omega Sorority's National Achievement Award was given to her by Eleanor Roosevelt at a White House reception.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1952
    Age 59
    On April 13, 1952, she appeared in Florence Nightingale, also on The Theatre Guild on the Air.
    More Details Hide Details Guthrie died on October 29, 1961 of a lung haemorrhage, shortly after the couple had celebrated their fortieth wedding anniversary. As he had always directed Cornell in every production since their marriage, she decided to retire from the stage altogether. She sold her residences and bought a house on East 51st Street in Manhattan, next door to Brian Aherne and down the street from Margalo Gillmore. Since all three were cast members of Barretts, East 51st Street became known as Wimpole Street. Cornell also bought an old building on Martha's Vineyard known as The Barn and made additions to it, and restored the 300-year-old Association Hall on the island.
  • 1951
    Age 58
    The State University of New York at Buffalo holds a portrait of Cornell painted by surrealist Salvador Dalí dated 1951.
    More Details Hide Details Cartoonist Alex Gard did a charicature of Cornell for Sardi's, the famed New York restaurant. It is currently housed in the Billy Rose Theatre Collection of the New York Public Library (see List of caricatures at Sardi's restaurant). Although Cornell is buried in Tisbury, Massachusetts, there is a cenotaph in her memory in the George W. Tifft plot at Forest Lawn Cemetery in her native Buffalo.
    Cornell made her radio debut May 6, 1951, on Theatre Guild on the Air.
    More Details Hide Details The program featured the first broadcast of George Bernard Shaw's Candida.
    In 1951, Cornell played the lead in Somerset Maugham's comedy, The Constant Wife for a summer festival in Colorado.
    More Details Hide Details The play, starring her longtime favorite Brian Aherne, was produced again in New York and grossed more money for the production company than any other play. In 1953, Cornell found a suitable role in The Prescott Proposals, about a United States Delegate to the United Nations. Christopher Fry wrote a verse drama The Dark is Light Enough, set 1848 Austria. The cast included Tyrone Power, who played the love interest, Lorne Greene, and Marian Winters. (Christopher Plummer was Power's understudy. In his memoir, Plummer states that Cornell was "the last of the great actress-managers," and that she was his "sponsor.") In 1957, Cornell staged There Shall Be No Night, the Pulitzer Prize winning play by Robert E. Sherwood, adapted to the events of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. This play was adapted for TV and broadcast on NBC's Hallmark Hall of Fame with Charles Boyer, Bradford Dillman and Ray Walston. Another play by Fry, The Firstborn, was set in Biblical Egypt, with Anthony Quayle playing Moses. Leonard Bernstein, recently appointed musical director of the New York Philharmonic, wrote two songs for the production. The play toured in Tel Aviv in 1958. She continued with several other forgettable plays, and her last production was Dear Liar by Jerome Kilty.
  • 1946
    Age 53
    In 1946, Cornell chose Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, which opened at the Hanna Theater in Cleveland, a difficult role for which she was ideally suited.
    More Details Hide Details Critic Ward Morrison praised Cornell's "beauty and power and grandeur and I do not hesitate to proclaim it one of the finest achievements of her career." Again, Cornell's presence insured that this play would have its longest run ever, at 251 performances. She followed that with Jean Anouilh's adaptation of the Greek tragedy Antigone. Sir Cedric Hardwicke played King Creon, and Marlon Brando was cast as The Messenger. After the opening, Cornell's friend Helen Keller told her, "This play is a parable of humanity. It has no time or space." One critic said, "if the world and the theatre had more courageous spirits like Cornell, our cumulative dreams would be greater, our thoughts, nobler." Alternating with Antony, Cornell produced another revival of Barretts of Wimpole Street, for an eight-week tour to the West Coast, with Tony Randall in both plays, and Maureen Stapleton as Iras in Antony. http://americantheatrewing.org/biography/detail/tony_randall/ Other cast members included Eli Wallach, Joseph Wiseman, Douglas Watson, Charles Nolte, and Charlton Heston.
    After the war, American theater was experiencing a change in style with the new generation. Cornell revived Candida for the fifth and last time in April 1946, with Marlon Brando playing the role of the young Marchbanks.
    More Details Hide Details Whereas Cornell represented an older, exuberant romantic style, Brando heralded the newer style of Method Acting, with its reliance upon psychological insights and personal experience. Although reviews were as good as ever, audiences and some critics had difficulty with the play itself, as the Edwardian drama had little relevance to post-war American life. Now in her mid-50s, appropriate roles became harder to find. The plays that had earned her such an exceptional reputation—young Elizabeth Barrett, Juliet, St. Joan, various sexually charged women—were no longer playable by her. The newer roles were simply not her style.
  • FORTIES
  • 1942
    Age 49
    Cornell was featured for the second time on the cover of Time magazine on December 21, 1942, with Judith Anderson and Ruth Gordon.
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  • 1939
    Age 46
    The play opened on April 17, 1939 and became the third biggest money maker for Cornell, and the second production to gross over a million dollars.
    More Details Hide Details With a few cast changes, including that of Olivier, the play went on a nationwide tour. Cornell next played in Shaw's play, The Doctor's Dilemma, and Raymond Massey starred opposite her. Her production company was running so smoothly that Massey said, "Whatever anyone tells you, Kit ran her own show. They will say everything was managed by those people around her, but it is absolutely not true. She knew everything that was going on and she made all the decisions. At the end of the day you could find her poring over the box office receipts. She was a shrewd and intelligent businesswoman." The play opened in 1941 in San Francisco, just one week before Pearl Harbor, and was the only show not cancelled, despite numerous blackouts. Given the distraction of the war, the play was not well received. Gregory Peck was part of the tour as "the secretary."
  • 1938
    Age 45
    Smith College has a collection of Cornell's papers dating from 1938 to 1960. http://asteria.fivecolleges.edu/findaids/sophiasmith/mnsss230_main.html; plus additional materials in the papers of Nancy Hamilton link
    More Details Hide Details The New York Public Library contains correspondence between Russian dance critic Igor Stupnikov and Cornell's assistants Nancy Hamilton and Gertrude Macy in the Billy Rose Theater Archive. Cornell donated some of her costumes designed by famed Russian fashion designer Valentina to the Museum of the City of New York. They include costumes for her roles in Cleopatra and Antigone. Cornell and Quayle also recorded for LP a scene from Barretts, and Cornell recited a selection of poetry by Elizabeth Barrett from Sonnets from the Portuguese. Cornell's short scene in Stage Door Canteen can be viewed on YouTube. In it, she recites some lines from Romeo and Juliet. The Paley Center for Media has a collection of Cornell's television appearances: On April 2, 1956, NBC TV broadcast of a production of Barretts with Anthony Quayle as Robert Browning.
  • 1936
    Age 43
    Opened in 1936, the play received mixed reviews, and many bad ones, but Cornell was nonetheless respected for taking any role and twisting it to make it her own.
    More Details Hide Details Gently disparaging the play itself, Brooks Atkinson wrote that Cornell is "Our Queen of tragedy, a thoughtful actress and a great one." http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F30B16FD3F5A1B7B93C6AB1789D95F428385F9&scp=16&sq=%22Katharine%20Cornell%22&st=cse Alternating with Victory, Cornell revived Candida with Mildred Natwick as Prossy. After their conclusion, she took a year off and wrote her memoir (with the help of Ruth Woodbury Sedgewick) entitled "I Wanted to Be an Actress". It was published by Random House in 1939. Cornell's assistant Gertrude Macy produced a musical revue One for the Money which starred unknown actors who later achieved fame, including Gene Kelly, Alfred Drake, Keenan Wynn and Nancy Hamilton. Immediately after that closed, Cornell starred in her second comedy, No Time for Comedy by S.N. Behrman. Guthrie cast the young Laurence Olivier in the leading role of Gaylord. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FB091FF63B58127A93CAA8178FD85F4D8385F9&scp=17&sq=%22Katharine%20Cornell%22&st=cse During rehearsals, Cornell had a difficult time with the comedic timing, and someone shook their head and said, "Poor old Kit!" Olivier shot back, "Poor old Kit is the most successful woman in the American theater! The richest, the most beautiful, the most sought after, the most distinguished, the most loved -- Poor old Kit indeed!"
  • THIRTIES
  • 1932
    Age 39
    After Barretts closed, Cornell played leading parts in two plays, Lucrece and Alien Corn. A considerable portion of her role in "Lucrece" was played in pantomime. Her success in "Lucrece" landed her on the cover of Time Magazine on December 26, 1932.
    More Details Hide Details In the article, she is quoted as saying "To act, you have to burst out spontaneously and feel constantly and deeply. So if you're too accustomed to using your head instead of your feelings you won't be able to call on your feelings when you want them. I tell young women not to come on the stage, unless there is nothing else they can be happy in." Her next production would be Romeo and Juliet, with Guthrie directing. Basil Rathbone was Romeo, and Cornell played Juliet. It would be the first time either had participated in any Shakespearean play, and their inexperience showed. Moreover, Shakespeare wasn't fashionable at that time, and his plays were rarely presented in live theater, the last play being Hamlet with John Barrymore twelve years earlier. The play opened in Buffalo and had a difficult time. Her friend, modern dance pioneer Martha Graham, choreographed the dance sequences. In Buffalo, Graham thought Juliet's costume was all wrong. She bought some soft white nun's veiling, from which she fashioned a flowing robe. The play was incorporated into a seven-month country-wide tour that would rotate three plays, Romeo and Juliet, The Barretts of Wimpole Street, and Candida. Planned during the height of the Great Depression, many theater experts and actors advised against such an ambitious tour. In fact, this was the first time anyone had tried to take a legitimate Broadway show on an all-country tour, let alone three.
  • 1930
    Age 37
    The gallery also possess a 1930 life mask by Karl Illava, an undated drawing of her as Elizabeth Barrett by Louis Lupas, and two sculptures by Anna Glenny Dunbar from 1930.
    More Details Hide Details The Armstrong Browning Library at Baylor University has a portrait of Cornell in her role as Elizabeth Barrett painted by Alexander Clayton on display. The actress donated the portrait and several items related to Barretts to the library.
  • 1928
    Age 35
    In 1928, Cornell played the lead role of the Countess Ellen Olenska in a dramatized version of Edith Wharton's novel The Age of Innocence.
    More Details Hide Details The performance received not a single bad review. After this success, Cornell was offered the lead in The Dishonored Lady. Originally, it was intended for Ethel Barrymore, who failed to accept the role. The play is a lurid melodrama about true-life murder in Glasgow, Scotland. Walter Winchell wrote, "Never in the history of the theatre has an actress of such distinction permitted such an exciting scene. She Cornell actually permits a man to crack her a powerful wallop in the face!" One critic complained about the "fifth rate claptrap" of a play, and chastised Cornell for selecting such lowbrow theater as a waste of her talents. Vogue asserted that Cornell does these types of plays because "she prefers... to be blunt, trash of a violent kind." Biographer and playwright Tad Mosel counters that although this is meant as a reproof, when stripped of its condescension, "it is a simple statement of the truth. There was a part of her that indeed preferred trash of a violent kind. Her integrity as an artist was the only defense such a preference needed. Every performance had to be as much a revelation of herself as it was an interpretation of a role, and therefore her choice of roles and the way she played them offer great insights into her nature, greater perhaps than can be inferred from her gracious, smiling, always agreeable, and increasingly guarded behavior offstage.
  • 1927
    Age 34
    She then starred in 1927 in The Letter, by W.
    More Details Hide Details Somerset Maugham, as Leslie Crosby, the woman who kills her lover. Maugham himself suggested Cornell for the part. Although the critics weren't too excited, Cornell by then had developed a loyal following and the opening night was such a sensation that the New York Sun wrote that the sidewalks were packed with people after the performance straining to catch a glimpse of her. The play was later made into a movie starring Bette Davis.
  • 1925
    Age 32
    Cornell's next role was to play Iris March in The Green Hat, a romance by Michael Arlen in 1925.
    More Details Hide Details The play had themes of syphilis and loose morals, and Iris March was a strong sexual creature. Leslie Howard played the role of Napier. While the play was still in Chicago, it became an international hit, known all over the US and Europe. Ashton Stevens, senior drama critic in Chicago, wrote that The Green Hat "should die at every performance of its melodramatics, its rouge and rhinestones, its preposterous third act. Already, I am beginning to forget its imperfections and remember only its charms." Its chief charm, he conceded, was Cornell, who sent "tiny bells up and down my unpurchasable vertebrae." Most other critics panned the play itself, but nonetheless found it irresistible because of Cornell's ability to mesmerise, despite the garish dialogue. Critic George Jean Nathan wrote that the play was "superbly acted in its leading role by that one young woman who stands head and shoulders above all the other young women of the American theater, Miss Katharine Cornell."
  • 1924
    Age 31
    In 1924, she and Guthrie were part of The Actor's Theatre, a successor to the Washington Square Players.
    More Details Hide Details This was a group of actors that sought to be a democracy without any stars. As their first production, they selected Candida by George Bernard Shaw. At the time, the play was considered perfect for the group, as none of the characters were considered to outshine the others, because Shaw intended the play to be about ideas. Even though the leading protagonist is Candida, she doesn't really come into her own until the third act. However, Cornell essentially re-envisioned the play. She made Candida the core of the play, a view adopted by directors and critics ever since. Reviews were ecstatic and audiences responded in kind. The Actor's Theatre changed its plans and decided that Cornell's name must appear above the play's title in all future productions of the troupe. Another acting troupe, the Theatre Guild, controlled the rights to all Shaw's plays, and thereafter only allowed Cornell to play the role of Candida so long as she was alive, a role which she reprised several more times in her career. Shaw later wrote her a note stating that she had created "an ideal British Candida in my imagination."
  • TWENTIES
  • 1921
    Age 28
    She married Guthrie McClintic on September 8, 1921, in her aunt's summer home in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada.
    More Details Hide Details Cornell's family often summered there among other wealthy Americans. Nonetheless, it is generally acknowledged that Cornell was a lesbian, and Guthrie was gay, and their union was a lavender marriage. She was a member of the "sewing circles" in New York, and had relationships with Nancy Hamilton, Tallulah Bankhead, and Mercedes de Acosta, among others. The couple eventually bought a townhouse at 23 Beekman Place in Manhattan.
    Her first major Broadway role was as Sydney Fairfield, in A Bill of Divorcement in 1921.
    More Details Hide Details The New York Times wrote of her performance, "she has the central and significant role of the play and... gives therein a performance of memorable understanding and beauty." It played for 173 performances, well enough to be considered a hit. Afterwards, Cornell played a succession of forgotten plays.
  • 1919
    Age 26
    Cornell joined with various theater companies, including the Bonstelle, that toured around the East Coast. In 1919, she went with the Bonstelle company to London to play Jo in a stage adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's novel Little Women.
    More Details Hide Details Although the critics disparaged the play itself, they specifically mentioned Cornell as the one bright spot of the evening. The paper The Englishwomen wrote of Cornell: "London is unanimous in its praise, and London will flock to see her." Upon her return to New York, she met Guthrie McClintic, a young theater director. She finally made her Broadway debut in the play Nice People by Rachel Crothers. She had a small part alongside Tallulah Bankhead.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1893
    Age 0
    Born in 1893.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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