Famous 19th Century Actresses

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Find out more about the greatest 19th Century Actresses, including Mae West, Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson, Sarah Bernhardt and Hattie McDaniel.
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 1 
Ethel Barrymore
2
Birthdate: August 15, 1879
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: June 18, 1959
 2 
Esme Creed-Miles
6
Birthdate: February 5, 2000
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London Borough of Barnet Barnet, England
 3 
Billie Burke
(Actress)
Billie Burke
3
Birthdate: August 7, 1884
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Washington, District of Columbia, USA
Died: May 14, 1970
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 4 
Sarah Bernhardt
(One of the Most Popular French Actresses of the Late 19th and Early 20th Century)
Sarah Bernhardt
4
Birthdate: October 23, 1844
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: March 26, 1923

Sarah Bernhardt was a French actress known for playing important roles in popular French plays of the early-20th century.  Her decision to play Hamlet inspired Theresa Rebeck's play Bernhardt/Hamlet, in which Janet McTeer portrayed Sarah Bernhardt. In 1960, Bernhardt became the earliest born person to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 5 
Kathrine Narducci
5
Birthdate: November 22, 1965
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
 6 
Lillie Langtry
3
Birthdate: October 13, 1853
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Jersey
Died: February 12, 1929
 7 
Virginia Dare
(Actress)
Virginia Dare
2
Birthdate: August 6, 1882
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Pennsylvania, United States
Died: July 8, 1962
 8 
Theda Bara
(Former actress of the silent era and one of cinema's early sex symbols)
Theda Bara
2
Birthdate: July 29, 1885
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Died: April 7, 1955
 9 
Ethel Waters
(Actor, Singer, Jazz musician, Stage actor)
Ethel Waters
2
Birthdate: October 31, 1896
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chester County
Died: September 1, 1977
 10 
Adele Astaire
(Actor, Dancer, Stage actor)
Adele Astaire
2
Birthdate: September 10, 1896
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Omaha
Died: January 25, 1981
 11 
Marion Lorne
(Actress)
Marion Lorne
2
Birthdate: August 12, 1883
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: West Pittston, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: May 9, 1968
 12 
Spring Byington
2
Birthdate: October 17, 1886
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
Died: September 7, 1971
 13 
Lola Montez
(Stage dancer)
Lola Montez
3
Birthdate: February 17, 1821
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Grange, Ireland
Died: January 17, 1861
 14 
Dame Gladys Cooper
2
Birthdate: December 18, 1888
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hither Green, London, United Kingdom
Died: November 17, 1971
 15 
Judith Anderson
(stage actor, film actor)
Judith Anderson
3
Birthdate: February 10, 1897
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Adelaide
Died: January 3, 1992

Judith Anderson was an Australian actress who dominated the American and Australian theater scene during her career. Regarded as the greatest stage actress of her generation, Anderson won a Tony Award for her title role in Robinson Jeffers' Medea. Judith Anderson also achieved popularity as a TV and film actress; she received an Academy Award nomination and two Emmy Awards.

 16 
Mabel Normand
(Actress)
Mabel Normand
2
Birthdate: November 9, 1892
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New Brighton, Staten Island,
Died: February 23, 1930
 17 
Virginia Rappe
2
Birthdate: July 7, 1895
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: September 9, 1921
 18 
Peggy Wood
(Actress)
Peggy Wood
2
Birthdate: February 9, 1892
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: March 18, 1978
 19 
Marie Dressler
(Actress, Comedian and Early Silent Film and Depression-Era Film Star)
Marie Dressler
4
Birthdate: November 9, 1868
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cobourg, Canada
Died: July 28, 1934

Marie Dressler was a Canadian comedian and actress. A major film star during the Depression-era, Dressler received the 1931 Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Min Divot in the 1930 American comedy-drama film, Min and Bill. Her life and career inspired a play titled Queen Marie, which was written by Shirley Barrie.

 20 
Gracie Fields
(Actress, Singer who was highest paid film star in the world in 1937)
Gracie Fields
2
Birthdate: January 9, 1898
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rochdale, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
Died: September 27, 1979
 21 
Edna Purviance
2
Birthdate: October 21, 1895
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paradise Valley, Nevada, United States
Died: January 11, 1958
 22 
Dorothy Gish
(Actress)
Dorothy Gish
2
Birthdate: March 11, 1898
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dayton, Ohio, United States
Died: June 4, 1968
 23 
Maude Adams
(Actress)
Maude Adams
2
Birthdate: November 11, 1872
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Died: July 17, 1953
 24 
Loie Fuller
(Actor, Lighting designer, Choreographer, Artist, Dancer, Stage actor, Model)
Loie Fuller
2
Birthdate: January 15, 1862
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Illinois
Died: January 1, 1928
 25 
Margaret Dumont
2
Birthdate: October 20, 1882
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York
Died: March 6, 1965
 26 
Moyna Macgill
(Actress)
Moyna Macgill
3
Birthdate: December 10, 1895
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Belfast, Ireland
Died: November 25, 1975
 27 
Dorothea Jordan
2
Birthdate: November 22, 1761
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Waterford, Ireland
Died: July 5, 1816
 28 
Ellen Terry
(Actress)
Ellen Terry
2
Birthdate: February 27, 1847
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Coventry, United Kingdom
Died: July 21, 1928
 29 
Colleen Moore
(Actress)
Colleen Moore
2
Birthdate: August 19, 1899
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Port Huron, Michigan, U.S.
Died: January 25, 1988
 30 
Bessie Love
(Actress)
Bessie Love
2
Birthdate: September 10, 1898
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Midland, Texas, United States
Died: April 26, 1986
 31 
Ruth Chatterton
2
Birthdate: December 24, 1892
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: November 24, 1961
 32 
Sophie Tucker
44
Birthdate: January 13, 1886
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tul'chyn, Ukraine
Died: February 9, 1966
 33 
Anna Held
(French-Polish Actress and Singer Best Known for Her Revues 'The Ziegfeld Follies')
Anna Held
2
Birthdate: March 19, 1872
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: August 12, 1918

Anna Held was a Polish singer and stage performer. Although her personal life and relationship with Florenz Ziegfeld overshadowed her professional career, Anna Held's uninhibited style inspired the popular theatrical revue productions on Broadway, The Ziegfeld Follies. Her relationship with Florenz Ziegfeld also inspired films like The Great Ziegfeld and Ziegfeld: The Man and His Women.

 34 
Una O Connor
(Actress)
Una O Connor
3
Birthdate: October 23, 1880
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Belfast, Ireland
Died: February 4, 1959
 35 
Helena Modjeska
1
Birthdate: October 12, 1840
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Free City of Cracow
Died: April 8, 1909
 36 
Texas Guinan
(Actress)
Texas Guinan
2
Birthdate: January 12, 1884
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Waco, Texas, U.S.
Died: November 5, 1933
 37 
Marilyn Miller
2
Birthdate: September 1, 1898
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Evansville, Indiana, United States
Died: April 7, 1936
 38 
Alice Brady
(Actress)
Alice Brady
2
Birthdate: November 2, 1892
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: October 28, 1939
 39 
Lily Pons
(American-French operatic soprano)
Lily Pons
2
Birthdate: April 12, 1898
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Draguignan, France
Died: February 13, 1976
 40 
Nellie Clifden
2
Birthplace: Unknown
 41 
Adah Isaacs Menken
2
Birthdate: June 15, 1835
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bordeaux, France
Died: August 10, 1868
 42 
Cicely Courtneidge
3
Birthdate: April 1, 1893
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Died: April 26, 1980
 43 
Beatrice Lillie
1
Birthdate: May 29, 1894
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
Died: January 20, 1989
 44 
Valérie Quennessen
1
Birthdate: December 3, 1957
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Boulogne-Billancourt, France
Died: March 19, 1989
 45 
Lillian Russell
(Former Actress, Singer known for her beauty and style, as well as for her voice and stage presence)
Lillian Russell
1
Birthdate: December 4, 1860
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Clinton, Iowa, United States
Died: June 6, 1922
 46 
Molly Picon
(Actress)
Molly Picon
1
Birthdate: February 28, 1898
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: April 5, 1992
 47 
Maud Gonne
(English-born Irish Republican Revolutionary, Suffragette & Actress)
Maud Gonne
0
Birthdate: December 21, 1866
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tongham, England
Died: April 27, 1953

Maud Gonne not just co-founded the Sinn Féin party but also participated in the theater movement of W.B Yeats, who made her his muse and proposed to her many times, only to be rejected. An Irish nationalist, she also formed the Daughters of Ireland and acted in Yeats’s first play Cathleen ni Houlihan.

 48 
Thea von Harbou
(Screenwriter)
Thea von Harbou
2
Birthdate: December 27, 1888
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tauperlitz, Döhlau, Germany
Died: July 1, 1954
 49 
Celia Lovsky
(Actress)
Celia Lovsky
2
Birthdate: February 21, 1897
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: October 12, 1979
 50 
Eleonora Duse
(Actress)
Eleonora Duse
2
Birthdate: October 3, 1858
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vigevano, Italy
Died: April 21, 1924