I’m sorry it’s been awhile since I last posted. Life has been extremely hectic for me. Classes are winding down which means all those giant papers I learned about at the beginning of the semester will be due soon. Being the procrastinator that I am, I’ve barely even started any of them. I’ve pretty much been doing homework from the time I get out of class until I go to bed. This means I have absolutely no time to work on my little blog here which makes me sad. I’m sick of homework so I’m taking a little bit of a study break to write this. It might be quite a while before I can get another post out.
Anyways, I’ve been kind of neglecting my sidekick series so I thought it was time for a new sidekick to spotlight. A really long time ago, I had a poll which was won by Ralph Bellamy. Second place went to Elsa Lanchester so I think she deserves a post as well. If you have any suggestions please let me know!
The daughter of James Sullivan and Edith Lanchester, Elsa Sullivan Lanchester was born on October 28, 1902 in London, England. Her parents were rather unconventional and refused to give in to societal expectations that said they should get married. Because of this, her mother was placed in an asylum for a while.
At the age of ten, she began studying dance under the famous Isadora Duncan, but left after a few years to become a dance teacher. After World War I, she founded the Children’s Theater and began dabbling in acting. While performing in a play, she met another actor by the name of Charles Laughton, who she married a few years later.
Around the time that she met her husband, she began working in films. One of her best known early performances was as Anne of Cleves in The Private Life of Henry VIII which starred her husband Laughton. However, in 1935 she starred in The Bride of Frankenstein, which has become her best remembered film. Although she played the title role in the film, she was denied top billing.
The remainder of Lanchester’s career was spent in small supporting roles or in her own words, her career consisted of “large parts in lousy pictures and small parts in big pictures”. With large, expressive eyes and a lilting voice, she could play a myriad of characters, from a simple maid to a ditzy witch and everything in between.
As the 1960’s rolled in, her film roles decreased so she worked mostly in television. On December 26, 1986, Lanchester died of pneumonia and her ashes were scattered at sea.