Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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LANGTRY, Lillie, actress, born in the island of Jersey in 1852. She was the daughter of Very Reverend William Corbet Le Breton, dean of Jersey, married Edward Langtry, a native of Belfast, Ireland, and became distinguished for taste and beauty in London society. Determining to go upon the stage, she made her debut as Lady Clara, in "A Fair Encounter," in the Town hall at Twickenham, and soon afterward appeared at the Haymarket theatre, London, as Miss Herdcastle in "She Stoops to Conquer," on 15 December, 1SS1. In the following month she played Blanche Haye in Thomas W. Robertson's play of " Ours." After a provincial tour, during which she essayed new characters, she made her appearance in September, 1882, as Hester Grazebrook in Tom Taylor's " Unequal Match," and a week later as Rosalind in "As You Like It." The same autumn she came to the United States and played in New York and Boston to large audiences, which, like the English public, manifested at first a qualified approval. As she improved rapidly in her acting, she gained the praise of critics and popular applause. Returning to London, she leased the Prince's theatre, and appeared on 20 January, 1885, in the title ro1e of an English version of " La Princesse Georges," by Alexander Dumas the younger, on 11 February as Lady Teazle, and on 6 April as Lady Ormonde in "Peril." In 1886 she created the character of the heroine of Charles F. Coghlan's "Enemies," and played Pauline in the "Lady of Lyons." In the autumn of that year she returned to the United States, and repeated her successes in this country, where she has invested most of her earnings. Other characters played by Mrs. Lang-try are Julia in " The Hunchback," the title ro1e of "Galatea," and the part of Lady Clancarty in "The Young Tramp." which was written for her by G. F. Mills. In July, 1887, while in San Francisco, she renounced British allegiance, and applied for naturalization as a citizen of the United States.
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