Constance Collier

Picture Constance Collier

1878 - 1955

The actress Constance Collier was born as Laura Constance Hardie in Windsor, Berkshire. Her parents were Auguste Cheetham Hardie and Elliza Georgina Collier, who both were professional actors. Therefore it was no surprise when Constance Collier appeared on stage at the age of three for the first time in the play "A Midsummer's Night Dream".
She joined the famous dance group of the Gaiety theater in London in 1893 where she grew up into a mature personality.

In 1901 she came to the company of Henry Beerbohm Tree where she also impersonated leading roles.
Constance Collier had a great success in 1906 with her performance as Cleopatra in the play "Antony and Cleopatra" and was from now an an esteemed actress. It followed successes with "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" (1908), it followed a tour through the USA in the same year.

When she stood in the USA for a second time in 1916 she made her film debut as an extra in D.W. Griffith's "Intolerance" (16), it followed the movies "The Tongues of Men" (16), "The Code of Marcia Gray" (16), "Macbeth" (16) as well as "The Impossible Woman" (19).

She had to bear a bad blow in 1918 when her husband, the actor Julian L'Estrange, died in New York because of a influenza epidemic.

Constance Collier returned to England where went on from her earlier stage successes. To these plays belong "Our Betters" (1919) and "Peter Ibbetson" (1920).
She also appeared in a movie again called "The Bohemian Girl" (22). 

Besides her activity as an actress also made a name as an author and it followed several film adapation of her scripts, among them "Forever" (21), "The Rat" (25), "Downhill" (27) and "Peter Ibbetson" (35).

As a film actress she only appeared again from 1935 in front of the camera with "Shadow of Doubt". In the following years followed regular appearances in movies, so in "Anna Karenina" (35), "Little Lord Fauntleroy" (36), "Girls' Dormitory" (36), "Thunder in the City" (37), "Wee Willie Winkie" (37), "Susan and God" (40), "Kitty" (45), "The Perils of Pauline" (47), Alfred Hitchcock's "Rope" (48) and "Whirlpool" (49).

But Constance Collier was not only an impressive actress. When the talkies conquered the USA there was a huge backlog demand for a trained pronunciation. Constance Collier was engaged and she became one of the most important acting and voice teacher. To her clients belonged Constance Moore and later also Marilyn Monroe.

Other movies with Constance Collier:
Bleak House (20) Professional Soldier (35) She Got What She Wanted (37) Clothes and the Woman (37) Stage Door (37) A Damsel in Distress (37) Zaza (39) Half a Sinner (40) The Dark Corner (46) Monsieur Beaucaire (46) An Ideal Husband (47) The Girl from Manhattan (48) 

Forever (21) The Rat (25) The Triumph of the Rat (26) Downhill (27) Peter Ibbetson (35) The Rat (37)