Lynn Fontanne

1887 - 1983

The actress Lynn Fontanne was born as Lillie Louise Fontanne. Together with her husband Alfred Lunt they were one of the most outstanding acting couple of the American theater.

Both had a negative attitude against acting in movies still they took part in few movies now and then.

Lynn Fontanne acted in front of the camera for the production "Second Youth" in 1924 for the first time, one year later followed her last silent movie "The Man Who Found Himself" (25).
In the next years there were only few more movies, among others "The Guardsman" (31), for which she was nominated for an Oscar and an episode of the TV serial "The United States Steel Hour: The Old Lady Shows Her Medals" (63), she was awared with the Emmy for her role.

In contrast to the film the stage was the home of Lynn Fontanne, Her stage presence filles the Broadway with enthusiasm and they rose to the most famous acting couple in the USA.

It all started in England when Lynn Fontanne took acting lessons by the famous actress Ellen Terry. Her professional career began in 1905 in London, afterwards she went on tour through England.

When she went on tour in the USA with Grossmith's theater group it wasn't a prompt success. Only when she was engaged by the actres Laurette Taylor and her husband, the writer J. Hartley Manners for the play "The Wooing of Eve" she got attention by the public.

Finally Lynn Fontanne met the actor Alfred Lunt and they were attached together in a special relation.
Already in 1919 the acted together, among others in "A Young Man's Fancy" (19), beside it they also appeared separated in other plays.

From the 20's they became a crowd-puller as a dua and plays like "Arms and the Man" (25), "Pygmalion" (26) and "The Doctor's Delemma" (27) fascinated the public.
To their greatest triumphes belong "Design for Living" (33), "Idiot's Delight" (36) and "There Shall Be No Night" (40).

In 1960 they retired from the stage.

But her greatest role she didn't play on stage but in her real life. Her marriage with Alfred Lunt was a so-called lavender wedding, a marriage between two homosexuel (or bisexual) people in order to give the impression of a heterosexual relationship. That way they impersonated the ideal American couple and the public believed this fairytale romance between the alleged farmer boy and the petite British beauty. Her marriage lasted over 50 years.

The couple was honored by issuing a stamp in 1999.

Other movies with Lynn Fontanne: 
Serie "Producers' Showcase: The Great Sebastians" (57) Serie "Hallmark Hall of Fame: The Magnificent Yankee" (65) Serie "Hallmark Hall of Fame: Anastasia" (67)