Irene Vanbrugh

Picture Irene Vanbrugh

1872 - 1949

The actress Irene Vanbrugh was born as Irene Barnes in Exeter. She made her first acting experiences in Paris and London before she took acting lessons by Sarah Thorne.

She made her stage debut in 1888 with the play "As you like it". In the next years followed other engagements at different theaters, among others "A Midsummer Nights Dream", "Alice in Wonderland", "The Merchant of Venice" and "Romeo and Juliet".

When she appeared in J.M. Barrie's play "Ibsen's Ghost", Barrie was so impressed of her that he designated her for his next play "Walker London". The success was enormous and Irene Vanbrugh became established as a great character actress.

In 1895 she impersonated the role of Hon. Gwendolen Fairfax in Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest".

She got married with the actor Dion Coucicault jr. in 1901 but still continued her career. It followed other success, for example "The Admirable Crichton" (1902).

When her husband got physical problem in the middle of the 20's Irene Vanbrugh reduced her engagement clearly only after his death she acted often again on the stage.

Irene Vanbrugh made her film debut in 1916 with "The Real Thing at Last", it followed the silent movies "The Gay Lord Quex" (17) and "Masks and Faces" (18).

After that followed an interruption of 15 years, than followed her comeback in the talkies of the 30's, e.g. "Head of the Family" (33). Other movies with her were "Youthful Folly" (34), "Girls Will Be Boys" 834), "The Rise of Catherine the Great" (34), "Wings of the Morning" (37), "It Happened One Sunday" (43) and "I Live in Grosvenor Square" (45).

Irene Vanbrugh was awarded with the ttle "Dame" in 1941 for her merit for the theater.
Her sister Violet Vanbrugh and her brother Kenneth Barnes became also actors.

Other movies with Irene Vanbrugh:
The Way of the Youth (34) Escape Me Never (35) Knight Without Armour (37)