Sybil Thorndike

1882 - 1976

This distinguished theatrical tragedienne will be remembered forever if only for the fact George Bernard Shaw wrote his classic "Saint Joan" work specifically for her. Her over six-decade career allowed for a gallery of sterling, masterful portrayals, both classic and contemporary, performing all over the world including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India and both Western and Eastern Europe. She was created a Dame of the British Empire in 1931, when her career was not quite half over, and in 1970 was made Companion of Honor to Queen Elizabeth.Born Agnes Sybil Thorndike on October 24, 1882 in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, she was the daughter of a minor canon of Rochester Cathedral. She was the eldest of four children. One younger brother, Frank, was killed in WWI action, a tragedy that left her father inconsolable. He himself would die a few months later. Sybil first became a concert pianist until nerve injuries in her hands quickly altered her destiny. She, at brother Russell T

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