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Lanchester [married name Laughton], Elsa Sullivan (1902–1986), actress and entertainer, was born on 28 October 1902 at 48 Farley Road, Lewisham, London, the second child of James Sullivan (d. 1945), factory worker and later commercial clerk, and Edith Lanchester (1871–1966), daughter of ...

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Elsa Sullivan Lanchester (1902–1986) by Doris Clare Zinkeisen, exh. RA 1925 © Estate of Doris Clare Zinkeisen; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Macauley, Elizabeth Wright (1785?–1837), actress and socialist, was born in York, probably in 1785. Her father, a poor man, died when she was only two, leaving his family destitute. According to her sketchy autobiographical memoirs, Macauley's first career was as an actress. She began by performing in barns in ...

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Robert Adolph Wilton Morley (1908–1992) by unknown photographer Rank (courtesy Kobal)

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Morley, Robert Adolph Wilton (1908–1992), actor and playwright, was born on 26 May 1908 in Semley, Wiltshire, the son of Major Robert Wilton Morley, retired, of the 4th dragoon guards and his wife, Gertrude Emily Fass. He was educated at several preparatory schools—his parents' lives being somewhat itinerant—and at ...

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Pearson, (Edward) Hesketh Gibbons (1887–1964), actor and biographer, was born on 20 February 1887 in Hawford, Worcestershire, the second of the two sons and four children of Thomas Henry Gibbons Pearson (1853–1942), gentleman farmer, churchwarden, and amateur sportsman, and his second wife, Amy Mary Constance (1855–1934)...

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Pinter, Harold (1930–2008), actor, playwright, and director, was born on 10 October 1930 at Tudor House, Newington Green, London, the only child of Hyman (Jack) Pinter (1902–1997), ladies' tailor, and his wife, Frances, née Moskowitz (1904–1992). At the time of his birth his parents lived at ...

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Harold Pinter (1930–2008) by Justin Mortimer, 1992 © National Portrait Gallery, London