Helena Modjeska

(redirected from Helena Modrzejewska)
Helena Modjeska
Jadwiga Benda (baptized Helena Opid)
Birthday
BirthplaceFree City of Kraków
Died

Modjeska, Helena

 

(also H. Modrzejewska). Born Oct. 12, 1840, in Kraków; died Apr. 8, 1909, in Newport, Calif. Polish actress.

Modjeska was educated in a convent. After taking private acting lessons, she performed in the Kraków Theater from 1865 to 1869 and in the Wielki and Rozmaitosci theaters in Warsaw between 1869 and 1876. She toured Great Britain and the United States. Her acting style combined realistic character portrayal with romantic inspiration. Her great tragic parts were the title roles in Słowacki’s Maria Stuart and Racine’s Phèdre and Amalia in Schiller’s The Robbers. She was universally acclaimed for her Shakespearean roles, Lady Anne in Richard III and Lady Macbeth. Her poetic and realistic portrayals made Modjeska one of the best performers of S. Wyspiański’s plays.

WORKS

Wspomnienia i wrazenia. Kraków, 1957.
Korespondencja, vols. 1–2. Warsaw, 1965. (K. Chlapowski.)

REFERENCES

Got, J., and J. Szczublewski. Helena Modrzejewska. Warsaw, 1958.
Terlecki, T. Pani Helena. Lublin, 1962.
References in periodicals archive ?
In a note on the copyright page, Sontag explains that her novel was inspired by the career of Helena Modrzejewska, Poland's renowned actress, who did indeed emigrate to America in 1876 and settle in Anaheim with her husband Count Karol Chapowski; Rudolf, their fifteen-year-old son; Henryk Sienkiewicz, the future Nobel-Prize-winning writer; and a group of friends.