Cornell, Katharine

Cornell, Katharine

Cornell, Katharine, 1898–1974, American actress, b. Berlin. Cornell made her debut in 1916 with the Washington Square Players. In 1921 she married Guthrie McClintic, a producer-director. From their first production together, The Green Hat in 1925, they proved to be a successful team, with such productions as The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1931, repeated on television, 1956), Saint Joan (1936), Candida (1937), The Doctor's Dilemma (1941), and The Three Sisters (1942). She was often able to carry a weak production on the basis of her strong voice, expressive face, and acting style. Cornell played Mrs. Patrick Campbell in Dear Liar on Broadway in 1960. After McClintic's death in 1961, Cornell retired from the theater.


See her autobiography (1939); G. McClintic, Me and Kit (1955).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cornell, Katharine


Born Feb. 16, 1898, in Berlin. American actress.

Cornell made her stage debut in 1917 in New York with the Washington Square Players and later acted in different companies. After her success in the role of Iris Fenwick (The Green Hat by M. Arlen, 1925), she became an acknowledged star of the commercial Broadway theater. In 1930 she and her producer husband G. McClintic organized a troupe; they toured the whole country, attracting a broad mass audience. Among her best roles were Elizabeth Barrett (The Barretts of Wimpole Street by Besier), Juliet (Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare), Joan of Arc (Saint Joan by Shaw), Masha (The Three Sisters by Chekhov), and Mrs. Patrick Campbell (Dear Liar by Kilty).


I Wanted To Be an Actress [3rd ed.]. New York [1941].


Malvern, G. Curtain Going Up! The Story of Katharine Cornell. New York [1943].
McClintic, G. Me and Kit. Boston [1955].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Cornell, Katharine

(1898–1974) stage actress; born in Berlin, Germany. Her first appearance in this country was with the Washington Square Players in 1916; her first New York hit was A Bill of Divorcement (1921). She married, then formed a successful team with her producer-director husband, Guthrie McClintic. She was known for her performances in many theater classics including the role for which she was best known, Elizabeth Moulton-Barrett in The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1931). The Barretts was produced on television in 1956. She also played in Saint Joan (1936) and The Three Sisters (1942). One of the first American performers to form her own repertory company, she took several entire New York productions on the road. In 1959 she played Mrs. Patrick Campbell in Jerome Kilty's Dear Liar. In 1961, after her husband's death, she retired from the theater.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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