Fontanne, Lynne

Fontanne, Lynne (b. Lillie Louise)

(1887–1983) stage actress; born in Woodford, England. A woman of great glamor and sophistication, she was best known for her many collaborations in modern comedies with her husband Alfred Lunt. After studying in England with Ellen Terry, she settled permanently in the United States in 1916, the same year that she met Lunt when they both performed in A Young Man's Fancy. The couple first appeared as husband and wife in 1924 in The Guardsman, and thereafter they often performed together in Theatre Guild productions, including Arms and the Man (1925), Pygmalion (1926), and The Brothers Karamazov (1927). In the 1930s, she and Lunt were in several plays with roles written for them, including Elizabeth and Essex in Elizabeth the Queen. In 1958 they opened in The Visit in New York's former Globe Theatre, newly named the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. In 1964 the couple received the U.S. Medal of Freedom.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.