Helena Modjeska

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Helena Modjeska
Jadwiga Benda (baptized Helena Opid)
BirthplaceFree City of Kraków

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.


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


Got, J., and J. Szczublewski. Helena Modrzejewska. Warsaw, 1958.
Terlecki, T. Pani Helena. Lublin, 1962.
References in periodicals archive ?
He was waiting for his 4-year-old son, who was attending Helena Modjeska Polish School, which rents space at Scullen for Friday classes.
Helena Modjeska was the founder of an agricultural colony for Polish settlers in Anaheim, California in the 1870s.
and Myra include Viola's friendship with and worshipful admiration of the actress Helena Modjeska (as well as of Sarah Bernhardt, Clara Morris, and others); Viola's thorough knowledge of Shakespeare's plays, both written texts and performed productions in New York--especially of King John from which Myra quotes at the end of Cather's novel; the emphatic, even dependent, love of sea air both profess; and the descent into dire poverty both women endure as they age.
Her name was Helena Modjeska, and she was born in Krakow in 1840.
His Adrienne Lecouvreur (1849), a melodrama about an actress who loves a nobleman though unaware of his high rank and true identity, was favored as a vehicle by such notable actresses of the day as Sarah Bernhardt and Helena Modjeska.
In Philadelphia, Otis Skinner appeared at the Museum Theater, and in San Francisco the Polish actress Helena Modjeska played the lead role in Adrienne Lecouvreur.
His son was attending Helena Modjeska Polish School, which rents space at Scullen for Friday classes.