Le Gallienne, Eva

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Le Gallienne, Eva

(ləgăl`yən), 1899–1991, American actress, producer, director, and translator, b. London; daughter of poet Richard Le Gallienne. She made her debut in London in 1915 and in New York City the next year. She achieved distinction in 1921 in Molnar's Liliom and became known as an outstanding interpreter of Ibsen, whose works she translated. A strong believer in the repertory system, she founded the Civic Repertory Theatre (1926–33) in New York, for which she directed and acted. With Margaret Webster she was a cofounder of the American Repertory Theatre (1946). She directed and acted for the National Repertory Theatre (1961–66). She appeared in the film Resurrection in 1980.


See her autobiographies (1934 and 1953, repr. 1974); biography by H. Sheehy (1996).

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Le Gallienne, Eva


Born Jan. 11,1899, in London. American actress.

Le Gallienne made her debut in London in 1914 and performed in the USA for the first time in 1915. Her portrayal of Julie in Molnar’s Liliom at the Guild brought her fame. Le Gallienne has worked at making the theater more than mere commercial entertainment. She organized the Civic Repertory (1926–33) and the American Repertory (1946–47) in New York. Later (1961–64), she organized the National Repertory Theatre. As the leading actress and director of these companies, Le Gallienne sought to bring the best works of dramatic art to a broad audience. She has concentrated especially on the plays of Ibsen and Chekhov. Her best roles have included Masha, Ranevskaia, and Arkadina in Chekhov’s Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard, and The Seagull, respectively; Hedda Gabler and Mrs. Alving in Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler and Ghosts, respectively; and Elizabeth in Schiller’s Mary Stuart.


At 33. New York, 1934.
With a Quiet Heart. New York, 1953.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Le Gallienne, Eva

(1899–1991) stage actress; born in London, England. Making her stage debut in London at age 15, she came to the U.S.A. the next year and thereafter spent most of her professional career in America, as both a versatile actress in serious plays and as an intelligent director and producer. She founded the Civic Repertory Theatre in New York (1926–32) and later the American Repertory Theater Company. In addition to translations and stage adaptations, she published her memoirs and a study of Eleonora Duse.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.