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Born July 5, 1755, in Brecon, Wales; died June 8, 1831, in London. English actress. Born into the Kemble theatrical family.
Siddons began her career in provincial theaters. D. Garrick invited her to perform in the Drury Lane Theater in London in 1775 in the roles of Portia and Lady Anne in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice and Richard III, respectively. She played in the provinces again from 1776 to 1782. Her performance of the role of Isabella in Garrick’s version of T. Southerne’s The Fatal Marriage in 1782 brought her fame as a tragic actress. Siddons’ best role at Drury Lane was Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare’s Macbeth; her other Shakespearean roles included Constance in King John, Ophelia in Hamlet, and Imogene in Cymbeline.
Siddons left the stage in 1812. In 1819 she gave a final performance, acting the role of Lady Randolph in J. Home’s Douglas. Siddons’ acting, influenced by that of Garrick, anticipated the romantic school of acting.
REFERENCESIstoriia zapadnoevropeiskogo teatra, vol. 3. Moscow, 1957–63.
Boaden, J. Memoirs of Mrs. Siddons, vols. 1–2. London, 1827.
Campbell, T. Life Of Mrs. Siddons, vols. 1–2. London, 1834.
Manvell, R. Sarah Siddons: Portrait of an Actress. New York, 1971.
F. M. KRYMKO