IWOTA # 4 – Mrs Patrick Campbell

Mrs Patrick Campbell, died on this date in 1940.

An accomplished indigenous woman of the Anglosphere.

A Grand Dame of English and American Theater.

Her marriage to her first husband lasted five years till 1900, but his name survives as her married woman’s stage name to this very day.

She was very successful on London’s West end as Ophelia, Juliet and Lady Macbeth.

Mrs Pat had a physically unconsummated love affair by letter with George Bernard Shaw. She wrote to him: “Oh dear me — it’s too late to do anything but accept you and love you — but when you were quite a little boy, somebody ought to have said “HUSH” just once!”

Shaw wrote Pygmalion for her. It was Shaw’s most popular play and the inspiration for My Fair Lady. All though many people considered Campbell too old for the role, she triumphed in 1914 at the age of 49 and again in 1920 when 55 years old.

She was a regular performer in American theatre from her Broadway debut in 1900 till the age of 68 when she moved on to working briefly in movies. This included co-starring with Norma Shearer in “Riptide” and with Peter Lorre in “Crime And Punishment”.

What a woman !

Geoff Fox, 9th April, 2023, Australia

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