On This Day In History

12th February 1929

English singer and actress Lillie Langtry died

Born as Emilie Charlotte Le Breton, Lillie Langtry (b.October 13, d.1853 – February 12, 1929), usually spelled Lily Langtry in the United States, born Emilie Charlotte Le Breton, was celebrated as a young woman of beauty and charm, who later established a reputation as an actress and producer. In May 1877, Lady Sebright invited her to “an evening at home”, attended by some of the famous artists of the day. Her looks—together with her ability to enchant those in her company—attracted interest, commentary, and invitations from artists and society hostesses.

By 1881, she had become an actress and starred in many plays, including She Stoops to Conquer, The Lady of Lyons, and As You Like It, eventually running her own stage production company. In later life she performed “dramatic sketches” in vaudeville. She was also known for her relationships with noblemen, including the Prince of Wales (later king Edward VII), the Earl of Shrewsbury, and Prince Louis of Battenberg (grandfather of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh). She was the subject of widespread public and media interest.

First page of Lillie Langtry’s autobiography “The Days I Knew”. Published in 1925 by the George H. Doran Company of New York, poet Richard Le Gallienne, father of Eva Le Gallienne, wrote the foreward.