Monday, 11 June 2018

61) Emilie Charlotte Langtry

Emilie Charlotte Langtry (née Le Breton; 1853 – 1929), known as Lillie (or Lily) Langtry and nicknamed "The Jersey Lily", was a British-American socialite, actress and producer.
Born on the island of Jersey, upon marrying she moved to London in 1876. Her looks and personality attracted interest, commentary, and invitations from artists and society hostesses, and she was celebrated as a young woman of great beauty and charm.

By 1881, she had become an actress and starred in many plays in the UK and the United States, 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 (the future king Edward VII), the Earl of Shrewsbury, and Prince Louis of Battenberg. She was the subject of widespread public and media interest. 
Frank Miles completed several sketches of her that became very popular on postcards. Another guest, Sir John Everett Millais, also a Jersey native, eventually painted her portrait. She also sat for Sir Edward Poynter and is depicted in works by Sir Edward Burne-Jones. She became much sought-after in London society, and invitations flooded in. She is sometimes regarded as the first pin-up.

- "Famous red-haire people include... actress and London socialite Lilie Langtry..."

- "Langtry was a tall, curvaceous lady with Titian red hair and portraits of her sold in shops for a penny."

- "Still in mourning following the recent death of her favourite brother, she wore only a plain black gown with her red-gold hair gathered in a simple knot at the nape of her neck."

- "When she was a tall young woman with an unruly twist of reddish hair, she went with her father to watch a yacht trying to make shore in a storm."

- "She was by all accounts astonishingly beautiful, with reddish hair and deep blue eyes."

Portrait by Sir Edward John Poynter

Portrait by Herbert Gustave Schmalz

A Jersey Lily by Millais

Portrait by George F. Miles

Mrs Lillie Langtry, by George Frederic Watts, 1880

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