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Elsa Lanchester (1902–1986)

Elsa Sullivan Lanchester was born into an unconventional a family at the turn of the 20th century. Her parents, James "Shamus" Sullivan and Edith "Biddy" Lanchester, were socialists - very active members of the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) in a rather broad sense and did not believe in the institution of marriage and being tied to any ... See full bio »

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Known For

Witness for the Prosecution
Mary Poppins
Mary Poppins Katie Nanna
Bride of Frankenstein
Bride of Frankenstein Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley / The Monster's Mate
Murder by Death
Murder by Death Jessica Marbles


Hide Hide Show Show Actress (99 credits)
 1980 Die Laughing
 1979 Where's Poppa? (TV Movie)
Momma Hocheiser
 1973 Arnold
 1973 Terror in the Wax Museum
Julia Hawthorn
 1973 Here's Lucy (TV Series)
Mumsie Westcott
- Lucy Goes to Prison (1973) ... Mumsie Westcott
 1972-1973 Mannix (TV Series)
Portia Penhaven / Edna Barrington
- A Matter of Principle (1973) ... Portia Penhaven
- Death Is the Fifth Gear (1972) ... Edna Barrington
 1972 Night Gallery (TV Series)
Lydia Bowen (segment "Green Fingers")
- Green Fingers/The Funeral/The Tune in Dan's Cafe (1972) ... Lydia Bowen (segment "Green Fingers")
 1970-1971 The Bill Cosby Show (TV Series)
Mrs. Wochuk
- The Power of a Tree (1971) ... Mrs. Wochuk
- The Elevator Doesn't Stop Here Anymore (1970) ... Mrs. Wochuk
 1969 It Takes a Thief (TV Series)
Miss Mollie Taylor
- The Old Who Came in from the Spy (1969) ... Miss Mollie Taylor
 1969 In Name Only (TV Movie)
Gertrude Caruso
 1969 Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (TV Series)
Mrs. Formby
- My Dog, the Thief: Part 2 (1969) ... Mrs. Formby
- My Dog, the Thief: Part 1 (1969) ... Mrs. Formby
 1967 Easy Come, Easy Go
Madame Neherina
 1965-1966 The John Forsythe Show (TV Series)
Margaret Culver / Miss Margaret Culver / Miss Culver
- Get Me to the Execution on Time (1966) ... Miss Margaret Culver
- From Russia with Chaos (1966) ... Miss Margaret Culver
- Doctor Soo (1966) ... Miss Margaret Culver
- If I Were a Prince (1966) ... Miss Margaret Culver
- It Takes a Heap of Sergeants (1966) ... Miss Margaret Culver
 1965 The Mike Douglas Show (TV Series)
- Episode #5.43 (1965)
 1965 Slattery's People (TV Series)
Louella Woodward
- Question: What's a Swan Song for a Sparrow? (1965) ... Louella Woodward
 1965 Ben Casey (TV Series)
Mrs. Miriam Crain
- A Boy Is Standing Outside the Door (1965) ... Mrs. Miriam Crain
 1964 The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (TV Series)
Aggie McGregor
- The McGregor Affair (1964) ... Aggie McGregor
 1963-1964 Burke's Law (TV Series)
Bessie Mopes / Mrs. Ormsby
- Who Killed Cassandra Cass? (1964) ... Bessie Mopes
- Who Killed Eleanora Davis? (1963) ... Mrs. Ormsby
 1964 Honeymoon Hotel
 1964 The Eleventh Hour (TV Series)
Mrs. Dalrymple
- A Full Moon Every Night (1964) ... Mrs. Dalrymple
 1962 The Flood (TV Movie)
Noah's Wife (voice)
 1962 Follow the Sun (TV Series)
Lilli St. John
- A Ghost in Her Gazebo (1962) ... Lilli St. John
 1961 The Dick Powell Theatre (TV Series)
Naomi Griswald
- The Fifth Caller (1961) ... Naomi Griswald
 1961 General Electric Theater (TV Series)
Hanna Winters
- Cat in the Cradle (1961) ... Hanna Winters
 1960 Adventures in Paradise (TV Series)
Miss Creshaw
- The Intruders (1960) ... Miss Creshaw
 1956 Robert Montgomery Presents (TV Series)
 1956 I Love Lucy (TV Series)
Mrs. Edna Grundy
- Off to Florida (1956) ... Mrs. Edna Grundy
 1956 The 20th Century-Fox Hour (TV Series)
Ida Perkins
- Stranger in the Night (1956) ... Ida Perkins
 1954-1956 Lux Video Theatre (TV Series)
Miss Mabel / Emily
- Miss Mabel (1956) ... Miss Mabel
- Ladies in Retirement (1954) ... Emily
 1956 Shower of Stars (TV Series)
Mrs. Zooker
- The Flattering World (1956) ... Mrs. Zooker
 1955 The Star and the Story (TV Series)
 1955 Alice in Wonderland (TV Movie)
Red Queen
 1955 The Best of Broadway (TV Series)
Mrs. Orcutt
- Stage Door (1955) ... Mrs. Orcutt
 1955 The Ford Television Theatre (TV Series)
Rosie Bowker
- Hanrahan (1955) ... Rosie Bowker
 1954 Hell's Half Acre
Lida O'Reilly
 1953 Schlitz Playhouse (TV Series)
Betsey Monk, the Widow
- The Baker of Barnbury (1953) ... Betsey Monk, the Widow
 1953 Studio One in Hollywood (TV Series)
 1952 Dreamboat
Dr. Mathilda Coffey
 1950 Frenchie
 1950 The Petty Girl
Dr. Crutcher
 1950 Mystery Street
Mrs. Smerrling
 1950 Buccaneer's Girl
Mme. Brizar
 1948 The Big Clock
Louise Patterson
 1947 Northwest Outpost
Princess 'Tanya' Tatiana
 1944 Passport to Destiny
Ella Muggins
 1943 Thumbs Up
Emma Finch
 1943 Forever and a Day
 1942 Tales of Manhattan
Elsa (Mrs Charles) Smith
 1941 Ladies in Retirement
Emily Creed
 1936 Miss Bracegirdle Does Her Duty (Short)
Millicent Bracegirdle
 1935 Naughty Marietta
Madame d'Annard
 1935 David Copperfield
 1934 The Private Life of Don Juan
Maid (uncredited)
 1931 Potiphar's Wife
 1931 The Stronger Sex
 1931 The Officers' Mess
Cora Melville
 1931 The Love Habit
 1930 Ashes (Short)
 1929 Mr. Smith Wakes Up (Short)
 1928 Blue Bottles (Short)
 1928 Daydreams (Short)
Elsa / Heroine in Dream Sequence
 1928 The Tonic (Short)
 1928 The Constant Nymph
 1927 One of the Best
 1925 The Scarlet Woman: An Ecclesiastical Melodrama (Short)
Beatrice de Carolle
Show Show Soundtrack (6 credits)
Show Show Thanks (1 credit)
Show Show Self (28 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (19 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

(12/21/45) Radio: Appeared in an episode of "The Burns and Allen Show". See more »

Publicity Listings:

2 Print Biographies | 1 Portrayal | 2 Articles | 1 Pictorial | 2 Magazine Cover Photos | See more »

Alternate Names:



5' 4" (1.63 m)

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

There is no such thing as a person that nothing has happened to, and each person's story is as different as his fingerprints. See more »


Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume Two, 1986-1990, pages 505-506. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1999. See more »

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