Sybil Thorndike (1882–1976)

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This distinguished theatrical tragedienne will be remembered forever if only for the fact George Bernard Shaw wrote his classic "Saint Joan" work specifically for her. Her over six-decade career allowed for a gallery of sterling, masterful portrayals, both classic and contemporary, performing all over the world including Australia, New Zealand, ... See full bio »

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Known For

Stage Fright Mrs. Gill
The Prince and the Showgirl The Queen Dowager
Dawn Nurse Edith Cavell
Hindle Wakes Mrs. Hawthorne


Hide Hide Show Show Actress (49 credits)
 1970 The Great Inimitable Mr. Dickens (TV Movie)
Elizabeth Ball Dickens
 1968 ITV Playhouse (TV Series)
The Nurse
- The Father (1968) ... The Nurse
 1967 NET Playhouse (TV Series)
- Uncle Vanya (1967) ... Marina
 1966 Armchair Theatre (TV Series)
Florence Pringle
- Don't Utter a Note (1966) ... Florence Pringle
 1965 BBC Play of the Month (TV Series)
Mrs. Moore
- Passage to India (1965) ... Mrs. Moore
 1965 Armchair Mystery Theatre (TV Series)
Mrs. Isabel Manners
- Man and Mirror (1965) ... Mrs. Isabel Manners
 1964 The Reluctant Peer (TV Movie)
Molly, the Dowager Countess of Lister
 1963 Uncle Vanya
Marina, the nurse
 1961 The Big Gamble
'Aunt Cathleen' / Aunt Cathleen (as Dame Sybil Thorndike)
 1961 Hand in Hand
Lady Caroline
 1960 Saturday Playhouse (TV Series)
Sara Champline
- A Matter of Age (1960) ... Sara Champline
 1960 Riders to the Sea (TV Movie)
 1959 BBC Sunday-Night Theatre (TV Series)
Mrs. Whyte
- Waters of the Moon (1959) ... Mrs. Whyte
 1959 Jet Storm
Emma Morgan (as Dame Sybil Thorndike)
 1959 Shake Hands with the Devil
Lady Fitzhugh
 1959 Theatre Night (TV Series)
Dame Sophia Carrell
- Eighty in the Shade (1959) ... Dame Sophia Carrell
 1958 Alive and Kicking
 1958 ITV Television Playhouse (TV Series)
Blanche Skinner
- Before the Party (1958) ... Blanche Skinner
 1958 Smiley Gets a Gun
Granny McKinley
 1957 The Prince and the Showgirl
The Queen Dowager
 1956 ITV Play of the Week (TV Series)
Mrs. Whyte
- Waters of the Moon (1956) ... Mrs. Whyte
 1954 Rheingold Theatre (TV Series)
Catherine / Miss Cicely
- Mr. Sampson (1954) ... Catherine (as Dame Sybil Thorndike)
- The Heirloom (1954) ... Miss Cicely (as Dame Sybil Thorndike)
 1954 Young and Willing
Mabel Wicks, Millie's friend
 1953 Melba
Queen Victoria
 1951 The Lady with a Lamp
Miss Bosanquet
 1951 The Magic Box
Sitter in Bath Studio
 1950 Gone to Earth
Mrs. Marston
 1950 Stage Fright
Mrs. Gill
 1949 The Forbidden Street
Mrs. 'The Sow' Mounsey (as Dame Sybil Thorndike)
 1941 Major Barbara
The General
 1939 Sun Up (TV Movie)
Widow Cagle
 1936 Nine Days a Queen
 1931 A Gentleman of Paris
Lola Duval
 1931 Hindle Wakes
Mrs. Hawthorne
 1929 To What Red Hell
Mrs. Fairfield
 1928 Dawn
Nurse Edith Cavell
 1927 Saint Joan (Short)
Joan of Arc
 1922 Tense Moments from Great Plays
Lady Macbeth / Lady Dedlock / Jane Shore / ...
 1922 Tense Moments with Great Authors
Nancy (segment "Nancy")
 1922 Bleak House (Short)
Lady Dedlock
 1922 Esmeralda (Short)
 1922 Jane Shore (Short)
Jane Shore
 1922/I Macbeth (Short)
Lady Macbeth
 1922 The Lady of the Camellias (Short)
Marguerite Gautier
 1922 The Merchant of Venice (Short)
 1922 The Scarlet Letter (Short)
Hester Prynne
 1922 Nancy (Short)
 1921 Moth and Rust
Mrs Brand
Show Show Soundtrack (2 credits)
Show Show Self (19 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (9 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

She made her debut as "Adriana" at the Old Vic Theatre in London, England with Nora Nicolson, Ben Greet, Andrew Leigh, Estelle Stead, Hutin Britton, Constance Robertson, Fisher White, William Stack, J. Leslie Firth, John Napper, and A. Corney Grain in the company. See more »

Publicity Listings:

4 Print Biographies | 2 Portrayals | 3 Articles | 1 Magazine Cover Photo | See more »

Official Sites:


Alternate Names:

Dame Sybil Thorndike | Dame Sybil Thorndyke


5' 4¾" (1.65 m)

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

It's only people who are hysterical who can play hysterical parts. See more »


Was nominated for Broadway's 1957 Tony Award as Best Actress (Dramatic) for "The Potting Shed." See more »

Star Sign:


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