Home   >   Movie Stars   >   L   >   Elsa Lanchester
Elsa Lanchester

Elsa Lanchester

Elsa Lanchester, was a British-born American character actress, perhaps best-known as the long-suffering wife of Charles Laughton. Her birth name was Elizabeth Sullivan.

Lanchester married Laughton in 1929, and one of her first screen appearances was opposite him in The Private Life of Henry VIII (as a highly comical Anne of Cleves). This and other appearances in British films helped her gain the title role in Bride of Frankenstein (1935). She continued to appear with her husband, for example in Rembrandt (1936), but never made a name as a female lead, mainly due to her lack of conventional beauty.

Following Laughton's death in 1962, Lanchester continued to act, making occasional film appearances such as the departing nanny in the opening scenes of Mary Poppins, and a sleuth in the 1976 Agatha Christie spoof, Murder by Death.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

Elsa Lanchester Facts

Birth Name Elsa Sullivan Lanchester
BirthdayOctober 28, 1902
BirthplaceLewisham, London, England, United Kingdom
Date of deathDecember 26, 1986 (age 84)
Height5' 4½" (1m64)  How tall is Elsa Lanchester compared to you?
Awards1958 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Motion Picture (for Witness for the Prosecution)

Selected Filmography

Mary Poppins 50th Anniversary Edition
Mary Poppins: 50th Anniversary Edition
That Darn Cat!
Frankenstein: Complete Legacy Collection
The Inspector General
Bell, Book and Candle
Film Noir 10-Movie Spotlight Collection
Blackbeard's Ghost
Witness for the Prosecution
Continue » Find more details on the Elsa Lanchester Movies page