Lily Elsie

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Lily Elsie, painting by James Jebusa Shannon, ca. 1916

Lily Elsie, née Elsie Cotton (8 April 1886 – 16 December 1962) was a popular English actress and operetta singer (soprano)
at the time of Edward VII. Her most famous role is in Franz Lehár’s operetta Die lustige Witwe.


Lily Elsie began her career in the 1890’s as a child star and gained a reputation in operettas. In 1907 she had her breakthrough with Die lustige Witwe. It followed several successful roles in operettas and musicals. Admired for her beauty she became one of the most photographed persons of her time.


  • 1918: The Great Love
  • 1919: Comradeship

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