Life is like a flash: what was the fate of the most photographed girl of the beginning of the XX century

Each era is characterized by its own idols. If you look at the retro photographs of the beginning of the XX century, you can see that they often flash the image of the same beautiful actress and singer Lily Elsie. She often took breaks in her profession, went through an unhappy marriage, but this did not prevent her from becoming the most photographed girl of the Edwardian era.

Life is like a flash: what was the fate of the most photographed girl of the beginning of the XX century

Life is like a flash: what was the fate of the most photographed girl of the beginning of the XX century

Lily Elsie is a popular actress at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries.

The future actress was born in 1886 in the family of a dressmaker and a theater employee. The girl discovered her artistic talents very early and, as a child, she already performed on the stage of variety shows and music halls, performing children's roles. For her doll-like face and constant shyness, she was nicknamed "Little Elsie". A little later, she changes her name Elsie Hodder to the stage name Lily Elsie (Lily Elsie).

Life is like a flash: what was the fate of the most photographed girl of the beginning of the XX century

Hats have become part of the image of Lily Elsie.

Despite all her beauty and charm, Lily Elsie was very shy. Therefore, her impresario George Edwards attracted the famous British fashion designer Lucile to the actress, so that she came up with a memorable image for her. Lucille emphasized the original hats. Lily Elsie had an incredible number of them.

Life is like a flash: what was the fate of the most photographed girl of the beginning of the XX century

Lily Elsie as the Merry Widow.

Life is like a flash: what was the fate of the most photographed girl of the beginning of the XX century

The real fame for the already grown-up girl comes after playing a role in the London operetta "The Merry Widow" by Franz Lehar in 1907. The stunning success made Lily Elsie the most photographed lady of the Edwardian era. Postcards with her image were distributed across Europe at an incredible speed.

Life is like a flash: what was the fate of the most photographed girl of the beginning of the XX century

Almost every British soldier in the war had pictures of Lily Elsie.

Once a member of the British Parliament, Beverly Baxter, touching on the topic of the First World War, said that there was not a single English soldier left on the front line who did not have a postcard with the image of Lily Elsie in the trench. She became the one whose sweet face the soldiers saw before their death.

Life is like a flash: what was the fate of the most photographed girl of the beginning of the XX century

In 1911, Lily Elsie married John Ian Balloch, the son of a textile magnate. Soon, Lily begins to get sick often and stops playing in plays. In 1916, she returned to the stage, and again a stunning success awaits her. But after this take-off, the actress again quits the theater. She is recovering with her husband in the village, where she has been living for 10 years. Marriage does not bring Lily Elsie the desired happiness. The absence of children only exacerbates the misunderstanding between the spouses. In 1930, they divorced.

Life is like a flash: what was the fate of the most photographed girl of the beginning of the XX century

The brilliant but shy Lily Elsie.

After the breakup, Lily Elsie's health worsens, bouts of depression begin. Then her life passes in sanatoriums and nursing homes. The actress was even glad when those who were next to her did not know about her former glory. Lily Elsie died alone in 1962 at the age of 76.

Life is like a flash: what was the fate of the most photographed girl of the beginning of the XX century

Lily Elsie — the girl from the postcards.

Life is like a flash: what was the fate of the most photographed girl of the beginning of the XX century

Lily Elsie is a British actress and singer.

Keywords: Europe | History | Great Britain | Photography | Celebrities | Actress | Theater | Life | Postcard | XX century

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