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Author photo. Beatrice Lillie (1894-1989). Photo by Yousuf Karsh, March 18, 1948 (Yousuf Karsh / Library and Archives Canada / PA-165928)

Beatrice Lillie (1894-1989). Photo by Yousuf Karsh, March 18, 1948 (Yousuf Karsh / Library and Archives Canada / PA-165928)

Beatrice Lillie (1894–1989)

Author of Every Other Inch a Lady

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Beatrice Lillie was born Constance Sylvia Gladys Munston in Toronto, Canada. She left school at age 15 to sing in a family trio. Her mother took her to London, where she made her stage debut in 1914. She became a well-known music hall and cabaret entertainer, and later performed in many works by Noel Coward. She was praised for her comic timing, and was known as the mistress of the absurd, the sharp riposte, and the double entendre. In 1920, she married Sir Robert Peel, 5th Baronet, which whom she had a son, making her Lady Peel. Miss Lillie made her New York debut in 1924, and often returned to the USA to appear on Broadway. She won a Tony Award in 1953 for her revue An Evening with Beatrice Lillie, which ran on Broadway and toured across Canada. She retired after making one of her few films, Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967). Her autobiography, Every Other Inch a Lady, was published in 1972.
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