Lily Elsie (1886 – 1962) was a popular English actress and singer during the Edwardian era, when public entertainment flourished. The nine years during Edward´s reign were to be the height of Lily Elsie’s success on the stage. Beginning as a child star in the 1890s, Elsie built her reputation in several successful musical comedies before her great success in The Merry Widow in 1907, which the King saw four times. Afterwards, she starred in several more successful operettas and musicals.
Admired for her beauty and charm on stage, Elsie became one of the most frequently photographed beauties of the Edwardian era.
The Chicago Examiner wrote on 1st May 1910:
She is famous above all for two things –
for having been photographed more frequently than any actress ever on a London stage, and for having had more proposals of marriage. It is said that she has been photographed at least once every week day in the year. Even then the insatiable demands of the photographic firms were not satisfied. They could not obtain enough of her photographs to supply the enormous demand.
Lily Elsie – Postcard, postmarked Birmingham September 1909