Constance Collier ~ Actress & Drama Teacher

Constance Collier

Constance Collier was a respected stage and film actress whose career spanned four decades.

 She was born Laura Constance Hardie on January 22, 1878 in Windsor, England. Her parents were both actors and she made her stage debut at the age of three. When she was a teenager she joined the dance troupe The Gaeity Girls. Constance married actor Julian Boyle in 1905. The following year she starred in a stage production of Antony and Cleopatra. Her performance got rave reviews. She appeared in numerous Broadway shows including Samson, Oliver Twist, and Othello. Constance and her husband often performed together on stage and they became a respected acting duo. In 1916 she made her movie debut in Tongues Of Men. Then she starred in the films The Code Of Marcia Gray and MacBeth. Sadly her husband Julian died from influenza in 1918. She was so depressed after he died that she had to be hospitalized. After moving to Hollywood she started working as a drama coach. Among her famous pupils were Colleen Moore and Vivien Leigh.

Constance CollierConstance Collier

Constance Collier Katharine Hepburn
With Katharine Hepburn

Her autobiography, Harlequinade: The Story of My Life, was published in 1929. During the 1930s she became a popular character actress. Constance had supporting roles in the films Shadow Of A Doubt, A Damsel In Distress, and Stage Door with Katharine Hepburn (who became one of her closest friends). She began a romantic relationship with her secretary Phyllis Wilburn. In 1939 she returned to Broadway to star in Aries Is Rising. Unfortunately it closed after only four performances. As she grew older her health began to decline and she had to work less. Alfred Hitchcock gave her a small role in his 1948 film Rope. Her final film was the 1950 drama Whirpool. On April 25, 1955 she died from a heart attack at the age of seventy-seven. Her longtime lover Phyllis was by her side when she passed away. Constance was buried at the East Finchley Cemetery in East Finchley, England.

Constance Collier