“The most kissable mouth in all England”

Photo of Lily Elsie in The Merry Widow, 1909

Lily Elsie (8 April 1886 – 16 December 1962) was a popular English actress and singer during the Edwardian era, best known for her starring role in the hit London premiere of Franz Lehár‘s operetta The Merry Widow.

Beginning as a child star in the 1890s, Elsie built her reputation in several successful Edwardian musical comedies before her great success in The Merry Widow, opening in 1907. Afterwards, she starred in several more successful operettas and musicals. Admired for her beauty and charm on stage, Elsie became one of the most photographed women of Edwardian times.

The Merry Widow, Act 3, London, 1907

According to the Atlanta Constitutionnewspaper in America, writing in 1915:

Perhaps her face is nearer to that of the Venus de Milo in profile than to any other famed beauty. There are no angles to be found about her any place…. If she came to America, she would undoubtedly be called the most beautiful woman In America. Nature never made a more brilliant success in the beauty business than she did with Lily Elsie. It was mostly from the nobility that her suitors came. Everyone agrees that Lily Elsie has the most kissable mouth in all England… she possesses the Cupid’s bow outline with the ends curving upward delicately, all ready for smiles…. Strangely enough, the women of the land were among her most devoted admirers.”[9]
Here’s the only footage I could find.  No recordings of her singing on YouTube at least.  I’ll keep looking though.
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Filed under art, beauty, Costume file, fashion, music

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