You might not recognize the name Elsa Lanchester, but you’ll definitely recognize her in her most famous role: as the Bride of Frankenstein. Actually that film title always annoyed me, since Frankenstein was the scientist, not the monster, but anyhoo… Here she is looking spectacular:
Born in 1902 Lanchester worked in theater and film for a decade before she shot to fame in 1935 in her role as the title character in Bride of Frankenstein alongside Boris Karloff. Her movie career started in the mid 1920s, starring in a few silent films before moving into early talkies such as Potiphar’s Wife alongside a young Laurence Olivier.
She starred in films throughout the 40s, 50s and 60s, including a role in Mary Poppins (as Katie Nanna, the nanny who quits her job with the Banks family at the beginning of the movie). She was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Come to the Stable (1949), but will always be most recognizable as the bandaged bride of Frankenstein with lightening-streaked hair. It’s such an iconic look now that it’s hard to think it was first created back in 1935!