Lortel, Lucille

BORN 16 Dec 1900, New York City, New York - DIED 4 Apr 1999, New York City, New York
BIRTH NAME Wadler, Lucille
CAUSE OF DEATH natural causes
GRAVE LOCATION Hastings-on-Hudson, New York: Westchester Hills Cemetery, 400 Saw Mill River Road

Lucille Lortel studied acting and theatre at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and was was an actress during the 1920s. In 1925 she debuted on Broadway in "Caesar and Cleopatra" with Helen Hayes. Later she remembered that once she and Helen compared breast sizes.

In 1931 she married the rich industrialist Louis Schweitzer and reluctantly gave up her career. In 1947 she started the White Barn Theatre on their estate in Norwalk, Connecticut. There she staged plays that wouldn't make it to the commercial theatres directly. Plays by Ionesco, Beckett and others premiered at the theatre.

In 1955 her husband bought the Theatre De Lys on Christopher Street, Greenwich Village, for her. There she produced many important plays and in 1981 the theatre was renamed the Lucille Lortel theatre.

In New York she started the Lucille Lortel Theatre on Chrstopher Street in Manhattan, New York. The theatre still bears her name and hosts the Lucille Lortel Awards for off Broadway theatre productions. Her age was a well kept secret for almost all of her life. She died in 1999, aged 98.

Related persons
• cooperated with Hayes, Helen


The grave of Lucille Lortel at Westchester Hills Cemetery, Hastings-on-Hudson.
Picture by Androom (13 Apr 2010)


Lucille Lortel - Wikipedia

Lortzing, Albert

Published: 24 Oct 2010
Last update: 25 Feb 2022