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Biography of Sarah Siddons

Portrait of Sarah Siddons

Sarah Siddons was an eighteenth century dramatic actress.

When and Where was she Born?

5th July 1755, Brecon, Brecknockshire, Wales.

Family Background:

Sarah Siddons was the eldest child of Roger Kemble, the manager of a small traveling theatre company.

Education:

From her family.

Timeline of Sarah Siddons

1760: Siddons works as a child actor in her father’s traveling company.

1773: She marries William Siddons a fellow actor.

1775: Sarah Siddons first began working in London playing Portia. After several tours of the provinces her reputation began to rise.

1782: She achieves major recognition playing Isabella in David Garrick’s adaptation of “Fatal Marriage”, a play by Thomas Southerne, at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

1803: She follows her Brother John Phillip Kemble onto the stage at Covent Garden where she was to become a resident actress. Over the following years she made her reputation as Britain’s leading actress.

Theatre Royal
The present Theatre Royal, Drury Lane opened in 1812. (copyright Anthony Blagg)

1812: Sarah Siddons’s final stage performance was as Lady Macbeth in June although she continued to give public readings until her death.

1831: On 31 May Siddons begins to suffer from erysipelas on her legs and to experience a high fever.

When and Where did she Die?

8th June 1831, at home at Upper Baker Street, London, England. (On 7 June, she went into a coma, and at about 8 o’clock the following morning she passed away). 

Age at Death:

76.

Marriage:

1773 to William Siddons a fellow actor.

Site of Grave:

St. Mary on Paddington Green Churchyard, Paddington, London, England.

Places of Interest:

AVON:

Lived at 33 The Paragon, Bath for several years.

LONDON:

Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

KENT:

Tenterden, Ellen Terry’s Home.

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