Lily Elsie reading. Elsie (1886–1962) 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.
During her lifetime, Lina Cavalieri (1874-1944) was often referred to as the most beautiful woman alive. She grew up in an Italian orphanage & ran away to join a touring theatre company when she was a teenager. She became a popular opera singer & appeared in silent films. She returned to Italy late in her life, & though she was in her mid-sixties when WWII broke out, she volunteered as a nurse. She was killed during an Allied bombing while she was trying to run to an air-raid shelter.