Cornelia Otis Skinner

Cornelia Otis Skinner (1899-1979) was the daughter of professional actors who lived in Bryn Mawr. She first appeared on stage when she was nine in the Class of 1910's Junior Supper play, Medea. A decade later, during her three semesters as a student, she performed in numerous plays. Her last student role was in Rosemary, where she played a middle-aged man, a part her father had performed professionally a number of years earlier.

Skinner acted on Broadway for a number of years before starting to tour in her most successful form - the one-woman show, written by herself, in which she played more than one role, either multiple characters or a single character through time. Paris '90 was one such show, as was Edna, His Wife, based on the novel by Margaret Ayer Barnes. Skinner was also a prolific author; her humorous sketches were published in The New Yorker and similar magazines and she wrote a well-received biography of Sarah Bernhardt. Her best known work, Our Hearts Were Young and Gay, written with college classmate Emily Kimbrough, chronicles the friends' European tour, and was later made into a film.

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