Seyler, Athene (1889–1990)

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Seyler, Athene (1889–1990)

British comedic actress of stage and film. Born in London, England, on May 31, 1889; died in 1990; daughter of Clarence H. Seyler and Clara (Thies) Seyler; attended Coombe Hill School, King's Langley, and Bedford College; studied at the Academy of Dramatic Art; married James Bury Sterndale-Bennett (died); married Nicholas Hannen.

English actress Athene Seyler had a long and successful stage career, after making her debut at the Kingsway Theatre on February 11, 1909, as Pamela Grey in The Truants. Her other stage roles included Rosalind in As You Like It (St. James Theatre, 1920), Polly in Kind Hearts and Coronets (Lyric, Hammersmith, 1920), Gabrielle in The Coming of Gabrielle (St. James, 1923), Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing (Strand, 1924), Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Drury Lane, 1924), Miss Moffatt in The Corn is Green (Duchess, 1939), Madame Ranevska in The Cherry Orchard (New, 1941), Fanny Farrelly in Watch on the Rhine (Aldwych, 1942), Veta Louise Simmons in Harvey (Prince of Wales, 1949), and Amy Beringer in First Person Singular (Duke of York, 1952).

Her films include This Freedom (1922), The Perfect Lady (1932), The Citadel (1938), Quiet Wedding (1940), Dear Octopus (1943), Nicholas Nickleby (1947), Queen of Spades (1948), Young Wives' Tale (1951), Pickwick Papers (1953), Yield to the Night (1956), Campbell's Kingdom (1958), The Inn of the Sixth Happiness as Mrs. Lawson (1958), Make Mine Mink (1959), and Nurse on Wheels (1963). Seyler also directed for the stage and authored (with Stephen Haggard) The Craft of Comedy (1944). Elected president of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (1950) and the Theatrical Ladies Guild (1950), she received the CBE in 1959.