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Mary Saunderson
Birth: 1637
Death: 1712

English actress and opera singer. She was the first woman to act professionally in several of Shakespeare's leading female roles, including Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Ophelia in Hamlet, and Lady Macbeth, at a time when the law forbidding women from the stage had only just been repealed. Her early success as Ianthe in the 1661 revival of The Siege of Rhodes gave rise to her nickname. Dryden described her as being, "Of a middle stature, dark-coloured hair, the most bewitching leer with her eyes, the most roguish cast! her cheeks are dimpled when she smiles, and her smiles would tempt a hermit." Despite this, and the popular image of actresses of the day, Mary's reputation was famously virtuous. She sang in Aphra Behn's operas, and continued acting until the 1690s, making her last appearance in Dryden's Love Triumphant, in which she played the female lead. There are nine admiring references to her in Pepys' Diary, from 1662 to 1666, each time using her nickname. She married actor-manager Thomas Betterton in 1662; they both taught acting, and were the first actors to be buried in Westminster Abbey, in an unmarked grave at the south end of the East Cloister. (bio by: Sheilia W.) 
Westminster Abbey
City of Westminster
Greater London, England
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: MC
Record added: Nov 18, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 9917747
Mary Saunderson
Added by: MC
Mary Saunderson
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Added by: Iola
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- Robert David Miller
 Added: May. 11, 2015

- BigLebo
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