Dame Sybil Thorndike

Biography of Dame Sybil Thorndike

Dame Agnes Sybil Thorndike (24 October 1882 – 9 June 1976) was a British actress.

Thorndike was born in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, to Arthur Thorndike and Agnes Macdonald. Her father was a Canon of Rochester Cathedral. She was educated at Rochester Grammar School for Girls, and first trained as a classical pianist, making weekly visits to London for music lessons at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Her childhood home in Rochester has been renamed after her.

She gave her first public performance as a pianist at the age of 11, but in 1899 was forced to give up playing owing to piano cramp. At the instigation of her brother, the author Russell Thorndike, she then trained as an actress.

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