Elsa Lanchester:Bride of Frankenstein & Kidlit Movie Superstar

Elsa Lanchester was the Bride of Frankenstein.

But she was much more and (today being her birthday) let me make a case for her being also a Superstar of Kidlit Movies. Not as a title character, perhaps, but the sort of powerful supporting role that makes a movie work. And she did it over and over again.

For example, she is the scene-stealing nosy neighbor from That Darn Cat, which I think is one of the best ever kidlit book to movie conversions ever done.

She’s also been:

Martha in The Secret Garden

Katie Nanna in Mary Poppins

The Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland,

Mother Goose – in those Shirley Temple fairy tale tv shows

You’ll also see her in less known roles in:

Rascal and Blackbeard’s Ghost

Furthermore, in the non-kidlit department, she played Miss Marple – or Marbles — in Murder by Death and she played the heck out of it, too!


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