This comprehensive biography of the actress film critic Rex Reed called “a national treasure” draws on Robert A. Schanke’s interviews and correspondence not only with Eva Le Gallienne but also with more than one hundred of her colleagues and friends, including Glenda Jackson, Burgess Meredith, Eli Wallach, Peter Falk, Ellen Burstyn, Anne Jackson, Farley Granger, Jane Alexander, Uta Hagen, and Rosemary Harris. Forty-two illustrations offer highlights of Le Gallienne’s many notable performances in such plays as Hedda Gabler, Liliom, The Cherry Orchard, Peter Pan, Camille, Mary Stuart, The Royal Family,and The Dream Watcher.
Behind her public role as a famous actress and as the founding and maintaining force of the first civic repertory theatre in the United States, Eva Le Gallienne led a private life complicated by her identity as a lesbian. Schanke considers Le Gallienne’s sexuality and how it played a role in the struggles, defeats, and triumphs that combined to inspire her greatness. Shattered Applause, a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Nonfiction, tells a fascinating story that also serves as a barometer of the changing values, tastes, and attitudes of American society.