She was born Florence Lilian Braithwaite, the daughter of an Anglican minister and dean of Croydon, but was professionally known as Lilian (one L) on March 9, 1872, Ramsgate, England. She was married once to fellow Shakespearian Gerald Lawrence with whom she had her only daughter Joyce Carey, on March 30, 1898. Her marriage to Lawrence was dissolved in 1905.
One day, Braithwaite ran into drama critic James Agate at London’s Savoy Grill. Agate, who had once said he considered Braithwaite the wittiest woman in London, said, “My dear Lilian, I have long wanted to tell you that, in my opinion, you are the second most beautiful woman in London.”
Agate was undoubtedly trying to lure the actress into an inquiry about whom he con- sidered the most beautiful, for which he had almost certainly prepared a witty reply.But Braithwaite refused to take the bait. Instead, she proved she was indeed one of the wittiest women in London when she sweetly replied:
Thank you so much, James. I shall always cherish that, coming from our second-best dramatic critic.
– Viva La Repartee: Clever Comebacks, & Witty Retorts by Dr. Mardy Grothe, published by HarperCollins ebooks division.
She made few pictures, she did not care for the medium, and it was not until she teamed with Noel Coward (#227) in his play the Vortex, that she hit her stride and those who had known of her before, like stage designer
Cecil Beaton, would exclaim “I never cared for her previously, but she was fantastic .”¹ This led to more Coward plays and a role in Ivor Novello’s comedy the truth game where true to her Mars in Scorpio, she was able to deliver the most malicious insults in the sweetest of tones. Between Coward and Novello her star rose to great heights.
Marc Jones puts her birthtime at 8:39 am, and Lois Rodden accepted that, and it does seem to fit. It gives Miss Braithwaite a Martian handle to her bucket all in the resourceful East side, but that Mars is strong enough to carry that off giving her the perservance to follow through despite difficulties (her role in the Vortex as the alcholoic mother came only because Kate Culter could not get along with Coward; her teaming with Novello was no different — here it was Constance Collier who disliked both the playwright and the role). Others who have this setup, also known for their repartee are Dame Lynn Redgrave and President Abraham Lincoln.
Of course because of the Grand Trine she could be a Locomotive, but we feel that the Mars weighs that cycle too heavily and so we demurred to the bucket with the underlying locomotive ambition tied to the Scorpian lord.
Choo Choo Mars?
Her ascendant is 27 Taurus, a degree know for its patience, economy and industriousness all perfect for her trine to Saturn in her midheaven that is also square Mars in the seventh.
Braithwaite’s Sun is in the eleventh house of popularity, telling us that her fame will come late in life and trine her Moon in native Cancer, like Clara Bow, but this time in the third house of short cmmunications, repartees and quips from her ability to use her mellifluous voice to her own advantage particularly as it too is trine her Mars, the engine for her career.
She passed on September 18, 1948 in London from undisclosed causes. Her daughter Joyce piggybacked her career, to great success.