KATHARINE CORNELL, American actress born (d. 1974); A stage actress, writer, and theater owner and producer noted for her major Broadway roles in serious dramas, often directed by her husband, Guthrie McClintic.
For forty years, actress Katharine Cornell and her husband, director Guthrie McClintic, sustained one of the most celebrated and successful partnerships in the American theater. McClintic first directed Cornell in 1925 when she starred as Iris March in Michael Arlen’s The Green Hat. They went on to collaborate on a total of twenty-eight productions, most of which they presented under their own management. They achieved their greatest success in 1931 when, under McClintic’s direction, Cornell portrayed Elizabeth Barrett in Rudolph Besier’s The Barretts of Wimpole Street.
Even in theatrical circles, little was known about Cornell’s and McClintic’s sexual lives beyond the general knowledge that both were Gay. However, it seems clear that their relationship was a nonsexual one, at least after the first few years, and that both partners consistently pursued same-sex attachments. Nevertheless, McClintic and Cornell remained a devoted couple from their marriage in 1921 until McClintic’s death.