CAMPBELL, Mrs Patrick 1865-1940. Actress. Born Beatrice Stella Tanner in Kensington, she was the granddaughter of Count Angelo Romanini, an Italian political exile. Much of her early life was spent at three different addresses in Dulwich and the neighbourhood, first at Tulse Dale Manor, between Tulse Hill and Dulwich, then at 17 Milton Road, Herne Hill and later with her Uncle Harry at 14 Acacia Road, West Dulwich. At the age of 19 she eloped to marry Patrick Campbell, a clerk in the City, and afterwards always appeared on the stage professionally as Mrs. Patrick Campbell.
An accomplished actress, her first major success was as the lead in Pinero’s The Second Mrs Tanqueray in 1893. Bernard Shaw cast her as the model for Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion twenty years later. Mrs. Campbell followed the original script intended to shock audiences when she used the phrase ‘not bloody likely’; this was often altered in later productions. Her rebellious behaviour on and off stage, although mixed with wit and humour, made her the terror of managers, and she was seldom given parts in Britain after World War One.
Her first husband was killed in the Boer War and her second husband deserted her. She exchanged entertaining love letters with Bernard Shaw for forty years almost until her death in France in 1940.