Nell Gwyn Biography

Actress, Theater Actress (1650–1687)
Popular British actress Nell Gwyn (1650–1687) was the mistress of King Charles II.


Eleanor "Nell" Gwyn (born February 2, 1650) was selling oranges at the Drury Lane Theater in London when she became the mistress of actor Charles Hart, who trained her for the stage. Soon, "pretty, witty Nell" was the leading comedienne of the King's Company and the mistress of Charles II.

With Puritanism a recent thing of the past, Gwyn was one of the first actresses ever allowed to perform on the English stage. The public found her high spirits and wit refreshing,  and she became a symbol of the Reformation comedy, or comedy of manners.

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