- 1 Season
Lillie is a British television drama series that first aired on ITV in 1978. The show, which spans across 13 episodes, is a biographical fictional account of the life of Lillie Langtry, a renowned actress, socialite, and mistress of King Edward VII. Francesca Annis leads the cast in the titular role of Lillie Langtry, a woman born into a modest family in the Channel Island of Jersey who rose to fame as one of the most sought-after actresses of her time. Annis delivers a powerful portrayal of Lillie, capturing the essence of her charisma and allure that caught the eye of many influential men in high society. Anton Rodgers plays the role of Edward Langtry, Lillie's husband, who is portrayed as a supportive husband and businessman in the show. Denis Lill appears as Frederic, Lillie's close friend, and confidante who stands by her side through thick and thin. Peter Egan plays the role of Oscar Wilde, who falls deeply in love with Lillie but is unable to win her heart. Other notable actors in the show include Peggy Ann Wood as Lillie's mother, Anthony Head as Prince Louis of Battenberg, John Castle as Prince Leopold, Simon Fisher Turner as Bertie, and David Rintoul as Prince Rudolf of Austria. The show is expertly crafted, with dynamic writing, stunning performances, and gorgeous sets and costumes that transport the viewers back to 19th century Victorian era. The series features several prominent events of Lillie's life, including her debut performance in London's West End, her affair with Prince Louis of Battenberg, her friendship with Oscar Wilde, her marriage to Edward Langtry, and her tumultuous relationship with King Edward VII. The show manages to balance the glamour and decadence of high society with the harsh realities of the times, including the poverty faced by many in Victorian England, as well as the social and class barriers that existed during that time. The show depicts Lillie's life as a woman who is constantly defying expectations and overcoming obstacles, all while never losing sight of her love of the stage. Throughout the series, Lillie is depicted as a complex, nuanced character, who remains sympathetic to the viewers despite her flaws. Her ambition, wit, and intelligence is what sets her apart from the other women in high society, and it's what makes her such a compelling protagonist. With its stellar cast and excellent production values, Lillie is a show that manages to capture the essence of 19th century England, while also offering a fascinating glimpse into the life of one of the era's most fascinating women. It's an engaging, entertaining drama that is sure to captivate viewers with its blend of romance, drama, and historical intrigue. Overall, Lillie is a must-watch for fans of period dramas, as well as anyone who appreciates a good story with compelling characters and top-notch production values. It's a timeless masterpiece of television, and it continues to be hailed as one of the greatest dramas ever made.