Ina Claire was an American stage and film actress.
Born Ina Fagan in Washington, D.C., Claire began her career appearing in vaudeville. She performed on Broadway in the musicals Jumping Jupiter and The Quaker Girl and Lady Luxury, and starred on Broadway in plays by some of the leading comic dramatists of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, including the roles of Jerry Lamarr in Avery Hopwood’s The Gold Diggers, Mrs. Cheyney in Frederick Lonsdale’s The Last of Mrs. Cheyney, Lady George Grayston in W. Somerset Maugham’s Our Betters, and Enid Fuller in George Kelly’s The Fatal Weakness.
Her last stage appearance was as Lady Elizabeth Mulhammer in T. S. Eliot’s The Confidential Clerk. She was particularly identified with the high comedies of S. N. Behrman, and created the female leads in three of his plays: Biography, End of Summer, and The Talley Method. of her, Behrman wrote, “Her readings were translucent, her stage presence encompassing. The flick of an intonation deflated pomposity. She never missed a nuance.” Critic J. Brooks Atkinson praised Claire for her “refulgent comic intelligence.”