19th century American actress Charlotte Cushman wasn't just one of the greatest dramatists on stage of her day, her many lesbian relationships were full of a lot of private drama as well.
Danish impressionist writer Herman Bang was the public face of homosexuality late 19th century Copenhagen. Despite his notoriety, he was an influential literary figure in Denmark in his lifetime.
Married to lesbian Erika Mann and negatively portrayed by her gay brother Klaus Mann in his book Mephisto, gay German actor Gustaf Gründgens' greatest role was Mephistopheles, ironically.
The first explicit lesbian character in opera, the tragic roll of the Countess Geschwitz, based on the character from Frank Wedekind's plays, was created originally by mezzo Maria Bernhard in 1937 and in film by Alice Roberts.