Remembered for her acclaimed work in theatrical productions of Shakespeare's Othello, Romeo & Juliet, Richard III, and Hamlet; Ibsen's A Doll's House; and Schiller's Maria Stuart, this late nineteenth-century stage actress performed for many years at the Polish National Theatre and later appeared at San Francisco's California Theatre.
Early in her career, she performed the role of Skierka in a play titled Balladyna.
Her memoir Memories and Impressions of Helena Modjeska was published in the year after her death.
Her marriages to Gustav Modrzejewski and Count Karol Bozenta Chlapowski both ended in divorce. Her first marriage produced a son, Rudolf (Ralph) Modrzejewski, who became a prominent civil engineer.
Novelist Susan Sontag's acclaimed 1999 work In America is loosely based on Modjeska's life.