English. Her real name was Lilian Alicia Marks. Studied with Seraphine Astafieva, Nicholas Legat, Enrico Cecchetti, Vincenzo Celli. Joined the Ballets Russes 1925, left in 1929. Joined Carmargo Society 1930, left 1931. Joined Vic-Wells Ballet, (which became Sadler's Wells Ballet, and is now the Royal Ballet), 1931, became its first prima ballerina. Left in 1935. Co-founded the Markova-Dolin Company and was employed by it from 1935-1938. Was a ballerina with the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo from 1938-1941 when she joined the Ballet Theatre, (now American Ballet Theatre), where she was employed from 1941-1944 and from 1945-1946. In 1945 she re-formed the Markova-Dolin Company, and did so again in 1949. Eventually the Markova-Dolin became the London Festival Ballet.
Appeared as a guest artist until her retirement in 1962. Directed New York Metropolitan Opera Ballet, 1963-1969, and was a professor at the University of Cincinatti Conservatory of Music from 1971-1973.
Created many roles, including leading roles in Giselle, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and La Sylphide. Author of Giselle and I. Created DBE, (the title "Dame"), in 1963.