Maude Adams.Maude Adams is descended from a long line of theatrical people. She was born at Salt Lake City, Utah, November 11, 1872. Her mother was the leading woman of a stock company in that city, and at a very early age Miss Adams appeared on the stage in child’s parts. Her school days were scarcely over when she joined the E. H. Sothern Company. She afterward became a member of Charles Frohman’s stock company, and still later was leading lady for John Drew. Her most pronounced success was as Babbie, in The Little Minister and another as the title rôle of l’Aiglon. She also received much publicity as the model for the silver statue which was exhibited at the World’s Fair, Chicago. Miss Maude Adams has established herself permanently in the good-will of American play-goers.
Viola Allen.Viola Allen was born in the south, but went to Boston when three years of age. She was educated in that city and at the Bishop Strachan school, Toronto, Canada. Her début was made at the Madison Square theater, New York, in Esmeralda, in 1882. During the season of 1883 and 1884 she was leading lady for John McCullough, and afterward played classical and Shakespearian rôles. She was a member of the Empire theater stock company in 1892, but her principal success was in creating the character of Gloria Quayle, in The Christian, which had a long run in New York in 1898, succeeded by a tour through the principal cities of the country. Miss Allen’s private charities are many, and she is identified with those phases of church work which have to do with the bettering of the conditions of the poor.
Ethel Barrymore.Ethel Barrymore, one of the youngest stars in the theatrical profession, was born in Philadelphia in 1880. She comes of a professional family, and when, while yet a child, gave to those who were responsible for her first appearance behind the footlights assurance of innate talent. Miss Barrymore was by no means unknown to Metropolitan play-goers prior to the time when, under Mr. Charles Frohman’s management, she made her stellar début a few years since. The young actress is a finished comedienne and is a member of that modern school of comedy that cultivates repressed effort.
Mrs. Leslie Carter.David Belasco, playwright and manager, has been uniformly successful with his plays and his stars. A case in point is that of Mrs. Leslie Carter, who has been connected in a professional capacity with Mr. Belasco for some years. Stepping from social circles in Chicago to the stage, she was in the first instance a somewhat indifferent specimen of the crude amateur actress, but Mr. Belasco detected in her undeveloped talent, and the rest is professional history. Under his guidance as tutor and manager she holds a prominent place in the theatrical world. Her first success was made in the Heart of Maryland and her last and most notable in Du Barry.
Eleanora Duse.Eleanora Duse, the Italian tragedienne, who is Signora Cecci in private life, was born, in 1861, in Vigovano, Italy. At an early age she gave indications of those histrionic talents which subsequently made her famous. For many years she was one of the most notable figures on the stage of her country. She made her American début in 1893 at the Fifth Avenue theater, New York. While there is no gainsaying the sincerity and finish of her art, yet at the same time there are not a few critics who take exception to it on the score of the sombre plays and methods of the actress. Since her début she has visited the United States on more than one occasion, and in each instance her following in this country have accorded her the welcome which is due to her as an artiste and a woman.
May Irwin.“Blessed are the laughmakers,” is one of the later beatitudes, and on that score May Irwin will certainly receive her share of blessings. She was born at Whitby, Ontario, Canada, in 1862, and made her début at the Adelphi theater, Buffalo, in February, 1876. Later, with her sister Flora, she became a member of Tony Pastor’s company, and shortly afterward joined Augustin Daly’s company. She ranks as one of the wholesome mirth-making actresses of the American stage. The plays in which she has starred include The Widow Jones, The Swell Miss Fitzgerald, Courted Into Court, Kate Kip, Buyer, and other farcical comedies. In 1878 she was married to Frederick W. Keller, of St. Louis, who died in 1886.
Virginia Harned.Virginia Harned was born at Boston, and, at the age of sixteen, made her début as Lady Despar, in The Corsican Brothers. She first played in New York city in 1890 at the Fourteenth street theater in a play entitled “A Long Lane or Green Meadow.” In this play she made so good an impression that she was engaged by Daniel Frohman as leading woman for E. A. Sothern. In 1896 she was married to Mr. Sothern and has since appeared in leading parts in his company. Probably her greatest success was in the creation of the title rôle of Trilby.
Mrs. Lillie Langtry.Mrs. Lillie Langtry, if she has done nothing else, has proven that a woman can command admiration even when she is no longer in the first flush of her youth or in the full bloom of her womanhood. This statement is made in view of the public regard which she still enjoys as an actress, in spite of the fact that she first saw the light in 1852, in Jersey, Great Britain. Her father was connected with the Established church of England. She married an officer in the English army and subsequently settled in London. Domestic differences ensuing, she went upon the stage. Her American début, as an actress, was made in 1893 at the Fifth avenue theater, New York. Since then she has visited this country on two or three occasions. Mrs. Langtry is popularly known as the Jersey Lily. She was married for the second time in 1899.
Julia Marlowe.That tender and graceful exponent of some of Shakespeare’s women, Julia Marlowe, was born at Coldbeck, Cumberlandshire, England, August 17, 1870. She came with her parents to this country when she was five years of age. After a period spent in Kansas, the family removed to Cincinnati, where she attended public school until she was twelve years of age. She then became a member of a juvenile opera company which produced Pinafore, Chimes of Normandy, etc. After several years of arduous work and study, she appeared in New York, but was a failure. Not discouraged, however, she went to work to study again, and in the spring of 1897 attained that recognition from a metropolitan audience for which she had striven so faithfully. Since that time she has advanced in her profession and has secured a prominent place among the leading actresses of to-day.
Compiled from sources in the public domain.
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It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent. W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) Of Human Bondage, 1915