MARGARET HALSTON: BEAUTIFUL SHAKESPEARIAN ACTRESS AND FILM STAR

Margaret Halston, in her role as Desdemona in Othello, is the subject of this real photo postcard published by Percy Guttenberg of Manchester, England. The postcard is part of the “Revival Series” (no.122). Margaret Halston (1879-1967) was an English actress born in London, England as Clara Maud Hertz. A number of references mention that she was of Jewish descent. She was known for both theater, film, and television performances. Among her popular performances was in “Tell Your Children” (1922), “The Holly and the Ivy” 1952, and “Touch and Go” (1955). She began her acting career in amateur theatre and she made her professional stage debut at the Haymarket Theater in 1895. Her roles became larger over time until she became a leading actress appearing in plays such as  ‘Hamlet   ‘ (1896), “Antony and Cleopatra” (1897), and “The Taming of the Shrew” (1897). At the turn of the century she became part of Frank Benson’s theatre group and took numerous roles in Shakespearian theatre. It is reported that she acted in almost all of Shakespeare’s plays. She later worked in George Alexander and Herbert Beerbohm-Tree’s theater groups. She became involved in film in 1916 when she made her debut with “A Bunch of Violets”. Over the next few years she appeared in a small number of silent movies. She adapted well to sound films and appeared in a number of them. IMDB credits her with appearing in sixteen films between 1917 and 1956. The site also lists three television credits between 1938 and 1955. Miss Halstan was certainly an entertainment star. It is interesting to note that she twice played in the role of “Queen of Transylvania” in the theatrical production of “My Fair Lady” (1957-1958, 1961-1963). There are three portraits of her in the National Portrait Gallery.

ACTORS CHARLES GARRY AND DORA BARTON APPEARING IN “IVANHOE” (1909 REAL PHOTO POSTCARD)

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This wonderful vintage real photo postcard captures actor Mr. Charles Garry and actress Dora Barton (1880-1966) in a dramatic scene from the play “Ivanhoe”. Ivanhoe was a dramatization by William Palmer of Walter Scott’s novel.Dora Barton plays Rebecca while Charles Garry plays the role of Isaac of York. Both actors later had film careers. This photograph does an incredible job of capturing the performers emotions. The photographer of this image was well known for his talent and family ties. Alexander Percy Guttenberg (1870-?) came from a family that produced a number of photographers. His father, Marcus Guttenberg (1828-1891) began as a daguerreotypist in Hungary, Prussia, Poland and Germany before starting a photography business in England (1851). One source reports that he established 24 studios in England but settled in the Manchester area. Percy, like his father, was also very successful. In fact, there are fourteen of his photographs in England’s National Portrait Gallery. Percy was famous for his work photographing actors and actresses. The image above was photographed at his Queen’s Theater studio in Manchester as part of a “Revival Series”. The postcard has been mailed and is postmarked in Sunderland in the year 1909. Sunderland is in the northeast of England.

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