ETHEL BARRYMORE: STAGE BEAUTY

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Ethel Barrymore (1879-1959) was an outstanding American actress and a member of the famous theatrical Barrymore family. She was born Ethel Mae Blythe in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her parents were actors and she was the sister of John and Lionel Barrymore.  She was the great aunt of modern day actress Drew Barrymore.

Ethel Barrymore was considered by many to be the greatest actress of her generation. She was a major Broadway performer and first appeared there in 1895. She had roles in A Dolls House by Ibsen (1905).  She was a strong supporter of the Actors’ Equity Association and played a major role in the 1919 strike. She played in Somerset Maugham’s comedy, The Constant Wife (1926). She also starred in motion pictures beginning her film career in 1914.  Notable films included None but the Lonely Heart (1944) and The Spiral Staircase (1946). Around 1900, Winston Churchill proposed marriage to Barrymore but she refused. She later married Russell Griswold Colt in 1909 and had three children. She died of cardiovascular disease in 1959 at her home in California. The Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York City is named in her honor.

The top cabinet card portrait of Ethel Barrymore was photographed by Phillips Photographers of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. To view other photographs by Phillips, click on the category “Photographer: Phillips”. The second cabinet card image of the actress was produced by Sarony, the famous celebrity photographer who’s studio was located in New York City. To see other Sarony photographs, click on the category “Photographer: Sarony”.

The third portrait of Miss Barrymore appears on a postcard published by the Rotograph Company who operated in  New York City and Germany. This postcard portrait was taken by famed Chicago photographer William Morrison. He is well known for his excellent portraits of theatrical stars. He produced both real photo postcards and cabinet cards. This postcard is number HB/1422 of the “Rotograph Series”. The image on this postcard is color tinted. This postcard has been mailed and postmarked (1907). The reverse of this postcard can be seen below.To view other photographs by Morrison, click on the category “Photographer: Morrison”.

The fourth portrait of Ethel Barrymore is an uncommon one. The image provides a lovely profile view of this legendary actress. If you search for this exact postcard online, you likely won’t find it. This postcard was published by E. Frey & Company who operated in  New York City . Research reveals that postcards displaying the printed name of  “E. Frey” were actually published by the Souvenir Post Card Company which existed between 1905 and 1914. It was located at 268 Canal Street in New York City. The company was purchased by Valentine & Sons and the combined company became Valentine – Souvenir. This postcard was printed in Germany and is in good condition (see scan).

The fifth photograph of Miss Barrymore was published by the Rotograph Company. This postcard portrait was taken by famed Chicago celebrity photographer William Morrison.This postcard is number B 662 of the “Rotograph Series”. The image has excellent clarity.

The sixth image is a vintage real photo postcard portrait of Ethel Barrymore. The postcard was published by Albert Hahn who was based in New York City (200 Broadway) and Hamburg. Hahn operated his company between 1901 and 1919. The postcard was produced in Germany sometime in the decade of 1900-1910. The postcard is part of a series (no. 5271),

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                                            REVERSE OF THIRD IMAGE (ROTOGRAPH POSTCARD)

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                                             REVERSE OF FIFTH IMAGE (ROTOGRAPH POSTCARD)

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                              REVERSE OF THE SIXTH IMAGE (POSTCARD BY ALBERT HAHN)

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MYSTERY ACTRESS AT THE HAYMARKET THEATRE IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (MYSTERY SOLVED)

A pretty and nicely dressed woman poses for her portrait from celebrity photographer, William McKenzie Morrison, at the Haymarket Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. The subject of this photograph looks very much like actress, Lily Hanbury (1874-1908). An inscription on the reverse of this image states
“to my darling brother Mike, from Lily”. The card is dated “Aug   8, 1894”. There were many actresses in 1894 named Lily; Lily Langtry was likely the most famous of them all. Research failed to provide evidence that this cabinet card photograph features Ms. Hanbury. It is not certain that she ever appeared at the Haymarket, nor is there data to confirm that she had a brother named Mike. To view a confirmed photograph of Lily Hanbury, type her name in Cabinet Card Gallery’s Search Box and click the search button. To view other photographs by Morrison, click on the category “Photographer: Morrison”. ADDENDUM: I am grateful to a cabinet card gallery visitor who left a comment (click comment below) identifying the actress who is the subject of this photograph. Her name is Hattie Williams (1870-1947) and another photo of her can be seen in the form of the photograph found below. Miss Williams was an American stage actress, comedienne, and singer. She was born in Boston. She began her career in the farcical plays of Charles Hoyt. She was a popular actress in vaudeville and with the Charles Frohman Theater Company. At one point in her career she was considered an arch rival to Ethel Barrymore. A photograph of Miss Barrymore is posted in the cabinet card gallery and can be viewed by putting her name in the search box. Williams appeared in one motion picture (1915).

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Isabel Irving: American Stage Actress

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Isabel Irving (1871-1944) was an American actress born in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Her stage career began in 1886. She performed in many performances of Shakespeare. She was also in more than 30 Broadway plays between 1894 and 1936.  These plays included “Merry Wives of Windsor” (1917) and “Uncle Vanya” (1930). The first cabinet photo was done at the studio of Napoleon Sarony in New York.  Sarony was a very famous photographer of his time and known for his photos of theatrical performers and other celebrities. The second photograph comes from the studio of William McKenzie Morrison who was located in the Haymarket Theatre building in Chicago, Illinois. The third cabinet card portrait features Miss Irving photographed by celebrated New York photographer Benjamin Falk. The fourth cabinet card was produced by Pach Brothers studio in New York City. To view a photograph of Isabel Irving’s sister, write “Evangeline Irving” in the search box and press search. To view other photographs by any of the four cited photographers, click on the category “Photographer: Falk, Photographer: Sarony, Photographer: Morrison, or Photographer: Pach Brothers.

PORTRAIT OF STAGE ACTRESS MARY HAMPTON (BY CELEBRITY PHOTOGRAPHER MORRISON IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS)

MARY HAMPTONThis cabinet card portrait features slumping actress Mary Hampton photographed by Chicago celebrity photographer William McKenzie Morrison. Miss Hampton was a pretty woman and apparently a very successful actress of her day as there are many references to her, as well as accolades about her,  in theatrical magazines and newspapers. A photograph of her appears in Broadway Magazine (1898). The New York Times (1899) printed a large illustrated portrait of Miss Hampton in her role as Gertrude Ellingson in the play “Shenandoah”. The book “American Women Theatre Critics: Biographies and Selected Writings of Twelve ….”  by Alma J. Bennett (2010) praises Hampton in her role as Rosamund. It is asserted that she played the part “true to the high standard of womanly power and gentleness”. The reviewer also compared her favorably to the great actress Helena Modjeska.  The New York Times (1931) printed an obituary when she died at age 63. To view other photographs by Morrison, click on the category “Photographer: Morrison”.

Published in: on August 1, 2013 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  

DELLA FOX: AMERICAN STAGE ACTRESS (IMAGES FROM 1893 and 1894)

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These cabinet cards feature American stage actress, Della Fox (1870-1913). In the top photograph, she is wearing a military costume  for a play that she was appearing in. The photograph is copyrighted in 1893. She began her acting career as a child and became a well known musical comedy actress. Her popularity peaked in the 1890’s when she appeared in several musical with De Wolf Hopper. She also toured with her own theatre company. Her life was plagued with personal problems including alcohol and drug abuse, and mental breakdowns requiring institutionalization. This cabinet card portrait was photographed by Morrison who is known for his portraits of theatre stars and other celebrities. Morrison operated out of the Haymarket Theatre builiding in Chicago, Illinois. Please click on the category “Photographer: Morrison” for more information about Morrison and to view other photographs by his studio.  The second photograph captures Della Fox in costume for the play “The Little Trooper”. The play was by William Furst (1852-1917) and appeared at the Empire Theatre in New York City. The photograph is the work of Napoleon Sarony, famed celebrity photographer of New York City. The reverse of the cabinet card indicates that the photograph was taken on December 25th, 1894. To view other photographs by Sarony, click on Cabinet Card Gallery’s category of “Photographer: Sarony”. The third photograph of Miss Fox was produced by Newsboy as a premium to be given away with their tobacco products. It is number 509 of a series. To view other Newsboy photographs, click on the category “Photographer: Newsboy”.

PRETTY THEATER ACTRESS ANNIE LEWIS (TWO PORTRAITS BY WILLIAM McKENZIE MORRISON)

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Celebrity photographer, William McKenzie Morrison of Chicago, Illinois, produced these photographic portraits of  actress Annie Lewis. Morrison’s studio was in the Haymarket  theater building. To view more photographs from the Morrison studio and to learn more about him, click on the category “Photographer: Morrison”. Annie Lewis was a popular enough actress to be mentioned in a number of articles appearing in the New York Times during the period in which she performed. The Times (1892) called her the “bright leading lady” of the Yon Yooson company. The newspaper (1892) also reported that she she performed to “standing room only” audiences in Boston’s Bowdoin Theater. In 1893, The New York Times wrote of trouble caused by Annie Lewis at New York’s 14th Street Theater that threatened that evening’s performance of  “The Nutmeg Match”. The management had wanted to add some “specialties” to the performance and Miss Lewis threatened to quit the cast if they made the proposed changes. It was reported that the theater management had looked for an actress to replace Annie Lewis but they were unsuccessful due the extremely short time a new actress would have to prepare for the part. In 1903 the Times wrote that Miss Lewis was appearing in New York’s Garrick Theater in the production of  “Mice and Men”. The article stated that Annie Lewis was “appealing” to theater audiences and was playing a “sympathetic” role.

STAGE ACTRESS NANETTE NIXON IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

chicago musician This cabinet card features stage actress Nanette Nixon. She is wearing a flower pattern dress with a lace collar. Nixon’s photograph appeared in The Sunday Telegraph (1898) and the text describes her as “soulful and able as an actress”. The brief article reports that theatre goers in New York were looking forward to her upcoming appearances there. Interestingly, the photograph in the Telegraph was taken by the same photographer who produced the photograph appearing on this cabinet card. The photographer of this image is William Mckenzie Morrison whose studio was located in the Haymarket  Theatre building in Chicago, Illinois. Morrison was a well known and successful  celebrity photographer. The reverse of the photograph is illustrated with medals from the Columbian Exposition in Chicago (1893), Photographers Association of America (1894), The Cotton States and International Exposition (1895), and various other competitions. To view other photographs by Morrison, click on the category “Photographer: Morrison”.

PORTRAIT OF ENGLISH THEATER ACTOR MR KENDAL PLAYING THE ROLE OF PRINCE GENERAL KARATOFF IN “THE SILVER SHELL”

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William McKenzie Morrison produced this cabinet card portrait of actor William Hunter Kendal (1843-1917). Morrison’s studio was housed in the Haymarket Theatre building in Chicago, Illinois. Morrison was known for being a photographer who specialized in taking photographs of celebrities. To view other portraits by Morrison, click on the category of “Photographer: Morrison”. Kendal’s given name was William Hunter Grimston and he was an English actor and manager. He was born in London and had his theatrical debut in Glasgow at age eighteen. Four years later he appeared in London at the Haymarket Theatre.  In 1869 he married Madge Robertson (1848-1935) and they performed together for many years. Kendal was a co-partner in managing the St. James Theatre from 1879 through 1888.  Between 1889 and 1895, Kendal and his wife toured successfully in the United States and Canada. Their American debut was in “A Scrap of Paper” (1889). The couple retired from acting  in 1908.

Published in: on February 28, 2013 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  
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LULU GLASER: ROCKET ASCENT FROM UNDERSTUDY TO STAGE STAR

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These cabinet cards features Lulu Glaser (1874-1958), a Pennsylvania born actress and singer. She came to Broadway with no previous professional experience when she was hired to play in the chorus of  “The Lion Tamer (1891)”. She was also given the role of understudy to the Prima Donna. After the star fell ill, Lulu Glaser took over the role and began a meteoric rise to stardom.  For the next twenty plus years, Glaser played many roles in such productions as “The Merry Monarch” (1892), “Erminie” (1893), “The Little Corporal” (1898), and “Miss Dolly Dollars” (1895). She achieved her greatest success in “Dolly Varden” (1902). Lulu Glaser was a beautiful woman and this portrait confirms that assessment.

In the top photograph she is holding a fan and her expression could be described as coy.  She is adorned with a great deal of  jewelry including multiple rings, a hair pin and a pin on the midsection of her dress. The photographer of this image, as well as the next four images,  is Morrison, of Chicago, Illinois. The photographs have a copyright date of 1894. Morrison was a well known celebrity photographer and his studio was housed in the Haymarket Theatre. To view other photographs by Morrison, click on this site’s category “Photographer: Morrison”.

The sixth photograph of Glaser is by celebrity photographer, Falk, of New York City, New York. This photograph is copyrighted 1893. The seventh photograph, also by Falk, captures Glaser in costume for an unknown titled play. She is holding a whip and not looking particularly friendly. The image looks like it would be appropriate accompanying an ad on one of the controversial sections of Craig’s List. The photograph is dated 1892. To see other photographs by Falk, click on the category “Photographer: Falk”.

Photograph number eight captures Lu Lu Glaser in the same costume she is wearing in photograph number five. The eighth photo was published by Newsboy as a premium used to accompany the sale of their tobacco products. The image is number 118 of a series of celebrity photographs. To view other Newsboy photographs, click on the cabinet card gallery category “Photographer: Newsboy”.

PORTRAIT OF BEAUTIFUL ACTRESS EVANGELINE IRVING (BY CELEBRITY PHOTOGRAPHER WILLIAM McKENZIE MORRISON OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS)

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The previous owner of this photograph, reported the subject to be theatrical actress Evangeline Irving. Visual comparison to other portraits of Evangeline Irving support this identification. Evangeline Irving was an theater actress and the sister of a more successful theater actress named Isabel Irving.  See Isabel’s portrait by searching for it in the Cabinet Card Gallery. This photograph was produced by William McKenzie Morrison, the Chicago, Illinois, based celebrity photographer. View other Morrison photographs by clicking on category “Photographer: Morrison”.  The New York Times (1895) reported that Evangeline substituted for Isabel in a matinee performance of “The Case of Rebellious Susan”. Isabel was suffering from hoarseness. A number of  New York Times (1895, 1896) articles describes a banking fiasco that Evangeline Irving was able to resolve. Her mother had gone to the Lincoln Safe Deposit Company to get twenty thousand dollars worth of bonds out of her box. When she could not find the bonds in the box, she ran out of the vault screaming that she had been robbed. She went home  ill, and took to bed. She complained around town and soon her Senator contacted the bank demanding she be compensated with a check replacing her loss. The situation caused many people to run to their banks to see if their safety deposit box holdings had disappeared. Mrs. Irving caused a mini run on the city banks.  It took awhile for Mrs. Irving’s daughters to get involved because both of the women were performing out west. Isabel was playing roles with the Lyceum Company and Evangeline was part of  Stuart Robson’s Company. Soon, Evangeline came to the bank and after opening the safe deposit box found the bonds tied up in a bundle in the box. An apology was issued to the bank and made public.