THEATER ACTOR H. J. MONTAGUE AND HIS CHECKERED TIE AND JACKET

MONTAGUE_0003One wouldn’t think that a man could wear a checkered tie with a checkered jacket and still look dashing, but theater actor H. J. Montague is able to accomplish this feat. The photographer of this cabinet card portrait is theater specialist, Jose Mora. To view more of his celebrity photographs, click on category “Photographer: Mora”. The reverse of this image has an address and a return address as if it had been mailed. However, there is no stamp or postmark. The photograph is addressed to a “Jane Mure” in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The script is written in very ornate calligraphy. Surprisingly, both the return and sending addresses have Philadelphia zip codes. Since zip codes are from the twentieth century (1963), it appears that someone may have added the ornate script to give the card more character but wasn’t aware, or not thinking about, the relative recent introduction of the zip code system. Henry James Montague (1844-1878) was the stage name of Henry James Mann. He was an American actor born in England. He appeared in T W Robertson’s comedies in London and in 1870 was a founder of London’s Vaudeville Theater. He came to the United States in 1874 and made quite a splash. He became a matinee idol. George Odell wrote that Montague was “a perfect specimen of refined English Manhood”. He was said to have “made other leading men seem boorish, ill dressed and possibly a bit vulgar”. Montague died quite young, about 34 years old. According to the New York Times (1878) while playing a role in a San Francisco production, he fell extremely ill from a “hemorrhage of the lungs”. He required medical attention from some theater goers and was taken to a hotel to recuperate. He rallied only briefly. During a visit from friends he became acutely ill and his last words as he was dying were reported to be,  “It’s no use, I am going boys; God bless you”. The New York Times covered his funeral. Attendees of his funeral include the “A” list of that era’s theater world. Mourners included Lester Wallack, Kate Claxton, Rose Coghlan, and Maud Granger. The afore mentioned three actresses all have portraits that can be viewed in the Cabinet Card Gallery by utilizing the search box.

EMMA LORAINE: STAGE ACTRESS POSES ON BROADWAY IN NEW YORK CITY

Emma Loraine appears to have been a minor stage star. The New York Times (1879) reported that Wallack’s Theatre production of “Our Girls” included Ms. Loraine in the cast. Also in the cast was Maurice Barrymore. The New York Times (1881) has a story about the Wallach company going on tour because their new theatre was under construction. The company was planning to perform “She Stoops to Conquer” and “The School for Scandal” while on tour. Performing as part of the touring company was Osmond Tearle, Rose Coghlan, and Emma Lorraine. The cabinet card gallery has images of both Tearle and Coghlan that can be viewed by typing each of their names in the search box. Their names must be searched separately. Both cabinet card portraits of Loraine were photographed by celebrity photographer, D. H. Anderson of New York City. To view other images by Anderson, click on the category “Photographer: Anderson (New York)”. An article in the Photographic Times and American Photographer (1883) describes Anderson’s studio at 785 Broadway in New York City. The location was formerly the studio operated by famed photographer, Mathew Brady. Anderson is considered a pioneer in early photography. He made his first pictures (daguerreotypes) in Paducah, Kentucky in 1855. He later worked in Cincinnati (Ohio), Dayton (Ohio), New Orleans (Louisiana), Louisville (Kentucky), and various other cities. He finally settled for awhile in Richmond, Virginia in 1865. In 1881, he sold his studio and moved to New York City. The previously cited article described a “composition group” portrait that Anderson was working on during the magazine writers visit to his studio. The photograph was described as measuring eleven feet by fourteen feet and picturing the 7th Regiment posing in their new armory. The image included over a thousand soldiers.

SOPHIE EYRE: STAGE ACTRESS SUFFERS AN UNFORTUNATE DEBUT

Sophie Eyre (1853?-1892) was a moderately successful stage actress. She was successful enough for the New York Times to publish a detailed obituary upon her death from heart disease while traveling in Naples, Italy. Eyre was born in Tipperary, Ireland. She married an English Army officer and went on the stage after his death. In 1884 she took the place of Rose Coghlan in the company at Wallach’s Theatre. In 1885 she appeared in New York in a  “feeble and speedily forgotten” piece called “In His Power”. The debut was unfortunate “for the part was bad and the play was worse”. The debut was further spoiled by the “extraordinary stupidity of her maid” who followed her mistress on the stage bearing the train of her gown wrapped in a sheet”. Other New York appearances included “Valerie”, “Diplomacy” (by David Belasco), “She Loved Him”, “Home”, “Central Park: or the House with Two Doors”, and “The Palace of Truth”.  During her stay in the United States, she was the subject of much gossip in the newspapers. This cabinet card was produced by Falk, a well-know celebrity  photographer in New York City. Additional Cabinet Card Gallery photographs by Falk can be seen by clicking on the category “Photographer: Falk”.

Published in: on May 31, 2010 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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