MOLLIE FULLER: STAGE ACTRESS AND VAUDEVILLE PERFORMER

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This cabinet card is a portrait of Mollie (Molly) Fuller (1868-1933), a Boston born stage and vaudeville performer. She appeared in two Broadway plays but is better known for her vaudeville career. She was the second wife of Frederick Hallen (1859-1920) and the couple were a popular team on the vaudeville stage for nearly twenty-five years. They were known for their short comedic plays. Mollie’s resume includes performances in “Adonis” and in “Evangeline”, both plays by  Edward Rice. He biggest hit was her starring role in “The Twentieth Century Girl” (1895). When producer Edward Albee learned Mollie was near blind an impoverished in Chicago, he arranged to bring her to New York. He commissioned a theater piece to be written for her to perform in. She returned to the stage to perform in the resulting playlet “Twilight”. Mollie was the sister of Loie Fuller (1862-1928). Loie was a pioneer of modern dance and theatrical lighting techniques. Among Loie’s skills was her talent as a “skirt dancer”. She died in Hollywood, California, at the age of 68 in 1933. At the time of her death she was receiving assistance from “Troupers”, a national vaudeville players association. This cabinet card was issued by “Newsboy” which was a tobacco company that used cabinet cards as premiums to encourage sales of their tobacco products. This image is number forty-one of a series.

JULIA MARLOWE: ESTEEMED AMERICAN STAGE ACTRESS

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Julia Marlowe (1865-1950) was born in England and as a young child moved to the United States with her family. In her early teens she began her theatrical career with a juvenile opera company. She began playing Shakespeare in her home town of Cincinnati, Ohio. She made her Broadway debut in 1895 and by the end of her career, had appeared in more than 70 Broadway productions. Her first husband was actor, Robert Tabor. Their marriage lasted six years. In 1904 she appeared in “When Knighthood was in Flower”. Great success in this play brought her financial independence. Earlier, in 1903, she appeared in ‘The Cavalier” and “Ingomar”. The New York Sun wrote about her performance in “Ingomar”; “There is not a woman player in America or in England that is – attractively considered- fit to unlace her shoe”. In 1904 she began a partnership with actor E. H. Sothern. They toured the United States performing various plays of Shakespeare. They were managed by Charles Frohman and later, the Shubert brothers. They were considered to be among the major Shakespearian actors of the day. In 1906, Marlowe played in “Jeanne d’Arc” and also as Salome in “John the Baptist”. Later, Sothern and Marlowe played in London but were not terrific box office successes there. In 1911 Marlowe and Sothern married each other. In 1920 and 1921, they made eleven phonograph recordings for the Victor Company. The top Cabinet Card was produced by Newsboy as a premium for their tobacco products. The photographer was Falk and the image is from 1892.

The second portrait of Julia Marlowe has a notation on the reverse of the card stating “Julia Marlowe Tabor”. Therefore, this photograph was likely taken during the time of her marriage to Tabor (1894-1900). The photographic studio that produced this portrait is  Klein & Guttenstein of 164 Wisconsin Street, in Milwaukee,  Wisconsin.  Klein and Guttenstein were leading photographers of their time. Wilson’s Photographic Magazine (1902) reveals that the two men  were very active in the Photographers Association of Wisconsin and other photography organizations. The photographers were considered part of a network of photographers skilled at producing publicity images of theatrical and vaudeville stars to be used in national magazines and other publications. The New York Public Library has a collection of portraits of actress Blanche Bates; produced by Klein & Guttenstein. The University of Pennsylvania Library has one of Klein & Guttenstein’s portraits of Julia Marlowe.

The third portrait of Julia Marlowe in the cabinet card gallery collection is photographed by Sarony, the famed celebrity photographer located in New York City.  This cabinet card is signed by the actress and dated 1890. Additonal photographs by Sarony can be viewed by clicking on the category “Photographers: Sarony”.

The fourth portrait of Miss Marlow features her in role in the production of “Countess Veleska”. The play was adapted for a German work, “The Tall Prussian”, by Rudolph Stratz. The play opened in New York in 1898 at the Knickerbocker Theatre. The review in the New York Times (1898) stated that the “drama was made wholly interesting by the personal charm and sincerity of Miss Marlowe”. In a sarcastic tone, the reviewer comments about Marlowe’s co star, Bassett Roe. The reviewer states that Roe has only two qualities of the man he was playing, “height and good looks”. The reviewer continues his scathing description of Roe; “The only time he actually warmed up was when he accidentally set his hair on fire. Even then he would have let it burn if Miss Marlowe had not gone to his rescue.” The photographic studio that produced the “Countess Veleska” cabinet card was Pach Brothers of New York City. Pach Brothers were photographers known for their photographs of celebrities of their era. To see additional photographs by the Pach Brothers, click on this site’s category of “Photographers: Pach Brothers”.

The fifth portrait of Julia Marlowe appears to be a photograph of the actress in costume for an unknown stage production. The image was photographed by Ye Rose Studio of Providence, Rhode Island. The reverse of the card indicated that the studio was opened in 1886. The studio was located in the Conrad building in downtown Providence. The building still exists. Other photographs by the Ye Rose Studio can be viewed by clicking on the category “Photographer: Ye Rose”.

Portrait number six is an excellent example of the beauty of Julia Marlowe. This image, from 1888, captures Ms. Marlowe at the young age of twenty-three. The photographer of this portrait was B. J. Falk, a celebrity photographer located in New York City, New York. To view other photographs by Falk, click on the category “Photographer: Falk”.

The seventh portrait is another example of a B. J. Falk image. The photograph features a costumed Julia Marlowe in the production of “Cymbeline“. Cymbeline is a play by William Shakespeare that was based on legends about the early Celtic British King,  Cunobelinus. The play deals with themes that include innocence and jealousy. Ms. Marlowe plays Imogen, the King’s daughter. Her expression in the photograph shows fear and concern as she looks at someone or something in the distance. Her left hand shades her eyes while her right hand clutches her belted dagger. A stamp on the reverse of  this cabinet card reveals that it was formerly owned by Culver Pictures of New York City, New York. Culver Pictures has been collecting photographs and illustrations from the 19th and first half of the 20th century, since 1926. These pictures are used in books, films, and other forms of media. At the time that this cabinet card was stamped by the company, Culver Pictures was located in New York City.

Portrait number eight is a close-up photograph of Miss Marlowe. The photographer of this cabinet card is the studio of Rose & Sands whose gallery was located in Providence, Rhode Island. Note that photograph number five also came from the Rose studio, but at that time, the gallery was called, the Ye Rose studio. The Wilson’s Photographic Magazine (1899) reports that Rose and Sands were the proprietors of Ye Rose. A humorous headline in a photography magazine stated “Providence Provides for All, And Rose Provides for Providence”.  Print on the reverse of this cabinet card reveals that the Rose & Sands studio was opened in 1886 and that it specialized in “High Class Portraits from Cabinet to Life Size”. Also of interest, like photograph number seven, there is a stamp on the reverse of the photograph with the name “Culver Pictures Inc”.

Photograph number nine features the beautiful Miss Marlowe displaying a mischievous smile. Note her engaging large eyes. She is wearing a somewhat revealing dress (for the cabinet card era) and has a wonderful hat atop her head. This cabinet card photograph was published in 1888 by Benjamin Falk of New York City.  The image is marked with the number sixty-nine.

Portrait number ten is a closeup of Julia Marlowe with her head covered, but with her pretty face very visible. She is likely in costume for this photograph. The photograph is taken by B. J. Falk of New York City and has a copyright date of 1888. The cabinet card is marked number “86”.

The eleventh photograph captures Miss Marlowe staring hypnotically at a flower. Someone, has written below her name that the image features her in the role of Parthenia in the production of “Ingomar”.  The New York Times (1904) reviews the play and Miss Marlowe’s performance on opening night at the Empire Theater in New York City. The newspaper reports that Frederick Halm’s play was “impossibly romantic and deliciously sentimental piece of old-fashioned theatrics. Tyrone Power played Ingomar and he was described as “vigourous and picturesque” but the article added that his voice was “not at its best”. The review pointed out that Marlowe’s appearance in this play was to be her last appearance as an independent star before joining E. H. Sothern’s Shakespearean repertory. In regard to Marlowe’s acting in this play, it was written that she played a “dear little prig – adorably dear” (prig can be defined as smug or arrogant) and she presented “a masterpiece of harmonious, modulated, and sustained acting”. The 1904 performance of Julia Marlowe in “Ingomar” marked a return performance for this accomplished actress. The New York Times (1888) wrote a very positive review of the opening night performance in Washington D.C.. The appreciative audience included three Supreme Court Justices and a number of members of the Chinese Embassy. This cabinet card was produced by the previously mentioned Ye Rose Studio of Providence, Rhode Island and it likely dates back to her 1888 performance in the role.

The twelfth cabinet card was produced by Benjamin Falk of New York City. He posed Miss Marlowe next to a spinning wheel. Her low cut dress makes this image a bit risque for the cabinet card era. If Falk or Miss Marlowe thought that looking up at the camera would create a “fetching appearance”, I would contend that their efforts failed. Rather than “fetching”, she appears dazed. The actress was a beautiful woman and provocativeness was not necessary to enhance her image. This photograph was produced in 1888 and was part of a series (#23).

Cabinet Card number thirteen is part of a series that includes Cabinet Card number ten. Both cards were photographed by B. J. Falk and have a copyright date of 1888. Both portraits are close-ups but this one is captures Marlowe looking at the camera while number ten offers a profile view. Falk really captured the actresses eyes. Her eyes are beautiful and they are haunting at the same time. This photograph is marked number number 83 of the series.

STAGE ACTRESS MATTIE VICKERS COYLY POSES IN NEW YORK CITY

MATTIEVICKERS_0001Stage actress Mattie Vickers poses for this cabinet card image at the Anderson studio in New York City. Anderson photographed many celebrities and more of his photographs can be seen by clicking on category “Photographer:  Anderson (New York)”. During the early 1900’s, Vickers was one of the the sweethearts of American musical comedy. Her father was a retired actor who ran a boarding  house. She made her theatrical debut in vaudeville in the mid 1870’s. In 1877 she married her manager, Charlie Rogers. He died in 1888 after which she toured the country playing starring roles in plays such as “Circus Queen” and  “Edelweiss”. A portrait of Mattie Vickers ran in The National Police Gazette (1886). The accompanying text described her as the “sprightly and vivacious young American soubrette” and “the cleverest rough-and-tumble soubrette on the American stage”. No need to visit a dictionary to discover the definition of the word “soubrette”.  A soubrette is simply someone who plays a minor female role in a comedy. The reverse of the cabinet card has been stamped by George D. Russell of  Tremont Street in Boston, Massachusetts. Research reveals that Mr. Russell was a well known music publisher in Boston. Perhaps he also was involved in the sale of theatrical cabinet cards.

DOLLY BABCOCK: BEAUTIFUL VAUDEVILLE PERFORMER

DOLLY BABCOCK_0002This photograph features a beautiful young woman in a theatrical costume. Written on the reverse of the image is the name “Dorilda (Dolly)”  This pretty woman is Dolly (Tetreault) Babcock. She and her husband performed on the Keith Orpheum Vaudeville Circuit playing all over the United States. They were active from the early 1920’s through the early 1930’s” and performed under the stage name of  “Babcock and Dolly”. She was known for her beauty and fanstastic costumes, many of which she made for herself. Arthur died in 1953 and Dolly lived until 1965.

Published in: on July 15, 2013 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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ISABELLE URQUHART: COMIC OPERA AND MUSICAL COMEDY STAR (PHOTOGRAPH BY NEWSBOY)

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This cabinet card features actress Isabelle Urquhart (1865-1907). She was an American stage actress and contralto who appeared in mostly comic operas and musical comedies. Urquhart was born in New York City and claimed to have been educated in a convent. She made her first stage appearance in 1881. She performed as a chorus girl at the Standard Theatre in New York City. She than appeared in a number of small roles. From 1882 through 1883 she joined Augustin Daly’s company and acted in productions including “The Passing Regiment” and “The Squire”. In the latter production she was only seventeen years of age but played a ninety-seven year old woman. She returned to light opera because of it’s better compensation although she stated she preferred legitimate drama to comic opera. She had much success in major roles in light operas including in the hit operetta  “Erminine” which ran from 1886 through 1888 at the Casino Theatre. She also had success in other productions by luminaries such as Gilbert and Sullivan. In her leading lady role in “Erminine”, she started a fashion trend by not wearing petticoats in order “to accentuate her gorgeous figure”. Urquhart later appeared in vaudeville. Blue Vaudeville (2004) states that in a sketch at the Union Square Theatre, she “did little more than display her form in a handsome gown to the utmost advantage”. Urquhart also performed in several Broadway plays including “The Diplomat” (1902), “Arms and the Man” (1906), and “How He Lied to Her Husband”. This cabinet card was published by Newsboy and was number one i a series of photographs that were distributed as a premium accompanying tobacco sales.

RADIANT ACTRESS: CISSY FITZ GERALD (ONE OF THE GAIETY GIRLS)

B. J. Falk, the celebrity photographer from New York City, produced this cabinet card portrait of Cissy Fitz Gerald (1873-1941). Fitz Gerald was an English American vaudeville and film actress, dancer, and singer. She appeared in both silent and sound films. Her first movie was made in 1896 by Thomas Edison. In 1914 she signed with the Vitagraph company. The IMDb lists a filmography of seventy films spanning from 1914-1932. Her movies included a film series entitled “Cissy”. Her nickname was “girl with the wink”. She is described by the website of the Victoria and Albert Museum (London, England) as one of the original “Gaiety Girls” of the 1890’s. These actresses tended to appear in the choruses of productions. The web based museum exhibit describes the “Gaiety Girls”  as “fashionable elegant young ladies and not at all like the corseted actresses from the burlesques”. The exhibit also declares that the “Gaiety Girls” were polite, beautifully dressed and well behaved young women, who were much sought after by the ‘stage door Johnnies’ of the 1890’s”. As apparent in the photograph; Ms Fitz Gerald was quite a beautiful woman and had a beautiful smile. She was, simply put, a radiant woman. This photograph was formerly owned by Culver Service, a company that commercially provided celebrity photos  to different modes of media. The photographs reverse has a stamp indicating ownership by the Culver company. To view other photographs by B. J. Falk, click on the category “Photographer: Falk”.

HANDSOME BEARDED OLDER MAN IN CORTLAND, NEW YORK

This cabinet card features a handsome older man. He was photographed by Louis Silverman of Cortland, New York. The gentleman has a well groomed beard and hairstyle. Louis Silverman was a native of Poland, and emigrated to England, and then, Cortland. He was married to Rachel (Gans) Silverman. He was of the Jewish faith. The photographer was known for other reasons besides his photography business. It appears that Mr. Silverman decided that there was more money to be made in banking than in photography. He became a banker; the owner of Fidelity Bank in New York City. Also of note is that Silverman’s son, Sime Silverman (1872-?), founded and published Variety Magazine in 1905. He borrowed the seed money from his father-in-law. Sime’s father did not approve of Vaudeville Reviews and refused to back his son’s venture.

Published in: on October 8, 2011 at 2:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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MABEL EATON: STAGE ACTRESS AT THE HAYMARKET THEATRE IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

This Cabinet Card is an image of stage actress Mabel Eaton. Eaton’s appearances on Broadway in New York City included the productions of “Diplomacy” (1892) and “Woman and Wine” (1900). She appeared in many stage productions in Chicago and New York City. She appeared in Shakespeare productions. She was married to prominent stage and film star, William Farnum (1876-1953). An 1893 edition of the New York Times reported that her hotel room (Ashland House) was robbed while she was appearing in “Diplomacy” at the Fifth Avenue Theater. Eaton also appeared in a short silent film (1914).  In 1916, Eaton died in Chicago, Illinois. The photographer of this Cabinet Card is celebrity photographer Morrison, located in the Haymarket Theatre. The Haymarket Theatre opened in 1887 as a legitimate playhouse with seating for an audience of 2,475. By 1896, it became a vaudeville house and between 1916 and 1932 the theatre was one of Chicago’s best known burlesque houses. Between 1932 and 1948, the Haymarket became a second-run movie theater and it was condemned in 1949.  William Morrison began his photography business in 1889 at the Haymarket. He was born in Detroit in 1857 and educated in Chicago’s public schools and at the Metropolitan Business College. The New York Times reported in 1892 that there was a fire at the Haymarket that badly damaged offices, saloons and stores in the building. The article states that Morrison’s business had the worst damage of all the businesses, while the theatre itself only suffered water damage. Morrison’s studio lost 37,000 negatives.  In 1899 he moved his business to the Champlain Building.

ETHEL JACKSON (1877-1957): AMERICAN STAGE ACTRESS

ethel-jacksonEthel Jackson (1877-1957) was an American stage actress and comic prima donna. She was the great granddaughter of the first Governor of Rhode Island. She was educated in Europe and began acting acting in London, England. She was brought to America by Charles Frohman to play the leading role in “Little Miss Nobody” in New York City. In 1914 she debuted in Vaudeville at the Orpheum in Brooklyn, New York. The photographer of this Cabinet Card is Gilbert & Bacon of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. To view other photographs by this studio, click on the category “Photographer: Gilbert & Bacon”.

Published in: on March 7, 2009 at 10:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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