ADELAIDE WILSON: PRETTY AND SASSY BROADWAY STAGE ACTRESS

This vintage (1920’s) photograph features actress Adelaide Wilson. She is holding an umbrella behind her, and she either has an elaborate hair treatment, or she is wearing a complicated hat. She appears very young in this photograph and her hand on her hip gives her an air of sassiness. The hand on the hip pose also was a way for Wilson to display her large ring. Adelaide Wilson is quite pretty and engaging. Both the Playbill and IMDB websites credit her with six appearances on Broadway between the years 1907 and 1924. Her first Broadway appearance was in “When Knights Were Bold” (1907) and her final role was in “Great Music” (1924). A portrait of Miss Wilson can be found at the Billy Rose Theater Collection at the New York Public Library. A copy of the library’s image can be seen below. Is the subject of the NYPL photograph the same person seen in the photograph above? I think so, but the library image shows the actress at an older age. The image seen above, measures approximately 8″ x 10″. The back of the photograph is stamped “Pantages Road Show”. I can not confirm that Miss Wilson was a member of the Pantages Road Show cast.

 

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Published in: on March 25, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (9)  
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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. My Grandfather, Ernest Truex, probably knew her…

    • Your grandfather, Ernest Truex (1889 –1973) had an interesting and successful acting career which spanned the stage, film, and television. D you have any particular reason for thinking that your granddad and Adelaide Wilson crossed paths?

  2. That is a feather fan, one that is mounted on a stick but will not open further. Her eyes seem much lighter in the later photo, the first photo must have been doctored. Lovely lady even with the curl on her forehead.

  3. I believe she is holding an ostrich feather fan rather than an umbrella. And yes that is her hairstyle. Nice image.

  4. Thanks for the wonderful photos you post. It’s fun to find out more about these lost photos. I found a few mentions of Adelaide in various New York variety papers from 1913 through 1922. There is a note saying she married Russell Adams on November 28, 1916. Evidently, she was associated with the Pantages group. In 1922, she was appearing in San Francisco with Pantages in a comedy called “The Untrained Nurse.” Reviews said, “Miss Wilson handled the comedy in clever style.”

    Here’s an article from The NY Telegram, March 14, 1920:
    ADELAIDE WILSON
    LEADING WOMAN/IN “A PRINCE THERE WAS” IN THE PART OF “MISS VINCENT.”
    In the up-to-the-minute comedy by George M. Cohan, “A Prince There Was,” which Cohan and Harris are bringing to the Lyceum theatre on Friday evening there appears the name of a very distinguished person. Miss Adelaide Wilson, daughter of Francis Wilson, the well known and greatly beloved, comedian. Miss Wilson plays the part of “Miss Vincent,” an excruciatingly funny person, who with many other poor unfortunates dwells within an absolutely true-to-life-up-town New York boarding house of the cheap middle class type. In this play about people as they ought to be, Mr. Cohan has again accomplished a wonderfully fine piece of dramatic writing, and in the part of Miss Vincent, which Miss Wilson portrays, has utilized his knowledge of the necessity for the high lights or comedy to be as absolutely clear and illuminating as they must be when created to add to the beauty of a well painted picture. Miss Wilson, capable daughter of her wonderful father, proves her title to any inheritance of great comedy abilities. She made her debut in “When Knights Were Bold,” and later played leading roles in such plays as “Bachelor’s Baby” and “Countess Julie” and last season toured the country in a vaudeville sketch entitled “A Matter of Duty,” which made a tremendous hit and drew Miss Wilson to the attention of Cohan and Harris as a decided requirement for the cast of “A Prince There Was.”

    • In addition, there was a photo with the above article. I’ve not figured out how to post it. It has a good resemblance to the older photo you posted.

      • If you would like to have it posted, please send a copy of the image to cabinetcardgallery@gmail.com Thanks

    • Thank you so much for the additional information concerning Adelaide Wilson. She certainly was an interesting character. Thanks again for your research.

      • One needn’t be too concerned over the different appearance of the eyes in the two photos. Plate emulsions in those days recorded blue light. (Ergo, a red object would look black in the print.) The top photo looks like warm studio lighting was used. The lower photo looks like skylight or other natural lighting, richer in blue, was dominant. Tricky, but things can look odd with varying light quality recorded in ‘ortho’ emulsions..


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