MISS GRACE CHALMERS – HER TALENT PROVES THAT GREAT “ACTRESSES ARE BORN AND NOT MADE”

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mess chalmers 1 This vintage real photo postcard features stage actress Grace Chalmers. Her portrait can be found at Britain’s National Portrait Gallery. Research reveals that Miss Chalmers received acclaim for her role as “Glory Quayle” in “The Christian”. A photo of Grace Chalmers, with a brief caption, appears in the “Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News (1908). She is reviewed in the magazine, “Navy and Army Illustrated” (1905). The reviewer must have been impressed with her acting. He points out that Miss Chalmers has “wonderful histrionic abilities” despite her lack of theatrical training and theatrical genes. According to the writer, Chalmers talent roves that “actresses are born and not made”. This vintage postcard was published by J. Beagles of London, England. It is part of a series (no. 289D). Miss Chalmers portrait was photographed by Denton & Co.. This postcard is in excellent condition (see scans).

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AMERICAN STAGE ACTRESS – NELL CARTER (MOTHER OF MICKEY ROONEY)

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nell carter 1 This vintage real photo postcard features pretty American stage actress, Nell Carter (1894-1965). She shares the name of another American actress who arrived on the entertainment scene later than this Nell Carter. The second Nell Carter (1948-2003) was an American singer and actress. She is best known for her role in the television sitcom “Gimme a Break”. The Nell Carter pictured on this postcard hailed from Kansas City, Missouri. When she married and had a child, all three family members were involved in acting.  Her husband was actor Joe Yule (1892-1950) and her son was the celebrated actor, Mickey Rooney. Joe Yule was a Scottish-American burlesque and vaudeville comedian who transitioned into film career as a character actor. Yule and Carter married in 1919. Nell Carter, like her husband,  was a vaudevillian. She has also been described as a chorus girl and burlesque performer. The pair had a child in 1920 (Mickey Rooney) . In 1924, Yule and Carter separated and in 1925, she and her son moved to Hollywood. She appeared in one Broadway production, “When Crummies Played” (1928). This postcard was published by Rotary Photo as part of “The Rotary Photographic Series (no. 4037 L). The photographer was the Foulsham & Banfield Studio. Foulsham & Banfield were well known celebrity photographers. Frank Foulsham and A. C. Banfield operated a studio from the 1900’s through the 1920’s. The message on the reverse of this postcard indicates that the sender (Mabel) settled in buying this photo postcard to send to her friend. She writes that she wishes that she could have sent her a portrait postcard of English stage and film actress, Sybil Arundale. This vintage portrait postcard is in very good condition (see scans).  (SOLD)

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MISS PHILLIDA TERSON – THE PAST AND THE FUTURE MISS PHYLLIS NEILSON- TERRY

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phillida 4This vintage real photo postcard features Miss Phillida Terson (1892-1977). She is better known as Phyllis Neilson-Terry. Phyllis was a member of the third generation of a well know English theatrical family (the Terry family). In her early career years, she was a successful classics actress. She played leading roles in several Shakespeare productions. She then spent four years in the United States appearing in lighter theater. She returned to England in 1919 where she showed a great deal of versatility by appearing in Cabaret, Pantomime, and Variety roles. She still found time to appear in Shakespeare and other classic theater. During her career, she also appeared on Broadway. The IDBD states that she appeared in three Broadway shows between 1915 and 1957. Her last appearance on the Broadway stage was in “Separate Tables” for which she was nominated for an Emmy. Phyllis also appeared in films. The IMDb reports that she had 15 credits between 1915 and 1960. Phyllis was born in London. Her mother was famed actress Julia Neilson and her father was celebrated actor, Fred Terry. She had one brother; and he became an actor. Part of her education was in Paris and later she was enrolled at the Royal Academy of Music, in London. She was training to become a singer. Her stage debut was in 1909 as part of her parent’s touring stage company. In that production she used the name Phillida Terson in order to hide her connection to the Terry family. The ploy failed and in about a year, she returned to her real name. She received enthusiastic reviews in her early career. Her later career did draw some criticism. It was thought that she took less challenging roles upon her return from the US to England. Phyllis was married twice, and both husbands were actors. This should be no surprise considering her parents were major theater stars, and her brother, niece, aunt (Ellen Terry), and cousin (John Gielgud) were all stage actors. This vintage postcard was published by Rotary Photo as part of the Rotary Photographic  series (no.11716). Given the name on the postcard is “Phillida Terson”, this postcard was published 1909 or 1910. An inscription on the reverse of the postcard dates the card to 1910. The inscription also has the name “His Majesty’s Theatre”. There are theaters by than name in Aberdeen, Scotland (opened 1906) and Perth, Australia (opened circa 1904). This vintage postcard portrait is in very good condition (see scans).

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ESTELLE DUDLEY: CHILD ACTRESS (STARRED IN “ALICE IN WONDERLAND”)

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dudley 1 This vintage real photo postcard features child actress Miss Estelle Dudley. A search for information about Miss Dudley yielded little biographical data. She appears to be most famous for her role as Alice in the play, “Alice in Wonderland”. Britain’s National Portrait Gallery has 13 photographs of the young actress. All of the images were photographed in 1917 and are from the production of  “Alice in Wonderland”. The photograph of Miss Dudley seen on this postcard was taken by well known female celebrity photographer Rita Martin. She was considered one of the best British photographers of her time. She opened her studio in 1906. Martin’s sister, Lallie Charles was an esteemed society photographer.   (SOLD)

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MISS MURIEL BEAUMONT – BEAUTIFUL ENGLISH STAGE ACTRESS

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Muriel Beaumont (Lady du Maurier (1876-1957) is the featured subject of this vintage real photo postcard. She was an English stage actress and was married to actor Sir Gerald du Maurier. He was the first person to play “Captain Hook”. Two of their daughters became accomplished writers. Her stage career ended in 1910. Beaumont was born in Sutton, England. Her father was a solicitor and when Beaumont decided to pursue an acting career, her father disapproved. In 1898 she made her stage debut at the Haymarket Theatre. In 1902 she appeared in “The Admirable Crichton” and met, for the second time, fellow cast member Gerald du Maurier. Within five short months, they were married (1903). Interestingly, they never appeared on stage together again. In 1905 she appeared in “The Merchant of Venice” with Violet Vanbrugh. This photo postcard was published by Rotary Photo and is part of the “Rotary Photographic Series” (no.1763 A).The photographer of Miss Beaumont’s portrait is Reinhold Thiele and he is known for his photographical talent. Thiele (1856-1921) also used the name “Karl Anton”. Seven of his photo portraits can be found in Great Britain’s National Portrait Gallery. He was born in Germany and learned about photography there. He came to London in 1878 and after a stint with photographer, William Henry Prestwich, he was hired by the London Stereoscopic Company (1880). In 1894, he established a studio known as Simmons & Thiele. Initially, Thiele specialized in photographing football teams. He is considered to be one of the early press photographers. Later, he operated a studio in London. He photographed many theatre stars. This vintage postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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PORTRAIT OF “WILD NELL” (CAROLINE MAY BLANEY) IN BUFFALO BILL STYLE WILD WEST SHOW

blaney This vintage real photo postcard features actress Caroline May Blaney. Biographical information about Miss Blaney is elusive. However, some information was uncovered. Miss Blaney acted in Western shows. At the time,  “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show” was quite popular. The show toured the US, Canada, and Europe. The success of this show spawned a number of other wild west shows. Miss Blaney performed in such shows. She is known for her performances with Young Buffalo, an American actor and entertainer. A photograph of the pair can be seen below. A review in the Brighton and Hove Society (1911) describes one of these performance. The show took place in the United Kingdom, at the Alhambra Theatre. The review mentions Caroline May Blaney. She received billing just below Young Buffalo. The show was called “King of the Wild West”. The reviewer wrote that Blaney deserved praise for her rendition of “My Pony Boy”. The writer adds that she received “hearty applause”. A sad and  interesting aside reported in the article is that in order to bring the Native Americans actors to England, a five thousand dollar bond had to be deposited with the United States to “procure” the right to take them on the foreign tour. The Native Americans were from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The portrait of Miss Blaney appearing on this postcard shows her in costume as “Wild Nell” in the “King of the Wild West Show”. “The New York Dramatic Mirror” (1910) published an article which included news about Miss Blaney. It reported that she was managed by her brother, Charles E. Blaney (1866-1944). He was a well known theatrical producer, director, and writer. The article tell the story of Blaney’s learning that her mother was in a serious car accident. She received the telegram in between the second and third acts of a play in which she was a performing. The show must go on, so Blaney wore street clothes during the third act enabling her to immediately dash to the local train station (Buffalo, New York) to catch a train to her mother’s home (Columbus, Ohio). The portrait was photographed by Foulsham & Banfield.  Foulsham & Banfield were well known celebrity photographers. Frank Foulsham and A. C. Banfield operated a studio in the 1900’s through the 1920’s.This vintage postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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MARY PHILBIN – BEAUTIFUL AMERICAN FILM ACTRESS

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mary philbin 1 This vintage real photo postcard portrait features American actress Mary Philbin (1902-1993). She was active in film between 1918 and 1930. One of her most noted film roles was in “The Phantom of the Opera” (1925). She co-starred with Lon Chaney. A number of her roles involved playing the “beauty” in “Beauty and the Beast” type stories . Mary was born in Chicago, Illinois. Her parents were middle-class and of Irish descent. Her mother was convivial but controlling and domineering. She pushed her strong religious beliefs onto Mary. She adored her father who was “quiet, shy, and reserved”. She was very similar, personality-wise, to her dad. She would accompany him to the theater and there she developed a passion for the stage. She pursued dance and played the pipe organ and piano. She lacked a singing  voice, and surprisingly, never received training in acting. Mary’s acting career was launched after she won a beauty contest sponsored by Universal Pictures. The motion picture company promptly signed her to a contract. Her screen debut was in 1921 and during the following year she was named a WAMPAS Baby Star. This prestigious annual award, given by an association of film advertisers, was awarded to thirteen young women each year. These women were predicted to be on the verge of becoming major movie stars. During the 1920’s, Mary’s film career blossomed and she starred in a number of successful films, including “Drums of Love (1920), directed by D. W. Griffith. When “talkies” arrived, she played in a few films and even dubbed her own voice for the sound version of “Phantom of the Opera”. Unfortunately, her voice was considered too “girlish” to be suitable for talking pictures. She retired from the screen in the early 1930’s in order to become a caretaker for her elderly parents. She lived the rest of her life as a recluse. She never married and seldom made public appearances. An exception occurred when she attended the Los Angeles opening of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical version of “Phantom of the Opera”. She died of pneumonia at the age of ninety and is buried in Los Angeles, California. The IMDb reports that Mary appeared in 34 film between 1921 and 1929. She never married.  In 1926 she became engaged to Universal producer, Paul Kohner. When her family learned of the engagement, they were infuriated. They demanded a meeting with Kohner and all went reasonably well until the subject of religion arose. Kohner was Jewish and Mary’s family was Catholic. Mary’s mother was adamant in her belief that Kohner would attempt to convert Mary to Judaism. Paul and Mary informed her parents that no such thing  would happen. An argument developed between Paul and Mary’s parents. She was told by her parents that she would be disowned if she proceeded with her wedding plans. Mary was ambivalent but, in the end, despite still loving Paul, she returned her engagement ring to him. A biographer contends that this traumatic experience is the reason Mary never married.   The youtube video seen below offers a terrific tribute to Mary Philbin. The video was created by Diana Calado (2014). This vintage postcard was published by Ross Verlag, of Berlin, Germany. It is part of a series (no. 968/1). The name of the film distribution company (Filmhaus Bruckmann) can be seen on the bottom right corner of the image. A stamp on the reverse of the postcard indicates that it once was part of a collection belonging to Herman Overeem, of Utrecht, the Netherlands. This vintage postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

 

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PORTRAIT OF ACTRESS GERDA MAURUS AND HER AIREDALE

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cuban milkman 5 The lovely actress seen in this vintage real photo postcard is named Gerda Maurus (1903-1968). She is posed next to a beautiful Airedale terrier. This unusual profile photograph was taken by celebrity photographer Alex Binder. His studio was located in Berlin, Germany. Maurus was active in film and television between 1928 and 1968. She was an Austrian actress of Croatian descent. Maurus was the daughter of an engineer/inventor. She grew up in Vienna and received training as a singer and dancer. She hit the stage at age fifteen. The IMDb biography of Maurus describes her as ” a strikingly beautiful blonde with high cheekbones an expressive blue eyes”. She began her career on the stages of Vienna. She was “discovered” by director Fritz Lang and he cast her in the female lead in the silent film “Spione” (1928). Lang was smitten by maurus and his marriage was destroyed. She then appeared in a number of German films during the Weimar and Nazi eras. Maurus married director Robert A. Stemmie in 1937. He directed her in  “Daphne and the Diplomat” (1937). Like many actresses of her time, her acting career was hurt by the introduction of “talkies”. Further complicating matters was her nebulous association with Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. This relationship had negative impact on her career after World War II. Due to lack of film offers, Maurus retreated to the German stage. The IMDb filmography of Gerda Maurus lists 33 credits. Here is a side note about Airedales. The first World War increased the popularity of Airedales because they became famous for their bravery on the battlefield. In the US, Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, and Warren Harding all owned Airedales. In the 1920’s, Airedales became the most popular dog in the US. This postcard was published by Ross Verlag and is part of a series (no. A1320/1). This photo postcard portrait is in very good condition (see scans).

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LILLIAN ELLIS – DANISH STAR IN GERMAN FILMS

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ellis2 This vintage real photo postcard features Danish actress, Lillian Ellis (1907-1951). She made fer film debut in 1928. Many of her roles were in German films. Her stardom in Germany peaked at the end of the 1920’s. The IMDb credits Ellis with 18 acting roles between 1928 and 1959. This vintage postcard was published by Ross Verlag and was part of a series (no. 5281/1). The photographer who took this photograph was Alex Binder, a celebrity photographer located in Berlin, Germany. This portrait postcard is in very good condition.

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LUCY DORAINE : HUNGARIAN FILM STAR OF THE 1920’S

doraine   POSTCARD 1

doraine 1                                                         POSTCARD 1   

loraine                                   POSTCARD 2     

loraine 1                                                             POSTCARD 2                                                                

The pretty young woman featured in this risque vintage real photo postcard (Postcard 1) is Hungarian actress, Lucy Doraine (1898-1989). She began her film career shortly after her teenage years. Her mentor was Hungarian director, Michel Curtiz. He was also the first of four husbands. The pair worked together for about five years in Budapest and Vienna. They had gone to Vienna in 1919 to flee the political and military morass in Hungary. Doraine remained a European film star until 1927. Eventually, Doraine left for Hollywood, but her career did not take off. She was confined to playing supporting roles and she was young for this loss of starring roles to occur (about 30 years of age). She retired from her film career in 1933, but remained in the United States. The IMDb lists her as having 31 acting credits between 1916 and 1931.This postcard is of German origin and was published by Ross Verlag as part of a series (no.572/2). The postcard was published between 1919 and 1924. The photograph was a publicity still for her appearance in Sodom and Gomorrah (1922), The youtube video below shows Lucy Doraine appearing in a 1922 film. The stamp box of this postcard has an interesting story. “NBC” (Neue Bromsilber Convention) was a price cartel established in 1909 that continued until the 1930’s. The purpose of the cartel was to ensure that the minimum price charged for postcards was kept at a sufficiently profitable level. A number of postcard publishing companies joined the cartel in an effort to stave off the effect of competition on the pricing of postcards. This real photo postcard portrait is in very good condition (see scans).                                                                                                                               Lucy Doraine is also the subject of postcard 2. Once again Miss Doraine is adorned with an elaborate and large feathered head piece. Apparently, she was quite showy. This postcard was published by Ross Verlag and was part of a series (no. 3438/1). Doraine’s photograph was taken by Alex Binder who practiced his profession in Berlin, Germany.  A number of actress portrait postcards by Binder can be found in the Cabinet Card Gallery. To view those images, place his name in the site’s search box. This postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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doraine 2            POSTCARD 1 

loraine 2POSTCARD 2