MRS FISKE : THEATER STAR : ROTOGRAPH : BY MORRISON CHICAGO : RPPC

This vintage real photo postcard and this cabinet card features acclaimed theater actress, Minnie Maddern Fiske (1865-1932). When performing, she was often billed as “Mrs. Fiske”. She was one of America’s leading actresses during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She performed in several Henrik Ibsen plays and is recognized as introducing American audiences to the Norwegian playwright. She was born in New Orleans, Lousiana, to parents that worked in the theater world. Her first professional acting gig was playing a role in a Shakespeare play. She was only three years old. By the age of four, she made her New York debut. Much of her childhood was spent touring with theater companies. At age sixteen, she played leading lady roles. She was recognized for her acting, but also for her beauty and singing voice. In 1890, she married Harrison Grey Fiske, successful playwright and Broadway producer. After takin three years off from acting, she returned to the theater in 1893 as an actor, playwright and director. The IBDb reports that she had 55 Broadway credits, combining her acting, writing, and directing. Among her successes on Broadway were “Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1897), “A Dolls House” (1902), “The Rose” (1905), and “The High Road” (1912). Her Broadway credits spanned from 1871 through 1930. In the mid 1910’s, Mrs Fiske starred in film adaptations of two of her stage successes. Although the films were well received, she believed she was more suited for theater than film. Despite her success in the theater, the talented actress died poverty stricken. Her financial downfall was realted to her battling against a group of producers that organized the Theatrical Trust (or Syndicate). The Syndicate controlled the nation’s best theaters and dictated what plays would appear and which actors would be in the cast. They relegated Mrs Fiske to appear in third rate theaters, churches, and skating rinks. Mrs. Fiske was not to be intimidated. She also was an advocate for animal welfare. She was involved in the activities of the ASPCA and other human leagues. She fought against the fashion craze of decorating hats with bird feathers. Many bird lives were sacrificed, and entire species were nearly wiped out as a result of this fad. She also educated the public about the cruelty involved in trapping animals. Because she was well known, respected and popular, she was able to influence animal reform. Mrs Fiske won a number of humanitarian awards. She was a strict vegetarian and was anti vivisection. During World War II, there was a liberty ship named  the “SS Minnie M Fiske”. Minnie Maddern Fiske was a woman born before her time. She was a feisty activist.

This cabinet card portrait features acclaimed theater actress, Minnie Maddern Fiske (1865-1932). The photograph captures her in her role in “Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1897). Mrs. Fiske’s photograph for this cabinet card was taken by eccentric celebrity photographer, Napoleon Sarony. (SOLD)

Mrs. Fiske’s photograph on this postcard was taken by William Morrison of Chicago, Illinois. The card was published by Rotograph as part of a series (no.B 627). This vintage postcard is in excellent condition (see scans).

Buy this Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #3820

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Buy this Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes International shipping outside the US) 3820

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