MISS SARI PETRASS : BEAUTIFUL HUNGARIAN SINGER AND ACTRESS WHO BECAME AN INTERNATIONAL STAR (TWO REAL PHOTO POSTCARDS)

 POSTCARD 1

petrass POSTCARD 2 

Sari Petrass (1888-1930) was a Hungarian operetta actress and singer. She played leading soprano parts during the 1910’s and 1920’s. She appeared all over the globe. She gave performances in Budapest, Vienna, London, and Broadway. In 1911 she made her debut as a lead singer in a show in Budapest. The show became an international hit. Petrass wasted little time learning to sing in English. She performed in “Gipsy Love” (1912) at England’s Daly’s Theatre. The show ran for 299 performances. She next appeared at Daly’s in “The Marriage Market” (1913). This postcard features her in the role of “Mariposa Gilroy” in that show. She appeared alongside Gertie Millar. Interestingly, Petrass was a skillful horse rider and had an opportunity to ride a donkey in the opening scene of the play. The show ran for 423 performances. A photo from the show can be seen below. Sari Petrass and her costar, Robert Michaelis are seen in the photograph.  In 1916, Petrass was the subject of a rumor in America. It was falsely reported that she was executed in Hungary for being a British spy during World War 1. It was “fake news”. In late 1916, she moved to New York where she starred in “Miss Springtime” at the New Amsterdam Theatre on Broadway. In 1917, she married a Long Island stock broker named Felix Augustus Eugene Sommerhoff. Sommerhoff was the nephew of composer Robert Schumann. Petrass continued performing after her marriage. In 1930, Sari Petrass and a friend (Lady Horne) were killed in an accident while in Belgium. Their chaufffeur was attempting to drive onto a ferry but he was blinded by beam from a lighthouse and crashed into the Scheldt River. Both Petrass, and her friend, died from drowning.                                                                                                                               

Postcard 1 is part of the “Arcadian Series” (no. A 67). The publisher was formerly The Arcadia Bazaar Co and was also known as the A B Company based in Ramsgate, England. Petrass was a sitter in six portraits in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery. The photographer of this image is Rita Martin. Miss Martin was well known for her expertise in taking portraits of theater stars and other celebrities. The message on the reverse of the postcard is signed in a cute manner, “Heaps of Love, Lucy”. This vintage photo portrait postcard is in good condition (see scans and note the corners of the card).             

Postcard 2 is a close-up portrait of Miss Petrass. Her beauty is captured in this photograph by Rita Martin. The postcard is published by Beagles Postcards as part of a series (no. 218 K). The publishing house was located in London, England. This vintage real photo postcard is in excellent condition (see scans).

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 POSTCARD 1

petrass 1 POSTCARD 2

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MISS MILDRED CLAIRE : PRETTY BROADWAY STAGE ACTRESS

This vintage real photo postcard features actress Miss Mildred Claire. She is quite pretty and is dressed for cold weather (pre global warming). A fur muff protects her hands and a fur stole (pre PETA) wrapped around her shoulders. I could find very little information on this pretty actress. I learned from the Internet Broadway Data Base (IBDb) that Mildred Claire had acted in three Broadway shows between 1900 and 1905. I discovered little else. An actress named “Mildred Clair” appeared in a film titled “Treason” (1918).  Perhaps this film actress was our Mildred Claire. There was also an actress named Mildred Claire who changed her name to Claire Rochelle and than had a successful film career. I do not believe the two “Mildred Claire’s” are one and the same person because Claire Rochelle was born in 1908, too late to be an adult when this postcard was issued. This portrait postcard was published by Rotary Photo as part of a series (no.4373 C). It was part of the Rotary Photographic series. The postcard is in very good condition (see scans). (SOLD)       

Published in: on October 6, 2019 at 1:52 pm  Comments (1)  
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KATHERINE FLORENCE : NEWSBOY PORTRAIT OF A POPULAR BROADWAY ACTRESS

This cabinet card photograph features actress Katherine Florence (1874-1952). She was born in Birmingham, England and died in Astoria, Queens, New York. She received her education from a convent in Peekskill, New York. She furthered her education by studying in Paris, and later, Montreal. Florence was a popular American stage actress who performed from the late 1880’s through the early twentieth century. Her mother was a famous actress named Katherine Rogers. Two of Katherine Florence’s sisters became successful stage actresses Their names are Violet Rand and Eleanor Moretti. She gained her early acting experience in her mother’s theatrical company. Her major debut took place in New York City, 1887 in the drama, “As In A Looking Glass”. Lily Langtry was also in the production. She appeared on the New York stage every year of her theatrical career except one. Florence was married to stage actor Fritz Williams in 1892 and their marriage ended with his death in 1930. Her resume includes acting in “The Lost Paradise (1892)”, “The King’s Musketeers (1898”), and “Letty (1905)”. During her career she played opposite excellent actors including Stuart Robson, E. H. Sothern, and William Gillette. The Interned Broadway Data Base credits Miss Florence with appearing in fourteen productions between 1893 and 1913. This cabinet card was produced by Newsboy, a tobacco company. The photograph was used as a premium to encourage customers to buy the tobacco products.   SOLD

 

Published in: on July 29, 2019 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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TWO PORTRAITS OF STAGE ACTRESS AND JOURNALIST JULIE OPP (PHOTOS BY LIZZIE CASWALL SMITH)

opp                                                               POSTCARD 1  (SOLD)

JULIE OPP                                                                    POSTCARD 2  (SOLD)

—- These vintage real photo postcards feature stage actress Julie Opp (1871-1921).  Miss Opp was an American stage actress who was for many years popular in America as well as in Europe. She was the wife of actor William Faversham. She married him after the pair co-starred in the Broadway production of “The Royal Rival” (1902). The internet Broadway data base indicates that Miss Opp appeared in six Broadway shows from 1901 through 1911. Julie Opp was born in New York City in 1871. Her Bavarian father ran a saloon on lower Manhattan”s Bowery Street and was active in local politics.  Her mother was Irish-American. Julie began her education in public schools but her mother decided to transfer her to a local convent to receive her education. The young girl shocked  the sisters and bishop when she told them that she wanted to become a ballet dancer when she grew up. By the time she graduated, she had replaced her ambition to dance, with becoming a writer. Her first job was being a a journalist with the New York Recorder. She was a fashion writer. As part of her work as a journalist, she became involved with many people in the theatre world including Sarah Bernhardt and Emma Calve. The show business performers tried to convince her to become an actress. As a result she dabbled in acting but in 1896 she chose the stage over writing and performed in Shakespeare’s “As You Like it” at London’s St. James Theatre. A review of her performance seen in “To-Day” (1896) stated she was “charming” and “equipped for the performance of brilliant work, either on the press or stage”. In 1906 she published “The Squaw Man: A Novel”. She fell seriously ill in 1914 while traveling abroad with her husband and two sons. She appeared to recover and performed again, but soon suffered a relapse causing her to retire from acting. She then spent her remaining years at her residence in New York City and her country house on Long Island. She died after a failed operation in 1921.

—–  Postcard 1 was published by the Rotary Photo Company as part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no. 1572 B). Miss Opp was photographed by L. Caswall Smith. Lizzie Caswall Smith (1870-1958) was a British photographer who operated in the early 1900’s. She specialized in photographing members of society and celebrities. Many of her photographs were used for postcards. She was involved in the Women’s Suffrage movement and photographed many of the leading suffragettes. She also photographed many actors including Billie Burke and Maude Fealy. She operated the Gainsborough Studio from 1907 through 1920 (309 Oxford Street) and moved to a new location (90 Great Russell Street) where she remained until she retired in 1930 at the age of 60 years-old. Her most famous photograph is a portrait of Florence Nightingale taken in 1910. It was auctioned in 1908 and sold for 5500 pounds which is an equivalent today of nearly 8,000 dollars. The National Portrait Gallery has 84 portraits associated with Lizzie Caswall Smith.  (SOLD)

—- Postcard 2 offers a close-up view of Miss Opp. She is very pretty in this photograph and has large and beautiful eyes. This postcard, like the first postcard, is published by the Rotary Photo Company. The postcard (no. 1572) is part of the same series as the first postcard. Also, like the first postcard, Julie Opps photo portrait was taken by Lizzie Caswall Smith. The card was mailed from St. Ives (A seaside town in Cornwall)  to Twickenham (a London suburb). The postmark reveals that the postcard was mailed in 1902. The postcard is in very good condition (see scans).  (SOLD)

opp 2                                                              POSTCARD 1  (SOLD)   

JULIE OPP 1                                                            POSTCARD 2  (SOLD)

FAY COMPTON : ENGLISH STAGE & FILM ACTRESS – SHE ADVOCATES “TAKING OFF A LITTLE BIT” TO ATTRACT A MAN

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Fay Compton (1894-1978) is the subject of this vintage real photo postcard. Miss Compton looks absolutely beautiful . She is wearing a pretty dress and a beaded necklace (pearls?) Compton was an English actress who appeared in many films, but was best known for her stage performances. She was a versatile actress who appeared in Shakespeare, Modern Drama, Comedy, and Classics (ie Ibsen and Chekhov. She appeared on  stage in Britain, and toured the United States and Australia. Compton was born in London. Her father, mother, brother, and grandfather were all actors. She was the younger sister of actress Viola Comton. Compton’s stage debut was in 1911 with Pelissier’s Follies which was produced by H. G. Pelissier. Though still a teenager, she married Mr. Pelissier who died soon thereafter, leaving her with a child. She quickly married singer Lauri de Frece. Compton’s first American appearance was in 1914 and occurred at the Shubert Theatre in New York. In 1917, she played the title role in the London performances of Peter Pan. In the 1920’s and 1930’s she performed in many of Shakespeare’s plays. She also played in a number of plays written by J. M. Barrie. Barrie wrote the play, “Mary Rose” especially for her. Her second husband died in 1921 and in 1923, she married actor Leon Quartermaine. During the 1930’s she played in both West End plays and Shakespeare. The 1940’s and 1950’s found Compton continuing to play in Shakespeare productions, and other roles including Noel Cowards “Blithe Spirit”, “The Importance of Being Earnest”, “Uncle Vanya”, and “What Every Woman Knows”. In 1942, her third marriage failed and she married actor Ralph Michael. Their marriage dissolved after four years. Compton also appeared in films. Her IMDb filmography reveals that she appeared in 82 films between 1914 and 1970. The IBDb indicates that she performed in three Broadway shows between 1915 and 1959. At one point, Compton had her own drama school. One of her students was actor Alec Guinness. The You Tube video below features Fay Compton singing Irving Berlin’s “Take Off a Little Bit (1916)” which offers a formula about how to attract a man. Not exactly a strategy that many people would advocate today. This postcard was printed in Britain and was part of the Lilywhite Photographic Series (no. L 4). The publisher, Lilywhite Ltd, Halifax (L.L.H.), was founded by Arthur Frederick Sergeant. He also was the founder of Halifax Photographic Company which was based in Halifax, England. Lilywhite began publishing postcards in 1910; and in the 1920’s, the company took over Arrow Series Postcards. The company then published postcards under both the Arrow and Lilywhite names.This photo portrait postcard is in excellent condition (see scans).

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compton 2

KATHARINE GREY (1873-1950): THEATRE ACTRESS

grayPHOTO 1

PHOTO 2

Katherine Grey (1873-1950) was an American theatre actress who appeared in more than 25 Broadway shows between 1895 and 1940. In the top cabinet card, she is photographed by Sarony, of New York City, the famed theatrical portrait photographer. Note the daisies on her hat. In the bottom cabinet card, Grey is photographed by famed celebrity photographer B. J. Falk, also of New York City. In this image she is holding the bottom of her dress in her right hand. The photograph is dated 1893 and in good condition (see scans).

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

phillida 3

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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phillida 2

LIZZIE EVANS: THEATER AND VAUDEVILLE STAR KNOWN AS “THE LITTLE ELECTRIC BATTERY”

This cabinet card image is a portrait of vaudeville and musical theater entertainer, Miss Lizzie Evans (c1864- 19? ). She is known for her performances in New York City and Chicago from the 1880’s through the early 1900’s. The New York Times once described her performing skills as similar to celebrated actress, Lotta Crabtree. The website “Broadway Photographs” states that she was “small, flat-chested, and intelligent looking rather than beautiful, she captured attention by her cleverness on stage and her unflagging energy”. Her nickname was “The Little Electric Battery”. Evans was born in Mount Vernon, Ohio. She made her stage debut in 1882, as a 17 year-old. She joined the Nobles theater company where she performed a role in “The Phoenix”. After leaving the Nobles company she joined C. E. Callahan where she starred in plays for nine years. Her roles included parts in “Fogg’s Ferry” and “The Buckeye”.  A New York Times (1881) review of her appearance in “Foggs Ferry” reports that her performance was “earnest and vivacious”. The reviewer also stated that “Miss Evans has no voice for song” but that her talent as an actress should allow her the luxury of avoiding any “vocal efforts”. After leaving her association with Callahan’s company, Evans retired for two years. Apparently she had trouble staying away from the theater lights, which was evidenced by her appearance in “Old Kentucky”. She than performed in vaudeville until the 1900-1901 season. Following her vaudeville appearances she formed her own troupe. Her biography indicates that the lure that took her away from musical theater was that vaudeville offered both top billing and big money. She was married to the famous comedian, Harry Mills in 1891. This portrait of Miss Evans was taken in 1885, according to the inscription in the reverse of the photograph. The photographer was D. H.Anderson who operated a studio on Broadway in New York City. Anderson used the same photo studio formerly occupied by the famed photographer, Matthew Brady. Anderson had worked in various other American cities before moving to New York in 1881. He became known as a talented celebrity photographer. This cabinet card is in good condition (see scans).      (SOLD)

NAOMI CHILDERS: GLAMOROUS AMERICAN SILENT FILM ACTRESS

This vintage real photo postcard features silent film actress, Naomi Childers (1892-1964). Although she was born in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, her parents were English. She grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and was educated in the Maryville convent. She began acting at age three. At age ten, she played the title roles in both “Red Riding Hood” and “Alice in Wonderland” at St. Louis’s Odeon Theater. In 1912 she played roles in “The Great Name” and “Madame X”. Childers had one Broadway appearance which occurred in “The Great Name” ( 1911 ). Childers”s film career began in 1913. For the most part, she was a character actress. She played roles in “The Turn of the Road (1915) and “The Writing on the Wall” (1916). She spent four years working with the Vitagraph company. Her most popular role was in “Womanhood, the Glory of the Nation” in which she played a modern Joan of Arc. She joined the Commonwealth Company in 1917. Although Childers played many dramatic roles, she preferred comedy. The IMDb lists 104 film credits for Miss Childers. She was quite beautiful. She was blonde and had deep blue eyes. She was voted the most beautiful woman in Japan, and many of her fans and critics found her physical appearance very similar to Sarah Bernhardt. She did a great deal of modeling work and her nickname was “the girl with the Grecian face”. Childers was married twice. Her first husband was Harold Darling Shattuck, the head of a major candy company. She was later married to Luther A. Reed, a film writer and director. They were married nine years until their divorce in 1929. In her later years, Childers had significant financial problems. Upon learning of her struggles, Louis B. Mayer awarded her a lifetime contract with MGM. Miss Childers looks very glamorous in this postcard image. She is wearing a fur stole and a large hat. Her jewelry includes a necklace, bracelet and wrist watch. This postcard has an AZO stamp box indicating that it was published between 1904 and 1918. The postcard is part of a series (#218). It is in excellent condition (see scans).

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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.

 

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