MYSTERY ACTRESS AT THE HAYMARKET THEATRE IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (MYSTERY SOLVED)

A pretty and nicely dressed woman poses for her portrait from celebrity photographer, William McKenzie Morrison, at the Haymarket Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. The subject of this photograph looks very much like actress, Lily Hanbury (1874-1908). An inscription on the reverse of this image states
“to my darling brother Mike, from Lily”. The card is dated “Aug   8, 1894”. There were many actresses in 1894 named Lily; Lily Langtry was likely the most famous of them all. Research failed to provide evidence that this cabinet card photograph features Ms. Hanbury. It is not certain that she ever appeared at the Haymarket, nor is there data to confirm that she had a brother named Mike. To view a confirmed photograph of Lily Hanbury, type her name in Cabinet Card Gallery’s Search Box and click the search button. To view other photographs by Morrison, click on the category “Photographer: Morrison”. ADDENDUM: I am grateful to a cabinet card gallery visitor who left a comment (click comment below) identifying the actress who is the subject of this photograph. Her name is Hattie Williams (1870-1947) and another photo of her can be seen in the form of the photograph found below. Miss Williams was an American stage actress, comedienne, and singer. She was born in Boston. She began her career in the farcical plays of Charles Hoyt. She was a popular actress in vaudeville and with the Charles Frohman Theater Company. At one point in her career she was considered an arch rival to Ethel Barrymore. A photograph of Miss Barrymore is posted in the cabinet card gallery and can be viewed by putting her name in the search box. Williams appeared in one motion picture (1915).

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PRETTY ACTRESS NETTIE LYFORD GOES PRODUCE SHOPPING IN NEW YORK CITY (PORTRAIT BY BENJAMIN FALK)

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This cabinet card portrait features pretty theater actress Nettie Lyford doing her produce shopping at the Whole Foods grocery store in New York City. She was such a fan of the store that she appeared in their advertising for free. Actually, this photograph is a celebrity portrait that was probably taken by famed celebrity photographer Benjamin Falk. The image was likely produced at Falk’s studio in New York City. Miss Lyford is wearing a costume that she probably wore in a stage production. In fact, this very same image appears in Epoch (1892) as part of an article by Morris Bacheller entitled “Favorite Figures of the Stage”. The article reports that the young Miss Lyford “has established herself as one of the comic opera favorites of the Metropolis”. She had made her debut in Charles Hoyt’s farce comedy company in “Rag Baby”. While she was appearing in another Hoyt production, “Lunch Counter Girl” she was seen by Francis Wilson (1854-1935)  who hired her to appear in “Oolah” which was a comic opera appearing in New York City in 1887. This cabinet card image was taken during her tenure with Wilson’s opera company. To learn more about Francis Wilson and the play “Oolah”, search for the image of Marie Jansen which appears in the Cabinet Card Gallery. To view more celebrity photographs by Falk, click on the category “Photographer: Falk”.