BLANCHE WALSH : PRETTY STAGE AND FILM ACTRESS IN NEW YORK CITY

This vintage real photo postcard features stage and film actress, Blanche Walsh (1873-1915). Walsh was born in the lower east side of New York City. Walsh’s father was a Tammany Hall (New York City) politician and prison warden. His name was Thomas Power “Fatty” Walsh. Miss Walsh was an active actress between 1888 and 1915. Blanche Walsh made her stage debut at 15 years of age in 1888. She joined Charles Frohman’s stock company. She was a supporting actress for the likes of Marie Wainwright and William Gillette. She toured Australia with actor Nat Goodwin in 1896. Walsh became popular playing “emotional” roles and succeeded Fanny Davenport when she became too ill to perform in such roles. In fact, many fans believed that Walsh closely resembled Davenport in appearance.  Walsh than began being tasked in more challenging roles such as in her performances in “The Woman in the Case” (1905) and in Tolstoy’s “The Kreutzer Sonata” (1904). Walsh appeared in ten Broadway productions between 1895 and 1907. A reviewer in “Variety” (1918) wrote that Walsh ” was not only a great actress, but an artist enough to subordinate whatever personal charms she might have had to a proper characterization of a role”. Blanche Walsh only appeared in one film. She was a well respected American actress. Her only film was Resurrection (1912). The film was based on one of Leo Tolstoy’s novels. The film helped Adolph Zukor launch his movie company, Famous Players Studio. It later became Paramount. She was one of the first stage stars to appear in a long feature film (over 50 minutes). Miss Walsh had two marriages. Her first husband, Alfred Hickman (1873-1931) was an English actor who appeared in thirty-five films. Walsh had no children. She was one of the original advocates of an American National Theater where people could see major plays at a low price. Walsh had significant health problems during her career. She had several hospitalizations. She died at 42 years of age from kidney problems. This vintage postcard was published by the Rotograph Company as part of the “Rotograph Series” (No. B 506)  The photographer was Jacob Schloss (1856-1938) and his studio was located in New York City.   Schloss received his education at the Cooper Union in New York City. He graduated in 1872 as an etcher. He joined Benjamin J. Falk’s photography studio and worked there in the mid 1870’s. He left Falk’s employ to open his own studio (54 West 23rd Street) where like Falk, he specialized in theatrical photography. He tended to favor photographing actresses in costume in front of generic studio furnishings. He produced many cabinet card photographs but also was active in the production of magazine images. By the 1890’s he was particularly known for his photographs of beautiful women, much like photographer Jose Maria Mora. Schloss also was an activist for photographers rights. He was very involved in the movement to copyright images. He sued those who used his photographs without crediting or paying him. He was very involved in national photographer associations and was an active photographer until the 1910’s.   SOLD

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLANCH WALSH: STAGE ACTRESS IN PROVOCATIVE POSE (PUBLISHED BY NEWSBOY)

BLANCH WALSH_0008This cabinet card photograph of actress, Blanch Walsh, was published by Newsboy and was given as a premium to buyers of  the company’s tobacco products. The photograph was number 12 of a series of celebrity photographic portraits. This particular photograph is particularly provocative and risque. Miss Walsh is exhibiting a great deal of exposed skin. Her pose and expression add to the subliminal sexuality. Miss Walsh is costumed as if to portray a gypsy. Note her jewelry. She is wearing a chain around her neck and multiple bracelets on her left arm. To view other theatrical images by Newsboy, click on category “Photographer: Newsboy”. Blanch Walsh (1873-1915) was a highly regarded American stage actress. She also appeared in one film, “Resurrection” (1912). She was born in New York City and educated in the public schools. Her father was T. P. Fatty Walsh, a Tammany politician and prison warden (The Tombs). Her stage debut was in 1888. She worked in the Charles Frohman Company as well as the William Gillette Company. She looked like a younger version of stage star Fanny Davenport. When Miss Davenport was ill for some time before dying in 1898, Blanch Walsh was given a number of her emotional roles. To view photographs of Miss Davenport, write Fanny Davenport in cabinet card gallery’s search box. Walsh’s most sensational role was as Maslova in Tolstoy’s “Resurrection” (1903). She also received much acclaim for her performance in “The Woman in the Case” (1905). The New York Times printed an article about Walsh upon her post surgical death. She was viewed as a major actress who likely would have risen to greater heights in the theater world if her life had not been cut short by her unfortunate early demise.

LINDA DEITZ: STAGE ACTRESS INSULTED BY THE NEW YORK TIMES (1879)

Linda Deitz poses for this cabinet card portrait by famed celebrity photographer, Sarony of New York City.  Deitz was a well known American actress in the 1870’s and 1880’s. She was photographed a great deal but her theatrical career was of only about ten years duration. She made her stage debut replacing actress Fanny Davenport in a production at Daly’s 5th Avenue Theatre. View Ms Davenport’s cabinet card image under the category of Actresses located on this site. In 1879 a theatre column in the New York Times announced that Deitz was being cast as a leading lady. The critic reported that the decision “does not strike us as very happy”. The article goes on to describe her as a respectful actress within a limited range of parts but  “she can scarcely hope to fulfill worth the severe duties of a leading lady”. Later that year, Linda Deitz left New York to join the Hare and Kendal theatre company at St. James Theatre in London. Deitz died in 1920.