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 THEATER ACTRESS ANNIE LEWIS (TWO PORTRAITS BY WILLIAM McKENZIE MORRISON)

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Celebrity photographer, William McKenzie Morrison of Chicago, Illinois, produced these photographic portraits of  actress Annie Lewis. Morrison’s studio was in the Haymarket  theater building. To view more photographs from the Morrison studio and to learn more about him, click on the category “Photographer: Morrison”. Annie Lewis was a popular enough actress to be mentioned in a number of articles appearing in the New York Times during the period in which she performed. The Times (1892) called her the “bright leading lady” of the Yon Yooson company. The newspaper (1892) also reported that she she performed to “standing room only” audiences in Boston’s Bowdoin Theater. In 1893, The New York Times wrote of trouble caused by Annie Lewis at New York’s 14th Street Theater that threatened that evening’s performance of  “The Nutmeg Match”. The management had wanted to add some “specialties” to the performance and Miss Lewis threatened to quit the cast if they made the proposed changes. It was reported that the theater management had looked for an actress to replace Annie Lewis but they were unsuccessful due the extremely short time a new actress would have to prepare for the part. In 1903 the Times wrote that Miss Lewis was appearing in New York’s Garrick Theater in the production of  “Mice and Men”. The article stated that Annie Lewis was “appealing” to theater audiences and was playing a “sympathetic” role.

PORTRAIT OF ENGLISH THEATER ACTOR MR KENDAL PLAYING THE ROLE OF PRINCE GENERAL KARATOFF IN “THE SILVER SHELL”

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William McKenzie Morrison produced this cabinet card portrait of actor William Hunter Kendal (1843-1917). Morrison’s studio was housed in the Haymarket Theatre building in Chicago, Illinois. Morrison was known for being a photographer who specialized in taking photographs of celebrities. To view other portraits by Morrison, click on the category of “Photographer: Morrison”. Kendal’s given name was William Hunter Grimston and he was an English actor and manager. He was born in London and had his theatrical debut in Glasgow at age eighteen. Four years later he appeared in London at the Haymarket Theatre.  In 1869 he married Madge Robertson (1848-1935) and they performed together for many years. Kendal was a co-partner in managing the St. James Theatre from 1879 through 1888.  Between 1889 and 1895, Kendal and his wife toured successfully in the United States and Canada. Their American debut was in “A Scrap of Paper” (1889). The couple retired from acting  in 1908.

Published in: on February 28, 2013 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  
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LULU GLASER: ROCKET ASCENT FROM UNDERSTUDY TO STAGE STAR

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These cabinet cards features Lulu Glaser (1874-1958), a Pennsylvania born actress and singer. She came to Broadway with no previous professional experience when she was hired to play in the chorus of  “The Lion Tamer (1891)”. She was also given the role of understudy to the Prima Donna. After the star fell ill, Lulu Glaser took over the role and began a meteoric rise to stardom.  For the next twenty plus years, Glaser played many roles in such productions as “The Merry Monarch” (1892), “Erminie” (1893), “The Little Corporal” (1898), and “Miss Dolly Dollars” (1895). She achieved her greatest success in “Dolly Varden” (1902). Lulu Glaser was a beautiful woman and this portrait confirms that assessment.

In the top photograph she is holding a fan and her expression could be described as coy.  She is adorned with a great deal of  jewelry including multiple rings, a hair pin and a pin on the midsection of her dress. The photographer of this image, as well as the next four images,  is Morrison, of Chicago, Illinois. The photographs have a copyright date of 1894. Morrison was a well known celebrity photographer and his studio was housed in the Haymarket Theatre. To view other photographs by Morrison, click on this site’s category “Photographer: Morrison”.

The sixth photograph of Glaser is by celebrity photographer, Falk, of New York City, New York. This photograph is copyrighted 1893. The seventh photograph, also by Falk, captures Glaser in costume for an unknown titled play. She is holding a whip and not looking particularly friendly. The image looks like it would be appropriate accompanying an ad on one of the controversial sections of Craig’s List. The photograph is dated 1892. To see other photographs by Falk, click on the category “Photographer: Falk”.

Photograph number eight captures Lu Lu Glaser in the same costume she is wearing in photograph number five. The eighth photo was published by Newsboy as a premium used to accompany the sale of their tobacco products. The image is number 118 of a series of celebrity photographs. To view other Newsboy photographs, click on the cabinet card gallery category “Photographer: Newsboy”.

MAE BRANSON: PROVOCATIVELY POSES IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

A sexy, busty, and leggy, blonde Mae Branson poses for celebrity photographer, William McKenzie Morrison, in Chicago, Illinois. The photographer’s studio was located in the Haymarket Theatre Building. To learn more about this well known photographer, click on the category “Photographer: Morrison”. A stamp on the reverse of this photograph indicates that the cabinet card  was formerly owned by Culver Pictures. Culver was located in New York City, and for a fee, provided images to newspapers, films, and other forms of media. Research yielded little biographical information about stage beauty, Miss Branson. The National Police Gazette (1892) reports the bathing exploits of four actresses at Long Brauch. The article was written in poetry form and the verses included the following lines: “and in the surf she daily dips in jaunty bathing dress; That fits her like a glovelet – not an inch the more or less”. The actresses described were Minnie Seligman, Geraldine McCann, Della Fox, and Mae Branson. The site of the sexy swimming exhibition was likely Long Branch, New Jersey;  “Long Brauch” was likely a misspelling. It appears that MTV’s reality TV show, “Jersey Shore“, is a remake; because there seems to have been plenty of provocativeness at the Jersey Shore in 1892.  Mae Branson’s name also appears in an article in a Maine newspaper,  The Lewiston Daily Sun (1893). The article appeared in the Music and Drama section. A review of the play “1492” describes Miss Branson as exhibiting “agreeable singing and artistic work” which obtained “prompt and hearty recognition”.

LILY LANGTRY: BEAUTIFUL, SCANDALOUS, FASCINATING AND HIGH SOCIETY THEATRE ACTRESS

This cabinet card features British actress, Lillie Langtry (1853-1929). She was born on the island of Jersey, was known as the “Jersey Lily”,  and was known for her beauty. She had many prominent lovers including the future King of England, Edward VII. At 20 years of age she married a wealthy Irish landowner, Edward Langtry and quickly became part of London’s high society. Due to her great beauty, she became a sought after model for a number of well known portrait painters. Beginning 1877, she had a three year affair with the Prince of Wales, Albert Edward. At the suggestion of close friend, Oscar Wilde, she began a stage career. She made her debut in “She Stoops to Conquer” (1881) at the Haymarket Theatre in London. She then embarked on the first of many United States theatre tours where she was a resounding success. She continued to have a number of affairs including a relationship with New York City millionaire, Frederic Gebhard with whom she became very involved in the sport of thoroughbred horse racing. In 1897 she became an American citizen. She is known as one of the early celebrities to make money endorsing commercial products. Among the products she advertised were cosmetics and soap.   The photographer of this cabinet card is famed celebrity photographer, Mora, of New York City. The image was copyrighted in 1884. To see other images by Mora, click on this site’s category of “Photographer: Mora”.

MABEL EATON: STAGE ACTRESS AT THE HAYMARKET THEATRE IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

This Cabinet Card is an image of stage actress Mabel Eaton. Eaton’s appearances on Broadway in New York City included the productions of “Diplomacy” (1892) and “Woman and Wine” (1900). She appeared in many stage productions in Chicago and New York City. She appeared in Shakespeare productions. She was married to prominent stage and film star, William Farnum (1876-1953). An 1893 edition of the New York Times reported that her hotel room (Ashland House) was robbed while she was appearing in “Diplomacy” at the Fifth Avenue Theater. Eaton also appeared in a short silent film (1914).  In 1916, Eaton died in Chicago, Illinois. The photographer of this Cabinet Card is celebrity photographer Morrison, located in the Haymarket Theatre. The Haymarket Theatre opened in 1887 as a legitimate playhouse with seating for an audience of 2,475. By 1896, it became a vaudeville house and between 1916 and 1932 the theatre was one of Chicago’s best known burlesque houses. Between 1932 and 1948, the Haymarket became a second-run movie theater and it was condemned in 1949.  William Morrison began his photography business in 1889 at the Haymarket. He was born in Detroit in 1857 and educated in Chicago’s public schools and at the Metropolitan Business College. The New York Times reported in 1892 that there was a fire at the Haymarket that badly damaged offices, saloons and stores in the building. The article states that Morrison’s business had the worst damage of all the businesses, while the theatre itself only suffered water damage. Morrison’s studio lost 37,000 negatives.  In 1899 he moved his business to the Champlain Building.