DOROTHY RUSSELL : ACTRESS : WILD CHILD OF LILLIAN RUSSELL

This vintage real photo postcard features actress Dorothy Russell (1883-1954). She was the notorious daughter of the ultimate diva, Lillian Russell (1860-1922). Dorothy was in three Broadway plays between 1904 and 1907. Dorothy’s trademark  was her penchant for sensational hijinks, divorces, and legal fights. Dorothy was married seven times. In one civil suit, she was forced to surrender jewelry given to her mother by “Diamond Jim” Brady. The court insisted that she use the proceeds from the jewelry to pay off personal debts. A stamp on the reverse of the postcard indicates that this card was once the property of Robert S. Simmons. This postcard was published by the Rotograph Company (New York City). It is part of the Rotograph Series (No. B 624), The photographer of this image is William Mckenzie Morrison whose studio was located in the Haymarket  Theatre building in Chicago, Illinois. Morrison was a well known and successful  celebrity photographer.  (SOLD)

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

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PHOTOGRAPH 1 (CLOSE-UP)

 

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PHOTOGRAPH 2

Celebrity photographer, William McKenzie Morrison of Chicago, Illinois, produced these photographic portraits of  actress Annie Lewis (1869-1896). 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”. Lewis was a soubrette of light operas and musical comedies. She was born and raised in Washington D.C.. Her father was a clerk for the U.S. Treasury Department. Her mother was a former parlor entertainer. As a child, she showed talent for “mimicry”. By the time she was four years old, she was performing on the stage. Actually, during her early years, she often did her singing and dancing atop a piano because that vantage point, allowed her to be seen by her audience.  At the age of sixteen, Lewis was touring the country with her own performing company. She was the soubrette in production called “Little Trump”. Go figure. At seventeen years of age, she married stage actor Wilton Lackaye. He was twenty-five years old at the time and he went on to have a long successful career in both theater and film. Lewis went on to play starring roles in a number of productions. She became a popular enough actress to be mentioned in a number of articles appearing in the New York Times.  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 1895, she was the supporting actress to Camille D’Arville in the Broadway Theatre production of “A Daughter of the Revolution”. Not long after that appearance, illness forced her to leave the stage, and by October, 1896, Annie Lewis was dead. The cause of death was tuberculosis. She was only 27 years-old. Her obituary appeared in “The Evening Times” (Washington D.C.). The headline of the article was “Little Annie Lewis Dead”. The article reports that she had been sick for nearly a year. She was forced to cancel a number of appearances. Her friends had hoped that a trip to the Southwest and Mexico  would help restore her health. A benefit was held and enough money was raised for the trip and for her care. However, her worsening health did not allow her to travel. The obituary states that Lewis was the mascot of the “National Fencibles”. She was adopted as their “Daughter of the Regiment”. The fencibles were a Washington based militia and drill team. John Philip Sousa dedicated a march to the organization. The obituary laments that the curtain fell way too soon in the life drama of Miss Annie Lewis. This cabinet card portrait has excellent clarity and is in very good condition (see scans).

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PHOTOGRAPH 1

ETHEL BARRYMORE: A STAGE BEAUTY

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                                                                                                                                      brrymore

                                                                 POSTCARD 1  (SOLD)

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BARRYMORE PCPOSTCARD 5  (SOLD)

Ethel Barrymore (1879-1959) was an outstanding American actress and a member of the famous theatrical Barrymore family. She was born Ethel Mae Blythe in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her parents were actors and she was the sister of John and Lionel Barrymore.  She was the great aunt of modern day actress Drew Barrymore.

Ethel Barrymore was considered by many to be the greatest actress of her generation. She was a major Broadway performer and first appeared there in 1895. She had roles in A Dolls House by Ibsen (1905).  She was a strong supporter of the Actors’ Equity Association and played a major role in the 1919 strike. She played in Somerset Maugham’s comedy, The Constant Wife (1926). She also starred in motion pictures beginning her film career in 1914.  Notable films included None but the Lonely Heart (1944) and The Spiral Staircase (1946). Around 1900, Winston Churchill proposed marriage to Barrymore but she refused. She later married Russell Griswold Colt in 1909 and had three children. She died of cardiovascular disease in 1959 at her home in California. The Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York City is named in her honor.

The cabinet card 1 portrait of Ethel Barrymore was photographed by Phillips Photographers of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. To view other photographs by Phillips, click on the category “Photographer: Phillips”. The second image (cabinet card 2) of the actress was produced by Sarony, the famous celebrity photographer who’s studio was located in New York City. To see other Sarony photographs, click on the category “Photographer: Sarony”.

The third portrait of Miss Barrymore appears on postcard 1, published by the Rotograph Company who operated in  New York City and Germany. This postcard portrait was taken by famed Chicago photographer William Morrison. He is well known for his excellent portraits of theatrical stars. He produced both real photo postcards and cabinet cards. This postcard is number HB/1422 of the “Rotograph Series”. The image on this postcard is color tinted. This postcard has been mailed and postmarked (1907). The reverse of this postcard can be seen below.To view other photographs by Morrison, click on the category “Photographer: Morrison”.

The fourth portrait of Ethel Barrymore is an uncommon one (postcard 2). The image provides a lovely profile view of this legendary actress. If you search for this exact postcard online, you likely won’t find it. This postcard was published by E. Frey & Company who operated in  New York City . Research reveals that postcards displaying the printed name of  “E. Frey” were actually published by the Souvenir Post Card Company which existed between 1905 and 1914. It was located at 268 Canal Street in New York City. The company was purchased by Valentine & Sons and the combined company became Valentine – Souvenir. This postcard was printed in Germany and is in good condition (see scan).

The fifth photograph (postcard 3) of Miss Barrymore was published by the Rotograph Company. This postcard portrait was taken by famed Chicago celebrity photographer William Morrison.This postcard is number B 662 of the “Rotograph Series”. The image has excellent clarity.

The sixth image (postcard 4) is a vintage real photo postcard portrait of Ethel Barrymore. The postcard was published by Albert Hahn who was based in New York City (200 Broadway) and Hamburg. Hahn operated his company between 1901 and 1919. The postcard was produced in Germany sometime in the decade of 1900-1910. The postcard is part of a series (no. 5271),

Postcard 5 offers a profile view of Miss Barrymore. The postcard was published by the Rotograph Company as part of the Rotograph Series (No. A 112). The photographer of this image is Burr McIntosh of New York City. William Burr McIntosh (1862-1942) lived an interesting life. Among his job titles listed by Wikipedia, are photographer, lecturer, film studio owner, silent film actor, publisher of the “Burr McIntosh Monthly”, reporter, and radio and early film pioneer. His sister was Nancy McIntosh, a noted operatic soprano. He was a graduate of Lafayette College in 1884. His most noted film role was his appearance in D. W. Griffith’s film, “Way Down East” (1920). Wikipedia notes that he appeared in 53 films between 1914 and 1934. This vintage postcard is in very good condition.

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barrymore AGAIN 1

POSTCARD 4

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        POSTCARD 5   

 

 

PORTRAIT OF BEAUTIFUL ACTRESS EVANGELINE IRVING (BY CELEBRITY PHOTOGRAPHER WILLIAM McKENZIE MORRISON OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS)

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The previous owner of this photograph, reported the subject to be theatrical actress Evangeline Irving. Visual comparison to other portraits of Evangeline Irving support this identification. Evangeline Irving was an theater actress and the sister of a more successful theater actress named Isabel Irving.  See Isabel’s portrait by searching for it in the Cabinet Card Gallery. This photograph was produced by William McKenzie Morrison, the Chicago, Illinois, based celebrity photographer. View other Morrison photographs by clicking on category “Photographer: Morrison”.  The New York Times (1895) reported that Evangeline substituted for Isabel in a matinee performance of “The Case of Rebellious Susan”. Isabel was suffering from hoarseness. A number of  New York Times (1895, 1896) articles describes a banking fiasco that Evangeline Irving was able to resolve. Her mother had gone to the Lincoln Safe Deposit Company to get twenty thousand dollars worth of bonds out of her box. When she could not find the bonds in the box, she ran out of the vault screaming that she had been robbed. She went home  ill, and took to bed. She complained around town and soon her Senator contacted the bank demanding she be compensated with a check replacing her loss. The situation caused many people to run to their banks to see if their safety deposit box holdings had disappeared. Mrs. Irving caused a mini run on the city banks.  It took awhile for Mrs. Irving’s daughters to get involved because both of the women were performing out west. Isabel was playing roles with the Lyceum Company and Evangeline was part of  Stuart Robson’s Company. Soon, Evangeline came to the bank and after opening the safe deposit box found the bonds tied up in a bundle in the box. An apology was issued to the bank and made public.