Doris Keane

(1881-1945) Miss Keane was born in Michigan and moved to London in 1907 to continue her career. She acted a part in Shakespeare only once: she played Juliet in 1919 at the Lyric Theatre in London. The production was a good one with Dame Ellen Terry as the Nurse and Basil Sydney as Romeo; the play had a run of seventy-three performances, but Miss Keane had no need to depend on Shakespeare for a living and several smash hits kept herRead more

Julia Marlowe

(1866-1950) Sarah Frances Frost (Marlowe’s birth name) was born in England and came to the United States as a child in 1870. Her first stage appearance was in 1878 in Gilbert and Sullivan’s H. M. S. Pinafore. She was always popular with her audiences, and over the years became famous for her roles as Juliet, Viola, Rosalind, Beatrice, and Portia. After a stressful and failed marriage to and divorce from the ambitious actor Robert Taber, in 1904 Marlowe began performingRead more

Genevieve Hamper

(1888-1971) Genevieve Hamper, an American actress, was married to Robert B. Mantell (she was thirty-four years his junior) and played in his company, often acting alongside him in major roles, until his death in 1928. She married another actor, John Alexander, and seems to have left the stage permanently for a career in Hollywood where she made several films. Her son, Robert Mantell, Jr., also an actor, committed suicide in 1933.  Read more

Evelyn Millard

(1869-1941) Evelyn Millard, a popular stage “beauty,” made her first appearance in 1891 as a walk-on at the Haymarket Theatre. Her first major parts came when she joined Sarah Thorne at the Theatre Royal in Margate; she played, among other roles, Juliet and then Hero in Much Ado About Nothing. When she joined the company of Sir Beerbohm Tree in 1897 she was given the role of Portia in Julius Caesar. Between 1903 and 1916, she played in several moreRead more

Nora Kerin

(1883-1970) A cousin of actress Julia Neilson, Nora Kerin’s stage debut was in 1899. She first appeared in Shakespeare at the Queen’s Theatre, Manchester, as Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Anne Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Rosalind in As You Like It. She toured Australia in 1903 playing various parts in the Shakespeare repertory of George Alexander’s company. When she returned to England in 1904, she appeared as Miranda in a production of The Tempest at HisRead more

Phyllis Neilson-Terry

(1892-1977) Elder sister of actor Dennis Neilson-Terry. Daughter of famous Shakespearean actors Julia Neilson and Fred Terry. Niece of Dame Ellen Terry. Born in London in 1892, Phyllis was in good company. She studied in Paris and then at the Royal Academy of Music to be a singer. She made her first stage appearance in 1909 while on tour with her parent’s company in Blackpool. A few times, she would fill in for her mother when the latter would fall ill.Read more

Margaret Halstan

(1879-1967) Playing first in amateur productions, Margaret Halstan became a professional actress in 1895 at the Haymarket Theatre in a walk-on part in Trilby. Her first part in Shakespeare was a small one; she was the Player Queen Hamlet with Herbert Beerbohm Tree‘s production of the play. In 1897, she played Octavia in Antony & Cleopatra and then that same year appeared as Bianca in an adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew entitled Katherine and Petruchio. In 1900, she joinedRead more