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Julia Arthur
by David for group historicalziegfeld Jun 8, 2011

One gathers something of the peculiar conditions of operation of provincial stock theatre companies when one realizes that Canadian born Julia Arthur assumed half a dozen leading roles in Shakespeare plays in the Daniel Bandmann Repertory Company at the age of twelve. At age sixteen she assayed a dozen modern leads for a West Coast touring company. By the time that she had turned twenty, Julia Arthur was a seasoned professional with a thousand performances under her belt. Fame came at 21 when she made a hit on Broadway at the Union Square Theatre playing the Queen in Black Masque. Beautiful, capable of projecting gravity, with a technique free of personal idiosyncrasies, Julia Arthur could play modern as well as classic roles, so long as they did not require wit and speed. Her natural gravity proved useful to Oscar Wilde who cast her as the original Lady Windermere in "Lady Windermere's Fan." In 1895 in London, she attached to the Irving Company, and became an international star of the English-speaking theater. Her success would continue into the first decade of the 10th century. J. Stuart Blackton, the creative director of Vitagraph Motion Pictures, secured her services for a number of early story movies, including the landmark "Barbara Fritchie" (1908). In 1898 she married tycoon B. P. Cheney, Jr., and became a fixture in Boston Society. Her career thereafter was an amusement more than a vocation. She left the stage finally in 1921.

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  • historicalzg - 1Reply
    ziegfeldgrrl wrote on Jun 9, '11
    What an incredible beauty and what a career! The age of 12!

    Thanks so much for another fabulous album and theatre history lesson, David. Beautiful!
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