- (1868-1946)Born Virginia Hickes in Boston, Massachusetts, she began acting at 16. In 1895, she created the title role in Trilby opposite Wilton Lackaye as Svengali. Another major creation was the title role in The Adventures of Lady Ursula (1898), which allowed her to wear a boy's clothing for part of the action. The breeches were not always appreciated in the conservative heartland when she toured the play with her husband E. H. Sothern (whom she divorced in 1910). Of her performance as Lady Ursula, Edward A. Dithmar wrote on 4 September 1898 in the New York Times, "Miss Harned's talent is amply illustrated. She has never given a more delightful portrayal, and one hopes, after seeing her vivacious and refreshing expression of the harmless vanity, coquetry, and sentiment of Ursula never again to see her as a cigarette-smoking adventuress of the 'society' novel and drama of the departed eighties."
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.
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