- (1890-1950)The actress was born in Hanford, California, and educated in San Francisco, where she often attended plays at the Alcazar Theatre. At 13, she performed with the Belasco Stock Company there. She toured with various companies before making her New York debut in The Talker in 1912. She performed in a number of well-received plays, but finally made the leap to stardom in Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie (1921), with continuing acclaim for her performances in They Knew What They Wanted (1924), The Late Christopher Bean* (1932), and Ethan Frome* (1936). As Lynn Fontanne's replacement in the role of Nina Leeds in Strange Interlude in 1928, she again won praise for her compelling qualities: the emotional truth of her characterizations, her tremulous vulnerability, and subtle power.
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.
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