- (1869-1950)The lovely actress with luminous dark eyes and black hair was born Ida Lewis in Hamilton, Ontario. She acted with amateur groups, then joined Daniel E. Bandmann 's Repertoire Company, touring the western United States for four years. She made her New York debut in The Black Masque in 1891. In 1893, she played the title role in the first American production of Lady Windermere's Fan. Then she acted with Sir Henry Irving's company in London and on an American tour.In 1897, Julia Arthur rose to stardom in A Lady of Quality and married railroad financier Benjamin Pierce Cheney. She then formed her own repertory company to tour Shakespeare and historical melodramas like Ingomar. As a last-minute replacement for her leading man, William S. Hart enjoyed an engagement for which he did not have to furnish his own costume wardrobe. Hart wrote charmingly in his memoir My Life East and West about playing opposite her: "Julia Arthur! A glorious actress, and a glorious woman!" Julia Arthur retired from the stage in 1899 but returned in 1914. She performed about 200 leading roles.
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.
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