Manners, J. Hartley

(1870-1928)
   John Hartley Manners was born in London, England, but spent most of his career as a playwright and director working in the American theatre. His play, Crossways (1902), written for Lillie Langtry, brought him to New York as a member of its cast. In collaboration with Henry Miller, Manners wrote Zira (1905), which starred Margaret Anglin, and was a moderate success. When he married actress Laurette Taylor in 1911, Manners turned his attentions to writing stage vehicles for her. The first of these, Peg O'My Heart (1912), was the best and most successful, a work she toured in for years. Subsequent Manners plays, mostly sentimental comedies, found success, although typically more on tour than in New York. These include The Harp of Life (1916), Out There (1917), Happiness (1917), One Night in Rome (1919), and The National Anthem (1922). His plays suited popular tastes in the first two decades of the 20th century, but he rarely challenged his skill as a dramatist or the talents of Taylor, who would be seen to better advantage in her legendary performance in Tennessee Williams's* The Glass Menagerie* (1945) at the end of her career.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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