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Julian Eltinge

December 25, 2012

Julian Eltinge (1881-1941), American female impersonator and actor manager (photo: Sarony, New York, circa 1907)

‘The Cohan & Harris minstrels are returning to New York for a short stay after a long tour through the South and West. Everywhere Julian Eltinge has been one of the greatest drawing cards of the organization. His is the first impersonation of a woman that the writer recalls having seen in which there was not some hint of vulgarity. Mr. Eltinge, however, is not the only man who has been remarked as having appeared in female role with the unstinted approbation of the public, though he is probably the only one that has been seen in this country whose impersonations are above criticism In the early days of the English drama, say between 1650 and 1660, [Thomas] Betterton, who was leading man at the Cockpit, in Drury Lane, played opposite [Edward] Kynaston (all the roles, female as well as male, were mostly played by men in those days), of whom John Downes, a contemporary, remarked: ”It has been disputable among the judicious whether any woman that succeeded him in the said plays so sensibly touched the audience as he.”

‘It is publicly stated that Mr. Eltinge will be starred in a new play next year, and certainly no one is more worthy of the honor that such an advancement signifies. (Los Angeles Herald Sunday Magazine, Los Angeles, Sunday, 10 January 1909, p. 4)

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