Posts Tagged ‘Iris Hoey’

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Iris Hoey

May 5, 2013

Iris Hoey (1885-1979), English stand and screen actress
(photo: Dover Street Studios, London, circa 1906)
‘London, Aug. 9 [1907]. – Mad infatuation for Iris Hoey, an actress, led Shirley Fackle [i.e. Shirley Douglas Falcke], 18 years of age, son of a wealthy stock broker to attempt suicide by shooting himself while riding in a hansom cab with the firl, from whom he was about to be separated – almost an exact duplication of the tragedy, when Caesar Young killed himself while riding in a hansom cab with Nan Patterson, a New York actress. He is now in a hospital and may die.
‘for several months the young man has been infatuated with Miss Hoey – no kin to ”Old Hoss” – whom he met casually in a Strang restaurant [i.e. a restaurant in the Strand, London].
‘he followed her to her boarding house, leaving his own home, took rooms in the same house as the actress.
‘Fackle was employed in the Anglo-Egyptian bank and neglected his business, giving all his time to the company of Miss Hoey.
‘he followed her about England and his parents tried desperately to break the attachment.
‘On one occasion his father wrote to the actress, ”Art you the woman who has taken my baby boy away? I will have you kicked out of every theatre in London.”
‘Father Calls Halt.
‘Finally Fackle’s father decided to send him to Canada to force him away from Miss Hoey. It was this resolve that led to the shooting.
‘He called on the actress and had tea with her, so melancholy that he could hardly talk.
”’He then asked me to spend his last evening in London with him” said Miss Hoey, and after supper he told her that he intended to commit suicide.
”’I tried to laugh this off, but he said he was in earnest, but I could not believe it.
”’He drove me home in a cab. All the while he was very downhearted and said:
””This is the last time I shall see you for I mean to do what I have said.”’
‘She Couldn’t Prevent It.
”’I then realized for the first time that he was in earnest, and I refused to let him go home alone.
”’I jumped back into the cab after him and insisted upon taking him to his father’s house.
”’he was still lamenting the fact that he was very unhappy, and that this was the last time he would see me.
”’I did not know he had a revolver with him. When I found it out I held his hands to try to keep him from shooting himself.
”’Suddenly he succeeded in tearing one hand away and I saw the glitter of the revolver. The fire followed, the cab stopped, and Mr. Fackle, who had fallen down in a heap in the cab, was lifted up by a policeman. I was assisted by a lady and gentleman who were passing at the time. Mr. Fackle exclaimed to the policeman, ‘I have done it all myself.’
”’I was delirious for a time, but I remember going to the hospital in a cab. I was in a semi-conscious condition all the time.”’
(Albuquerque Evening Citizen, Albuquerque, Tuesday, 12 August 1907, p. 3b/c)

Shirley Douglas Falcke (1889-1957), dealer in art and art critic, was a grandson of David Falcke (1816-1866), a well-known antiques dealer of Bond Street, London, who retired in 1858 and whose collection of works of art was sold in an 18 day sale at Christie’s, beginning Monday, 19 April that year.

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a scene from To-night’s the Night

March 9, 2013

a scene from George Grossmith and Edward Laurillard’s production of To-Night’s The Night, first staged (after a trial at New Haven) at the Shubert Theatre, New York, 24 December 1914, with, left to right, James Blakely as Montagu Lovitt-Lovitt, George Grossmith as Dudley Mitten and Emmy Wehlen as June

the piece ran at the Shubert until March 1915 after which, with various cast changes, it toured the United States;
meanwhile, Blakely, Grossmith and others returned to London, where
To-Night’s the Night opened at the Gaiety Theatre on 28 April 1915,
when the part of June was played by Haidée de Rance (later replaced by Madge Saunders)
(photo: White, New York, 1914/15)

‘There has been, inevitably, an influx of English actors and English plays. Six entire theatrical companies are said to have arrived in their entirely in New York. Charles Frohman announced the past week that he intended to close his Duke of York’s Theater in London and transplant the company to Chicago. Marie Lohr, Irene Vanbrugh and Godfrey Tearle will head the Chicago all-star company.
‘George Grossmith, Jr., and Edward Laurillard intend bringing a company of 60 players, including a majority of the Gaiety favorites, to this country [a modernized version of] the old farce, ‘Pink Dominoes. In the cast are Emmy Wehlen, Iris Hooey [sic], Max Dearly, Robert Nainby and Mr. Grossmith himself. They will sail for New York November 28.’
(The Evening Public Ledger, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Saturday, 21 November 1914, p. 12a/b)

To-Night’s the Night, on tour in the United States, at the Lyric Theatre, Philadelphia
Tonight’s the Night is a drama from the English of Fred Thompson – as we Drama Leaguers put it about Ibsen. Anybody at the Lyric could tell it came from London by the flora, fauna and indehiscent polycarpellaries. When a stout gentleman, with a dreadnought wife says, ”What a pretty shape that house maid has. I mean what a pretty shape he has made the house”; when that fell remark is brazenly followed up by allusions to law cases and corkscrews; when a stony stare is described, with intent to kill, as a geological survey, then you may truly know that you are in the presence of English whit and ‘humour.
‘Those an ”med’cine” and ”ridic’lous” didn’t settle the question of pedigree or pleasure for the audience at the Lyric last night, for you can suffer that sort of thing in any Frohman importation. The present specimen was redeemed, redeemed completely and gloriously, by a real London company, doing the piece just as it would have done it if Tonight’s the Night had been produced at the Gaiety first instead of over here in America. The chorus proved it the minute it came on. It had a ladylike air about it. It breathed the refinement of duchesses in reduced circumstances. Probably that was because we are naturally too unused to the English girl to be able to detect subtle shadings. No doubt there are dozens of Englishmen who could say, ”That one isn’t a lady,” or ”This one will be some day.” But that doesn’t matter. There they were with their fresh complexions – fresh, but not from the rouge box – their softly curling flaxen hair, their gray-blue eyes, their gleaming teeth and their large, admirable noses. A languid chorus, maybe, that dawdled among while the music kicked up its heels and ran off. But a change for us! The second string wasn’t so good, but what can you expect in one show? ‘At any rate, you need not expect so many excellent principals. Lauri de Frece, a good-looking tenor-or-thereabouts with a sense of humor, capable of going punting on the sofa and flinging flowers to himself. Teddy Webb, playing the sort of fat uncle part James Blakely always does – and used to do in the present case. Wilfred Seagram, another of those good-looking young Englishmen, holding down, quite successfully, George Grossmith’s shoes. Edward Nainby, as a grotesque in the style of George Graves. Maurice Farkoa, cooing his songs with all the art of a chamber recital. Davy Burnaby, polite comedian, and added feature.
‘As for women – Ethel Baird, as an Iris Hoey: Allison Skipworth, as a matron of a decidedly subtle type, and Fay Compton, her delightful self, a beautiful women and also an artist in the subtleties that make ladies’ maids ladies’ maids, even if they are adored by sundry leading men.
‘And outside all the list of the Allies, Emmy Wehlen, the Von Hindenburg, the Von Kluck, of Tonight’s the Night, dashing from the eastern front to the west, sweeping down on Warsaw, plunging a new drive on Paris. Languid English girls are very nice, ever so much nicer than American tango fiends. But ‘way for the lady from Germany!
‘All of which forgets the plot and music. For the first, understand that Tonight’s the Night is supplied with the dramatic details of that veteran farce, The Pink Domino – perhaps a few too many for the amount of music. And as for the music, it may not be up to American tunes as ragtime, but its composer is aware of the existence of the bassoon. And that is a good deal.
Tonight’s the Night is fresh from England, fresh as an English daisy. So far it has acquired only three bad habits: allusions to B.V.D.’s, Fatimas and the inevitable Ford.’
(The Evening Public Ledger, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Tuesday, 4 May 1915, p. 7a)

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February 3, 2013

Thelma Raye (née Thelma Victoria Maud Bell-Morton, 1890-1966)
English musical comedy actress,
in costume as O Kiku San
in the revival of The Geisha, Daly’s Theatre, London, 18 June 1906.
The front-of-house frame encloses
photographs of Miss Raye by the Dover Street Studios
as she appeared in The Little Michus.
(photo: unknown, probably London, 1906)

Auburn haired Thelma Raye was born on 6 September 1890 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Nothing is known at present of her early life and training as an actress and singer in musical comedy, and the first we hear of her is in The Little Michus (Daly’s, London, 29 April 1905), playing Marie Blanche in succession to Mabel Green and Denise Orme, and Ernestine in succession to Nina Sevening, Bertha Callan, Iris Hoey, Mabel Russell and Marie Löhr. Remaining with the same management for the next two years she was next seen in the revival of The Geisha (Daly’s, 18 June 1906) as O Kiku San, before playing in Les Merveilleuses (Daly’s, 27 October 1906) as Illyrine in succession to Denise Orme, and in The Girls of Gottenberg (Gaiety, 15 May 1907) as Elsa in succession to May de Sousa and Enid Leonhardt.

Thelma Raye’s next engagement was to play Helene in the American production of the popular English musical, The Dairymaids (Criterion, New York, 26 August 1907, 86 performances). Returning to England she was re-engaged by George Edwardes for the part of Elsa in a touring company of The Girls of Gottenberg, beginning with a short stay at the Adelphi Theatre, London (10 August 1908, 12 performances). She was next seen in a tour of The Pigeon House, first produced at the New Theatre, Cardiff, on 27 June 1910; during the run her part of Léontine de Merval was later played by Iris Hoey and Dorothy Moulton. Miss Raye was afterwards engaged to play Mariana in Bonita (Queen’s, London, 23 September 1911, 42 performances), Honorka in The Grass Widows (Apollo, London, 7 September 1912, 50 performances), and Fifi du Barry (in which part she was succeeded by Marie Blanche) in The Joy-Ride Lady (New, London, 21 February 1914, 105 performances).

Thelma Raye
Thelma Raye as Fifi du Barry in
The Joy-Ride Lady, New Theatre, London, 21 February 1914.
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1914)

On 21 Marcy 1917, now aged 26, Thelma Raye was married to Percy Stewart Dawson (1888-1947), an Australian and member of the Steward Dawson family of jewellers and silversmiths of Sydney & London. The couple had already had a daughter, Dawn, who was born at Bournemouth in England on 1 April 1913. The marriage foundered, however, and in March 1918 Miss Raye returned to London. During 1919 she was on a UK tour as the lead in Cosmo Hamilton’s play, Scandal. It was at about this time that she met the actor Ronald Colman (1891-1958); they were married at on 18 September 1920. Frustrated by his inability to make headway with his career, Colman left England for New York less than a month later followed by his wife in February 1921.

Later recalling that this was the most difficult period in his career, Colman was lucky enough to be chosen to appear in Henri Bataille’s drama, La Tendresse, starring Ruth Chatterton (Empire, New York, 25 September 1922). This led to his being cast as leading man to Lillian Gish in the 1923 Hollywood film, The White Sister, in which Thelma was allocated a tiny part. Such was the success of this venture, at least as far as Colman was concerned, that he was awarded a contract by Samuel Goldwyn and during the next eighteen months he appeared in several other films, two of which respectively starred May McAvoy and Constance Talmadge. In 1924 Colman was seen again with Lillian Gish, in a film version of George Eliot’s novel, Romola, in which Thelma Raye was given an uncredited bit part.

There is little doubt that Colman’s steeply rising success as a Hollywood star soon put an intolerable strain on his marriage. The couple publicly acknowledged a breakdown in their relationship by early 1926 and although separated they did not formally split for another eight years. As one writer has put it, ‘Raye loomed in the background and would periodically appear – often demanding more money in proportion to her husband’s increasing financial success. A divorce was finally arranged after Raye was offered a hefty financial settlement and the parasitic relationship finally came to an end.’ This view was endorsed in the biography, Ronald Colman: A Very Private Person (William Morrow & Co Inc, 1975) by Juliet Benita Colman (b.1944), Colman’s daughter by his second marriage to the English actress Benita Hume. Miss Colman’s opinion of her father’s first wife was that she had ‘a jealous and vindictive nature.’

Of Thelma Raye very little else is heard. In the summer of 1938 it was rumoured that she was to return to the stage in a play, A Garden of Weeds by Ronald Gerard, which was to tour in the United States before a New York opening, but nothing seems to have come of this or any other theatrical project. Then in early in 1939, describing herself as ‘the Original Mrs. Ronald Colman,’ Thelma Raye was reported to have opened a small sports/novelty shop at Laguna Beach, California. She settled in New South Wales, Australia, about 1943 and died at Port Macquarie on 29 June 1966.

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February 3, 2013

Thelma Raye (née Thelma Victoria Maud Bell-Morton, 1890-1966)
English musical comedy actress,
in costume as O Kiku San
in the revival of The Geisha, Daly’s Theatre, London, 18 June 1906.
The front-of-house frame encloses
photographs of Miss Raye by the Dover Street Studios
as she appeared in The Little Michus.
(photo: unknown, probably London, 1906)

Auburn haired Thelma Raye was born on 6 September 1890 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Nothing is known at present of her early life and training as an actress and singer in musical comedy, and the first we hear of her is in The Little Michus (Daly’s, London, 29 April 1905), playing Marie Blanche in succession to Mabel Green and Denise Orme, and Ernestine in succession to Nina Sevening, Bertha Callan, Iris Hoey, Mabel Russell and Marie Löhr. Remaining with the same management for the next two years she was next seen in the revival of The Geisha (Daly’s, 18 June 1906) as O Kiku San, before playing in Les Merveilleuses (Daly’s, 27 October 1906) as Illyrine in succession to Denise Orme, and in The Girls of Gottenberg (Gaiety, 15 May 1907) as Elsa in succession to May de Sousa and Enid Leonhardt.

Thelma Raye’s next engagement was to play Helene in the American production of the popular English musical, The Dairymaids (Criterion, New York, 26 August 1907, 86 performances). Returning to England she was re-engaged by George Edwardes for the part of Elsa in a touring company of The Girls of Gottenberg, beginning with a short stay at the Adelphi Theatre, London (10 August 1908, 12 performances). She was next seen in a tour of The Pigeon House, first produced at the New Theatre, Cardiff, on 27 June 1910; during the run her part of Léontine de Merval was later played by Iris Hoey and Dorothy Moulton. Miss Raye was afterwards engaged to play Mariana in Bonita (Queen’s, London, 23 September 1911, 42 performances), Honorka in The Grass Widows (Apollo, London, 7 September 1912, 50 performances), and Fifi du Barry (in which part she was succeeded by Marie Blanche) in The Joy-Ride Lady (New, London, 21 February 1914, 105 performances).

Thelma Raye
Thelma Raye as Fifi du Barry in
The Joy-Ride Lady, New Theatre, London, 21 February 1914.
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1914)

On 21 Marcy 1917, now aged 26, Thelma Raye was married to Percy Stewart Dawson (1888-1947), an Australian and member of the Steward Dawson family of jewellers and silversmiths of Sydney & London. The couple had already had a daughter, Dawn, who was born at Bournemouth in England on 1 April 1913. The marriage foundered, however, and in March 1918 Miss Raye returned to London. During 1919 she was on a UK tour as the lead in Cosmo Hamilton’s play, Scandal. It was at about this time that she met the actor Ronald Colman (1891-1958); they were married at on 18 September 1920. Frustrated by his inability to make headway with his career, Colman left England for New York less than a month later followed by his wife in February 1921.

Later recalling that this was the most difficult period in his career, Colman was lucky enough to be chosen to appear in Henri Bataille’s drama, La Tendresse, starring Ruth Chatterton (Empire, New York, 25 September 1922). This led to his being cast as leading man to Lillian Gish in the 1923 Hollywood film, The White Sister, in which Thelma was allocated a tiny part. Such was the success of this venture, at least as far as Colman was concerned, that he was awarded a contract by Samuel Goldwyn and during the next eighteen months he appeared in several other films, two of which respectively starred May McAvoy and Constance Talmadge. In 1924 Colman was seen again with Lillian Gish, in a film version of George Eliot’s novel, Romola, in which Thelma Raye was given an uncredited bit part.

There is little doubt that Colman’s steeply rising success as a Hollywood star soon put an intolerable strain on his marriage. The couple publicly acknowledged a breakdown in their relationship by early 1926 and although separated they did not formally split for another eight years. As one writer has put it, ‘Raye loomed in the background and would periodically appear – often demanding more money in proportion to her husband’s increasing financial success. A divorce was finally arranged after Raye was offered a hefty financial settlement and the parasitic relationship finally came to an end.’ This view was endorsed in the biography, Ronald Colman: A Very Private Person (William Morrow & Co Inc, 1975) by Juliet Benita Colman (b.1944), Colman’s daughter by his second marriage to the English actress Benita Hume. Miss Colman’s opinion of her father’s first wife was that she had ‘a jealous and vindictive nature.’

Of Thelma Raye very little else is heard. In the summer of 1938 it was rumoured that she was to return to the stage in a play, A Garden of Weeds by Ronald Gerard, which was to tour in the United States before a New York opening, but nothing seems to have come of this or any other theatrical project. Then in early in 1939, describing herself as ‘the Original Mrs. Ronald Colman,’ Thelma Raye was reported to have opened a small sports/novelty shop at Laguna Beach, California. She settled in New South Wales, Australia, about 1943 and died at Port Macquarie on 29 June 1966.

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February 3, 2013

Thelma Raye (née Thelma Victoria Maud Bell-Morton, 1890-1966)
English musical comedy actress,
in costume as O Kiku San
in the revival of The Geisha, Daly’s Theatre, London, 18 June 1906.
The front-of-house frame encloses
photographs of Miss Raye by the Dover Street Studios
as she appeared in The Little Michus.
(photo: unknown, probably London, 1906)

Auburn haired Thelma Raye was born on 6 September 1890 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Nothing is known at present of her early life and training as an actress and singer in musical comedy, and the first we hear of her is in The Little Michus (Daly’s, London, 29 April 1905), playing Marie Blanche in succession to Mabel Green and Denise Orme, and Ernestine in succession to Nina Sevening, Bertha Callan, Iris Hoey, Mabel Russell and Marie Löhr. Remaining with the same management for the next two years she was next seen in the revival of The Geisha (Daly’s, 18 June 1906) as O Kiku San, before playing in Les Merveilleuses (Daly’s, 27 October 1906) as Illyrine in succession to Denise Orme, and in The Girls of Gottenberg (Gaiety, 15 May 1907) as Elsa in succession to May de Sousa and Enid Leonhardt.

Thelma Raye’s next engagement was to play Helene in the American production of the popular English musical, The Dairymaids (Criterion, New York, 26 August 1907, 86 performances). Returning to England she was re-engaged by George Edwardes for the part of Elsa in a touring company of The Girls of Gottenberg, beginning with a short stay at the Adelphi Theatre, London (10 August 1908, 12 performances). She was next seen in a tour of The Pigeon House, first produced at the New Theatre, Cardiff, on 27 June 1910; during the run her part of Léontine de Merval was later played by Iris Hoey and Dorothy Moulton. Miss Raye was afterwards engaged to play Mariana in Bonita (Queen’s, London, 23 September 1911, 42 performances), Honorka in The Grass Widows (Apollo, London, 7 September 1912, 50 performances), and Fifi du Barry (in which part she was succeeded by Marie Blanche) in The Joy-Ride Lady (New, London, 21 February 1914, 105 performances).

Thelma Raye
Thelma Raye as Fifi du Barry in
The Joy-Ride Lady, New Theatre, London, 21 February 1914.
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1914)

On 21 Marcy 1917, now aged 26, Thelma Raye was married to Percy Stewart Dawson (1888-1947), an Australian and member of the Steward Dawson family of jewellers and silversmiths of Sydney & London. The couple had already had a daughter, Dawn, who was born at Bournemouth in England on 1 April 1913. The marriage foundered, however, and in March 1918 Miss Raye returned to London. During 1919 she was on a UK tour as the lead in Cosmo Hamilton’s play, Scandal. It was at about this time that she met the actor Ronald Colman (1891-1958); they were married at on 18 September 1920. Frustrated by his inability to make headway with his career, Colman left England for New York less than a month later followed by his wife in February 1921.

Later recalling that this was the most difficult period in his career, Colman was lucky enough to be chosen to appear in Henri Bataille’s drama, La Tendresse, starring Ruth Chatterton (Empire, New York, 25 September 1922). This led to his being cast as leading man to Lillian Gish in the 1923 Hollywood film, The White Sister, in which Thelma was allocated a tiny part. Such was the success of this venture, at least as far as Colman was concerned, that he was awarded a contract by Samuel Goldwyn and during the next eighteen months he appeared in several other films, two of which respectively starred May McAvoy and Constance Talmadge. In 1924 Colman was seen again with Lillian Gish, in a film version of George Eliot’s novel, Romola, in which Thelma Raye was given an uncredited bit part.

There is little doubt that Colman’s steeply rising success as a Hollywood star soon put an intolerable strain on his marriage. The couple publicly acknowledged a breakdown in their relationship by early 1926 and although separated they did not formally split for another eight years. As one writer has put it, ‘Raye loomed in the background and would periodically appear – often demanding more money in proportion to her husband’s increasing financial success. A divorce was finally arranged after Raye was offered a hefty financial settlement and the parasitic relationship finally came to an end.’ This view was endorsed in the biography, Ronald Colman: A Very Private Person (William Morrow & Co Inc, 1975) by Juliet Benita Colman (b.1944), Colman’s daughter by his second marriage to the English actress Benita Hume. Miss Colman’s opinion of her father’s first wife was that she had ‘a jealous and vindictive nature.’

Of Thelma Raye very little else is heard. In the summer of 1938 it was rumoured that she was to return to the stage in a play, A Garden of Weeds by Ronald Gerard, which was to tour in the United States before a New York opening, but nothing seems to have come of this or any other theatrical project. Then in early in 1939, describing herself as ‘the Original Mrs. Ronald Colman,’ Thelma Raye was reported to have opened a small sports/novelty shop at Laguna Beach, California. She settled in New South Wales, Australia, about 1943 and died at Port Macquarie on 29 June 1966.