Spotlight on Actresses from the Late 1800s and Early 1900s

Since we'd had so much fun in the past, bringing to light forgotten stars of stage and the early silver screen, I thought it might be nice to showcase just a few more Victorian and Edwardian actresses as found on collectible postcards.

Born in Feb 12, 1886 in Missouri Valley, IA, veteran stage actress "Babe" Fischer, stepped onto the silent screen as Margarita Fischer in 1910. By 1913, this leading lady/ingenue had starred in a wide range of films including Robinson Crusoe, and Uncle Tom's Cabin-- the latter, interestingly, in the role of an African-American slave girl. When America entered World War I, the young actress, like others in the industry, made a move to assist her career-- she changed her German-sounding name to the more Americanized "Fisher."

She married actor director Harry A, Pollard , and went on to do a number of one-, two- and eventually five-reel motion pictures, which the AllMovie database refers to as "of negligible quality."

By the 20s, Fischer's career was in decline, so she and her director husband attempted to jump-start it again with a "lavish remake" of Uncle Tom's Cabin, where she was now cast in the role of the character "Eliza." The reviews, regrettably, were largely negative. And this disappointment, along with the introduction of the first talkies, pushed the prolific silent film actress, Margarita Fischer, into a final retirement. She died March 11, 1975 in Encinitas, CA.

For more information on Margarita Fischer, you might be interested in the following resources:

Born September 10, 1872 as Caroline Maria Lupton, English stage actress Marie Studholme played in both supporting and starring roles in musical comedies from 1892 to 1915, and was one of the most photographed actresses of her time, appearing regularly on postcards.

Studholme's theater career spanned from 1892 to 1915. She was one of producer George Edwardes' famous Gaiety Girls and originated several roles in British musical comedies.

She met her first husband, actor Gilbert Porteous, on the stage while working on the musical comedy Morocco Bound at the Shaftesbury Theatre in 1893. And it was her work there that prompted manager, George Edwardes to include her in his popular chorusline production, "The Gaiety Girls."

While her marriage to Porteous resulted in divorce, her personal life included a wide span of interests. In 1907 she study Jujitsu with Yukio Tani; she also loved animals and was often photographed with them, even donating the proceeds for autographs of her postcards to animal and theatrical charities. Upon marrying her second husband, Harold Borrett on September 4, 1909, she adopted two children-- Peter Lupino and girl four years his younger, named Jill. .

She died of rheumatic fever at age 57 in March 1930

Additional resources are available for you on Marie Strudholme here:

For as colorful and dramatic as the postcard is above, you would imagine there would be more information readily out there about Queenie Leighton. But after a quick search, here's the little I learned...

Born July 1872, in Auroraville, Wisconsin, Queenie Leighton was the the daughter of Dorothy Gerard. Sometimes going by Lillie Leighton, Queenie's screen credits include the character of Polly Piecan in Screen Struck in 1916, and Under the Greenwood Tree in 1929. Given the gap between the two films, I'm wondering if she hadn't participated in other films or stage productions in between those dates, that have simply been lost to time.

She was married to Lieutenant Frederick Cockerill, date unknown, and she died November 19, 1943 in Farnworth, Lancashire, England.

Here are some resources on her-- unfortunately equally sparse:

The British stage actress known here as Mrs. Patrick Campbell was born Beatrice Stella Tanner in Kensington, London, on February 9, 1865. She married Patrick Campbell in 1884, which would be her first of two marriages. She made her stage debut in 1888 in Liverpool, and then in London shows such as The Second Mrs. Tanqueray, The Masqueraders, and moving on to juicy Shakespearean roles such as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Ophelia in Hamlet and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth.

From there, she moved to Boardway performances, including The Joy of Living, acting alongside Sarah Bernhardt, and she played Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion, a part which George Bernard Shaw, her friend, wrote specifically for her.

Even after her husband was killed in the Boer War in 1900, and she remarried (one George Cornwallis-West) the actress continued working under the name of "Mrs. Patrick Campbell."

She died April 9, 1940, leaving behind two children, Beo and Stella.

For more information on Mrs. Patrick Campbell, check out these links:

Now, interestingly, there were two cards in my batch that I wasn't able to find anything about...

This lady has the name "August Buty" written just under her picture. But the funny thing about it is, when you read the back of the card, you discover the sender is actually August Buty, and not the unnamed actress/model here.

And then there's this card...

"Léo Daltys" is the name listed above... But whether that is the name of the photographer, the card company, or the stage name of the lady shown above, I do not know.

Well, that's a wrap for us for today!

Otherwise, guess it's time to head backstage to the dressing room and get comfortable! Hope your upcoming week is a smash hit.


Janelle said...

That was so much fun to read! And what gorgeous cards.

Jenn Thorson said...

Janelle- I started buying them for the colors and the costumes.... it's all so over-the-top!

T.L Bugg said...

Those are great. I never thought about searching for images like this on postcards. Thanks for the post, these are great!

Jenn Thorson said...

TL- You can pretty much find almost anything printed on postcards, if you find the right postcard shop. It's amazing the variety of choices-- landmarks, states, railroads, grand openings, actors, greetings... you name it.

About Postcards said...

A great post. Thanks for the mention of my blog. Your link however incomplete, here is a corrected one to the Marie Studholme post
Marie Studholme Gaiety Girl

Kind regards
About Postcards