Toby Claude

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Toby Claude
Claude c.1904
Harriette Mary Kavanagh

(1877-01-29)January 29, 1877
DiedOctober 27, 1962(1962-10-27) (aged 85)
Years active1900–1929
Spouse William P. Carleton (divorced 1903)

Toby Claude (born Harriette Mary Kavanagh; January 29, 1877 – October 27, 1962) was an Irish actress and singer in vaudeville, on the Broadway stage, and in silent films.


Early life

Harriette Mary Kavanagh was born in Dublin. Her father Richard Kavanaugh was Irish; her mother Angelina Claude [1] was an "English burlesque actress". [2] She began using the name "Toby" as a girl, after a dog on the cover of Punch magazine. [3]


Toby Claude's stage credits included roles in The Belle of New York (1900), The Cadet Girl (1900), The Prima Donna (1901), Floradora (1902), The Belle of Broadway (1902), The Baroness Fiddlesticks (1904). [4] and Fantana (1906). [5] Theatre writers often mentioned her short stature (she was well under five feet in height): "Miss Toby Claude [is] almost sufficiently diminutive to rank as an eccentric Lilliputian," commented one in 1904. [6] Her vaudeville act included popular songs. [7] [8] She toured Hawaii and Australia in 1910. [9]

During World War I she helped with military recruitment drives. [10] In middle age, Toby Claude appeared in five silent films: Lost: A Wife (1925, now lost), [11] The Clinging Vine (1926), [12] For Alimony Only (1926), [13] No Control (1927), [14] and Turkish Delight (1927). In 1929 she was part of a group of actors who organized the Actors Theater in Los Angeles. [15]

Personal life

Toby Claude married fellow actor William P. Carleton; they divorced in 1903. [16] In 1915 she was involved in a scandal when she was found leaving America with another actress's husband and young child. [17] [18] She died on October 27, 1962, in Los Angeles, California, USA. [19]

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  1. "Miss Toby Claude" English Illustrated Magazine (May 1899): 185.
  2. Bertha C. Crowell, "A Chat with Toby Claude Who Means to be a Star" Los Angeles Herald (February 18, 1904): 6.
  3. "Toby Claude Took Name of Doggie" Honolulu Advertiser (March 13, 1910): 8. via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  4. Toby Claude, Broadway and Stage Credits, Broadway World.
  5. "Fantana at the Belasco" The Index (May 12, 1906): 14.
  6. "A Chinese Honeymoon" Town Talk (January 30, 1904): 29.
  7. Keith Lester, "Always Loving You; Song by Toby Claude on Vaudeville" Boston Daily Globe (August 1, 1909): SM15.
  8. "Toby Claude in Keith's Vaudeville" Boston Daily Globe (January 19, 1915): 4.
  9. "Interview with Miss Toby Claude" Critic (October 19, 1910): 11. via Trove Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  10. "Toby Claude, Actress, Out on Street Buttonholing 'Em to Enlist" Des Moines Tribune (April 24, 1917): 4. via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  11. Untitled news item, Democrat and Chronicle (June 21, 1925): 50. via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  12. "Leatrice Joy Has Excellent Role in 'The Clinging Vine'" News Review (February 26, 1927): 2. via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  13. Mordaunt Hall, "The Screen" New York Times (September 21, 1926): 33.
  14. "No Control" Ithaca Journal (May 31, 1927): 3. via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  15. "New Actors Theater is Organized" Los Angeles Times (November 24, 1929): B15.
  16. "Tiny Toby Claude Seeks a Divorce" Boston Daily Globe (May 21, 1903): 1.
  17. "Toby Claude and Actor Disappear with his Child" St. Louis Post-Dispatch (August 12, 1915): 9. via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  18. "Actress Practiced Wiles on Partner" Quad-City Times (July 11, 1915): 6. via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  19. "Toby Claude". IMDb. Retrieved October 13, 2020.