Viola Allen

Last updated

Viola Allen
Viola Allen seated.jpg
Born(1867-10-27)October 27, 1867
DiedMay 9, 1948(1948-05-09) (aged 80)
OccupationActress
Years active18821919
Spouse(s)
Peter C. Duryea
(m. 1905;died 1944)
[1]

Viola Emily Allen (October 27, 1867 – May 9, 1948) was an American stage actress who played leading roles in Shakespeare and other plays, including many original plays. She starred in over two dozen Broadway productions from 1885 to 1916. Beginning in 1915, she appeared in three silent films.

Contents

Biography

Allen was born in Huntsville, Alabama in 1867 (some sources say 1869), the daughter of actors C. Leslie Allen (1830–1917) and Sarah Lyon. [2] [3] She moved to Boston at three years of age and later moved with her family to Toronto. She was educated at the Bishop Strachan School, her brothers being educated at Trinity College School, Port Hope, Ontario. [4] She then attended a boarding school in New York City. [2]

Viola Allen Viola Allen.jpg
Viola Allen

Allen had her first stage appearance at the age of 15 at Madison Square Theatre in New York in 1882. Annie Russell, who was playing the title role in Esmeralda, took ill at one point during the long run. Allen's father was a member of the cast, and the theater's stage manager asked if Mr. Allen would allow his daughter to play the part. [5] Allen's debut attracted the attention of actor John McCullough, who made her his leading lady in 1884. [6]

Between the years of 1884 and 1886, she performed in a variety of modern and Shakespearean plays. She performed with the best-known 19th century actors including: Tommaso Salvini, Lawrence Barrett, Joseph Jefferson, and William J. Florence [4] . She is best remembered for her roles in Shenandoah (by Bronson Howard) and Little Lord Fauntleroy (by Frances Eliza Burnett).[ citation needed ] From 1885 to 1916, Allen starred in over two dozen Broadway productions, creating characters in many original plays. She played classical Shakesperean and comedy roles with Salvini, Lawrence Jarrett, Joseph Jefferson and V. J. Florence. In 1898, she created the character of Glory Quayle in Hall Caine's "The Christian." She acted in The Masqueraders, Under the Red Robe , The Christian, [7] In the Palace of the King (1900), Twelfth Night , A Winter's Tale , As You Like It , The Lady of Coventry (1911), and others. She played such roles as Virginia, Cordelia, Desdemona, Lydia Languish, Dolores, Julia and Roma. [4]

The gravesite of Viola Allen Viola Allen Gravesite.JPG
The gravesite of Viola Allen
Viola Allen in The Daughter of Heaven, a play by Pierre Loti and Judith Gautier Viola Allen in The Daughter of Heaven.jpg
Viola Allen in The Daughter of Heaven, a play by Pierre Loti and Judith Gautier

Allen starred in the 1915 silent film The White Sister along with Richard Travers. The film was produced by the Essanay Studios and was based on the 1909 play The White Sister that was a hit for Allen. She was married to Peter Duryea from 1905 until his death in 1944. Her last professional appearance was in 1918, at a benefit supporting war relief. She remained an active supporter of charitable and theatrical organizations. [ citation needed ]

She died in New York City, and is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Sleepy Hollow, New York.

Filmography

Related Research Articles

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, New York

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, New York, is the final resting place of numerous famous figures, including Washington Irving, whose story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is set in the adjacent burying ground at the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow. Incorporated in 1849 as Tarrytown Cemetery, the site posthumously honored Irving's request that it change its name to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

Karen Allen American film and stage actress

Karen Jane Allen is an American film and stage actress. After making her film debut in Animal House (1978), she became best known for her portrayal of Marion Ravenwood opposite Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), a role she later reprised for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008). She also co-starred in Starman (1984) and Scrooged (1988). Her stage work has included performances on Broadway.

Joan Allen American actress

Joan Allen is an American actress. She began her career with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 1977, won the 1984 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play for And a Nightingale Sang, and won the 1988 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her Broadway debut in Burn This. She is also a three-time Academy Award nominee; receiving Best Supporting Actress nominations for Nixon (1995) and The Crucible (1996), and a Best Actress nomination for The Contender (2000).

Dianne Wiest American actress

Dianne Evelyn Wiest is an American actress. She has twice won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, for the Woody Allen films Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and Bullets over Broadway (1994), and appeared in three other films by Allen; The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), Radio Days (1987), and September (1987). She also received an Academy Award nomination for Parenthood (1989), and won a Golden Globe Award for Bullets over Broadway.

Colleen Dewhurst Canadian-American actress

Colleen Rose Dewhurst was a Canadian-American actress. She is known most for theatre roles, and for a while as "the Queen of Off-Broadway". In her autobiography, Dewhurst wrote: "I had moved so quickly from one Off-Broadway production to the next that I was known, at one point, as the 'Queen of Off-Broadway'. This title was not due to my brilliance, but, rather, because most of the plays I was in closed after a run of anywhere from one night to two weeks. I would then move immediately into another." She was a renowned interpreter of the works of Eugene O'Neill on the stage, and her career also encompassed film, early dramas on live television, and Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival. One of her last roles was playing Marilla Cuthbert in the Kevin Sullivan television adaptations of the Anne of Green Gables series, and her reprisal of the role in the subsequent TV series Road to Avonlea. Dewhurst won two Tony Awards and four Emmy Awards for her stage and television work.

Leslie Browne is an American prima ballerina and actress. She was a principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre in New York City from 1986 until 1993. She was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, as well as a Golden Globe Award at age 20, for portraying a young dancer invited to join a large New York ballet company in The Turning Point (1977).

Madge Evans American actress

Madge Evans was an American stage and film actress. She began her career as a child performer and model.

Rose Eytinge American actress

Rose Eytinge was a Jewish American actress and author. She is thought to be the first American actor to earn a three figure salary.

Fred Terry 19th/20th-century English actor

Fred Terry was an English actor and theatrical manager. After establishing his reputation in London and in the provinces for a decade, he joined the company of Herbert Beerbohm Tree where he remained for four years, meeting his future wife, Julia Neilson. With Neilson, he played in London and on tour for 27 further years, becoming famous in sword and cape roles, such as the title role in The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Laila Robins is an American stage, film and television actress. She has appeared in films including Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987), Live Nude Girls (1995), True Crime (1999), She's Lost Control (2014), and Eye in the Sky (2015). Her television credits include regular roles on Gabriel's Fire, Homeland, and Murder in the First.

William A. Brady American theater actor and producer

William Aloysius Brady was an American theater actor, producer and sports promoter.

Elsie Leslie American actress

Elsie Leslie was an American actress. She was America's first child star and the highest paid and most popular child actress of her era.

Florence Reed American actress

Florence Reed was an American stage and film actress. She is remembered for several outstanding stage productions, including The Shanghai Gesture, The Lullaby, The Yellow Ticket and The Wanderer. Her best remembered movie role was as Miss Havisham in the 1934 production of Great Expectations. In this version, however, Miss Havisham was changed from a completely insane woman to an eccentric, who did not wear her wedding veil constantly, and who dies peacefully rather than as a result of suffering burns in a fire. In the 1950s Reed performed in several early television shows, such as The Philco Television Playhouse, Kraft Television Theatre and The United States Steel Hour.She is a member of the American Theater Hall of Fame.

Grace George Stage actress

Grace George was a prominent American stage actress, who had a long career on Broadway stage and also appeared in two films.

Dorothy Donnelly American actress

Dorothy Donnelly was an actress, playwright, librettist, producer, and director. After a decade-long acting career that included several notable roles on Broadway, she turned to writing plays, musicals and operettas, including more than a dozen on Broadway including several long-running successes. Her most famous libretto was The Student Prince (1924), in collaboration with composer Sigmund Romberg.

Janet Beecher American actress

Janet Beecher was an American stage and screen actress.

Vincent Serrano American actor

Vincent Serrano was an American actor in plays and silent films.

Miriam Battista American actress

Miriam Battista was an American actress known principally for her early career as a child star in silent films. After gaining notice in Broadway theatre at the age of four, she was cast in films the same year. Her most famous appearance was in the 1920 film Humoresque in which she played a little girl on crutches. As an adult, Battista acted in Italian-language films in the 1930s, and she appeared in Broadway productions. She wrote, sang, composed music, and co-hosted a television talk show with her second husband.

<i>The White Sister</i> (1915 film) 1915 film by Fred E. Wright

The White Sister is a 1915 American silent film produced by Essanay Studios. It is based on the 1909 play The White Sister by F. Marion Crawford and Walter Hackett. This film, directed by Fred E. Wright, stars Viola Allen, a prominent stage actress in her first movie. Allen had also created the role in the play and it was one of her biggest successes. It is not known whether the film survives.

Anne Sutherland (actress) American actress

Anne Sutherland was an American stage and screen actress who began acting in the 1880s. She began as a juvenile playing in a HMS Pinafore production. She appeared on stage in the 1880s-1890s with many greats of the period such as Henry E. Dixey in Adonis (1883), Lydia Thompson in Oxygen (1886), Nat C. Goodwin in The Nominee (1891), Georgia Cayvan in The City of Pleasure (1896), Joseph Jefferson in Rip Van Winkle and Mrs. Leslie Carter in Zaza (1899). One of her outstanding later plays was Craig's Wife (1925) which costarred Chrystal Herne.

References

  1. Notable American Women
  2. 1 2 Browne, Walter and Fredrick Arnold Austin (eds.) "Who's Who on the Stage: The Dramatic Reference Book and Biographical Dictionary of the Theatre, Vol. 1", W. Browne & F. A. Austin, (1906), p. 15, accessed June 18, 2013
  3. "Biographical History", Finding Aid for the Charles Leslie Allen Playbook Collection, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, accessed October 8, 2014
  4. 1 2 3 Morgan, Henry James, ed. (1903). Types of Canadian Women and of Women who are or have been Connected with Canada. Toronto: Williams Briggs. p.  10.
  5. "Viola Allen, The Life and Times of Joseph Haworth, accessed November 28, 2012
  6. Eaton, Walter Prichard (1910). The American Stage of Today. New York, NY: P.F. Collier & Son.
  7. Clapp, pp. 63–65

Further reading