Thanhouser Theater Bio: The Marriages

0f_1_baf.jpgThe Marriages: In 1901 the story made the rounds that Maude Fealy was engaged to be married in William Gillette, with whom she was acting on the English stage, and the story was printed in so many papers that her mother cabled denials to leading press agencies in the United States and England. The union never took place.

On July 15, 1907 Maude Fealy was secretly married to Lewis Hugo Sherwin, a young Englishman who was dramatic critic for the Denver Republican. The couple, fearful of what Maude’s mother might say if she learned of the situation, lived apart for the first two weeks. Then, for a brief time, the newlyweds were together at her parents’ home at 826 East Colfax Street in Denver. Maude’s mother did not approve of the match, and referred to her new son-in-law as a “nobody.” She did her best to split the couple apart. Her stepfather, Rafaello Cavallo, likewise viewed the union with disfavor and was quoted as saying that Sherwin did not earn enough money to keep Miss Fealy provided with gloves, or, for that matter, to buy his own cigars and pay his laundry bills.

Not surprisingly, a rift developed between Maude and her husband when her mother, stating that Maude was not ready for such a marriage, forced her husband to agree to live separately for a year, after which he moved to the East. Miss Fealy subsequently filed for divorce, giving desertion and non-support as the reason. The decree was granted on Saturday, September 25, 1909.

In Washington, D.C., on November 28, 1909 (one account says October 31, 1909), Maude Fealy married an actor who played juvenile leads with Keith’s stock company, James Peter Durkin. Her new mate apparently won his mother-in-law’s approval, for an article datelined St. Paul, Minnesota, December 15, 1909, and printed in The Kansas City Post, quoted him as saying: “I can assure you that the marriage took place with the entire approval of Maude’s mother. We would never have been married without her sanction. We were married in Washington, we don’t care to say where, when, or by whom. Marriage is too sacred to be talked about publicly.”

Using Maude’s financial resources, the couple later formed the Fealy-Durkin stock company, which performed plays in Denver and elsewhere. Sacred or otherwise, the Fealy-Durkin marriage ended in divorce in Denver on June 18, 1917. Subsequently, Maude Fealy made a third and final trip to the altar, to wed James E. Cort. The marriage ended in an annulment in 1923. She never married again.

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Published in: on May 16, 2007 at 10:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

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