More of the Thanhouser Bio…

With Thanhouser: Maude Fealy appeared in several Thanhouser films in 1911 and 1912, and worked at the New Rochelle studio between stage engagements. She played occasional parts at the time and was not featured in Thanhouser publicity releases or advertisements.

In April 1913, following stage appearances in the road show of The Right Princess, she signed a three-year contract with Charles J. Hite to appear in Thanhouser films. She came to New Rochelle and spent seven weeks with the production company for the film, King René’s Daughter. Her husband, James Durkin, accompanied her and also secured a position with Thanhouser. Parts of June, July, and August were spent back in Denver, where she was on stage at the Lakeside Theatre at Elitch’s Gardens.

Following the stage shows, Miss Fealy and her husband were scheduled to go back to New Rochelle. From there, she would “join the Thanhouser Company on an expedition to Nova Scotia, where Evangeline will be given a most elaborate production in the original locale of Longfellow’s immortal book among ‘the murmuring pines and hemlocks’ of ‘the forest primeval,'” according to a news item.

Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale and Tennyson’s Elaine were also said to be scheduled. Although The Winter’s Tale had been produced by Thanhouser in 1910, no 1913 version was ever made, nor did the New Rochelle firm ever release films under the titles of Evangeline or Elaine.

A New Rochelle city directory noted that Maude Fealy lived at Beacon Hall, an apartment building adjacent to the Thanhouser studios, in 1913. In 1914 Maude Fealy is not listed, but there is a listing for an Ellen Fealy at 150 Main Street. The New Rochelle Pioneer, October 10, 1914, described her home: “In private life she is Mrs. James Durkin, wife of a Thanhouser director, with whom she scored triumphs in stock on the legitimate stage, and their home is at Home Park, where, with her pets and plants, her art and books, she manages to find life anything but unpleasant. Miss Fealy is now taking a well earned rest from the screen, but those who have seen her work in the past know that there are other triumphs awaiting her.”

She was treated with a queenly respect in Thanhouser publicity and in the trade press 1913-1914, due to her great renown on the stage earlier. Thanhouser films in which she played included Moths, The Legend of Provence, and Frou Frou. She also wrote several scenarios for Thanhouser films. Maude Fealy remained with Thanhouser through middle of summer 1914.

From the look on her face on the cover below, this must have been a VERY dramatic role!!

I find it a little strange that sporting and dramatic news are in the same publication…!


Published in: on May 24, 2007 at 4:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

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