OMG, Scandal!!


Heh, one of those quick, but bad decisions. I did that once. I lasted four months, so she outranks me in the getaway speed department! GO, Maude!

Published in: on November 5, 2007 at 6:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Side Pose of Maude


I’m pretty sure Maude was aware that her profile was less flattering than her face on shots were. Maybe that’s why I’ve seen so few of them.

Published in: on July 1, 2007 at 4:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Page from a magazine about Maude


Published in: on June 25, 2007 at 7:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Short Bio From Stage Beauty . Net (

Maude Fealy was born Maude Hawke in Memphis, Tennessee on 3rd March, 1881. She was the daughter of Margaret Fealy, an actress of eighteen years standing, and later proprietor of a school of acting in Denver, Colorado. From an early age, Maude would occasionally appear with her mother on stage, so it was perhaps inevitable that she would follow in her mothers footsteps and pursue an acting career. She played in numerous childrens roles until the age of ten, when she was enrolled at the Highlees Academy in Memphis to complete her education.

Returning to the stage at the age of fourteen, she attracted the attention of prominent theatre producer Augustin Daly, who was so impressed at her portrayal of Juliet (in “Romeo and Juliet”) that he signed her to a five year contract. His unfortunate death soon after cancelled that contract however, whereupon she secured the role of ‘Eunice’ in a production of “Quo Vadis” at the New York Theatre (her first stage appearance in that city). Her performance in that role attracted the attention of celebrated actor/playwight William Gillette who invited her, still only sixteen years of age, to become his leading lady.

Gillette specialised in reprising the role of Sherlock Holmes, being virtually synonymous with the character on stage for over thirty years (it was Gillettes characterisation upon which Basil Rathbone would later base his own portrayal). Maude played the leading role of ‘Alice Faulkner’ in a production entitled “Sherlock Holmes”. After a short tour of the eastern USA the production arrived in London, where it opened at the Royal Lyceum in September 1901 and proved a considerable success with a run of over 200 performances. In London, rumours, which were widely reported in the press, began to circulate that Maude and Gillette, some thirty years her senior, had become engaged to be married. These rumours were vehemently denied by Maude’s mother in cablegrams which she sent to news agencies on both sides of the Atlantic and no such marriage ever took place.

After two seasons with Gillette, Maude returned to the USA, where she would spend each of the next few summers in “stock” at Elitch’s Garden in Denver. For the winter seasons, Maude was next engaged as leading lady by E.S. Willard and appeared in a number of roles in his theatre company. Next came a run in “Hearts Courageous” (co-starring with Orin Johnson) at the Broadway Theatre in New York, then in “That Man and I” at the Savoy Theatre in New York.

In 1906 Maude signed to a five year contract with the west coast theatrical producer John Cort. During the term of her contract she would appear in a number of Cort’s productions beginning with ‘The Illusion of Beatrice’ (a comedy by Martha Morton) adding substantially to her already growing reputation.

Maude’s next romantic involvement was with one Lewis Hugo Sherwin, a young Englishman who was at the time working as a drama critic for the Denver Republican. Fearing her mothers reaction, the couple secretly married in July of 1907. Her mothers disapproval was in fact as bitter as before and under pressure from her and Maude’s stepfather, orchestra leader Rafaello Cavello, the couple agreed to live apart for a year. The marriage did not survive the separation and they divorced in September 1909. Only two months later Maude married again, this time seemingly with her mothers approval, to the American actor James Peter Durkin. This marriage would last for eight years before it too ended in divorce.

Maude was by now a well-reknowned stage actress. She was also a petite and stunningly beautiful young woman, her delicate features framed with long dark wavy hair and highlighted by piercing blue eyes. She had already appeared in occasional film roles for the Thanhouser film company when, in April 1913, they signed her to a three year contract to be their leading lady in upcoming productions. Her husband James Durkin also being signed on as a director. Thanhouser obviously viewed Maude’s capture as something of a coup and she was featured in their advertising more than any other player.

The next few years saw Maude dividing her time between film and stage commitments. Her marriage to James Durkin ended in June 1917, and having already split from Thanhouser some time previously, she then set up her own theatre company based in Denver where she produced a number of plays – including one she had penned herself entitled ‘Shadow Lights’.

In January 1920 she married her third husband, John Cort Jr. Unfortunately the union was no better fated than her previous marriages and ended in an anullment in 1923.

Her success on stage continued however, and throughout the 1920’s she continued to be seen in numerous plays across across America. The 1930’s also saw her reappearance on film (although in generally lesser roles than those she had commanded earlier). In the early 1940’s she returned to Denver to teach dramatics, later relocating to Hollywood to do the same, whilst still appearing herself in occasional film roles (mainly for Cecille B. DeMille with whom she had become firm friends). Her last screen appearance was in DeMille’s 1956 epic ‘The Ten Commandments’ for which she also did voiceovers for some of the other players.

When Maude returned to Denver to retire in 1957, she was essentially alone, unmarried, and her mother and stepfather both having died two years previously. The stage had been a major feature of her life and it was not long before she was tempted back to appear in a few more productions before taking her final stage bow in 1961.

Maude Fealy passed away peacefully in her sleep on November 9th, 1971, in Woodland Hills, California (where she had been hospitalised at the Motion Picture Country House and Hospital with arteriosclerosis).

Movie Credits (source
1911 – David Copperfield
1912 – Aurora Floyd
1913 – The Legend of Provence [Sister Angela]
1913 – Moths [Vere]
1914 – Frou Frou [Frou Frou]
1914 – Pamela Congreve
1915 – Bondwomen [Norma Ellis]
1916 – Pamela’s Past
1916 – The Immortal Flame [Ada Forbes]
1917 – The American Consul [Joan Kitwell]
1931 – Laugh and Get Rich [Miss Teasdale]
1937 – Race Suicide
1938 – The Buccaneer [Wife u/c]
1938 – Bulldog Drummond’s Peril [u/c]
1939 – Union Pacific [Woman u/c]
1940 – Emergency Squad [Mother u/c]
1944 – Gaslight [u/c]
1947 – The Unfaithful [Old Maid u/c]
1947 – A Double Life [Woman u/c]
1956 – The Ten Commandments
u/c = uncredited

“Reproduced courtesy of Don Gillan (Copyright),”

Published in: on June 25, 2007 at 7:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Two places that Maude Fealy lived: 1920 and 1930 census info


This is from a really neat and new to me site that that connects addresses from maps to the census of a particular year. This map shows two places where Maude lived with her mother, actress Margaret Fealy . One address looks like a commercial building now, but one still is an apartment building. A fascinating piece of Maude history. Of course, she’s not the only one you can search for. She was living right in downtown Hollywood.

Published in: on June 24, 2007 at 3:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Similar Poses, Different Looks



Published in: on June 21, 2007 at 7:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Another Biography from the Broadway Photographs site

imagesnyplorg2.jpgMAUDE FEALY (1886-1971) In the first decade of the 20th century, Memphis-born Maude Fealy became the favorite actress of the post-card and cabinet card collectors. Blessed with a gorgeous face and a tumult of dark hair, she generated a photographic legacy disproportionate to her modest skills as an actress. Debuting on Broadway as Eunice in ‘Quo Vadis’ in 1900, much of her stage career took place in London as a protege of William Gillete, and later as Sir Henry Irving’s leading lady during his successful comeback in 1906 just before he died. She was perpetually on tour in the United States in vehicles such as ‘Hearts Courageous’ and ‘The Truth Tellers.’ She performed in historical dramas and spectacles, but her forte proved to be comedy. When John Cort became her manager in 1906 he increased her popularity by putting her in a series of humorous plays, ‘The Illusion of Beatrice,’ ‘The Stronger Sex,’ and with an occasional sentimental slice-of-life drama such as ‘Louise.’ In 1907 she married a Denver drama critic Hugo L. Sherwin, but refused to live with him, even when threatened with court orders. In 1909 they divorced which she starred in a play titled ‘Divorce.’ She quit the play and secretly married James Durkin, an actor. They performed together in a number of plays, including ‘The Right Princess’ (1913), an amusing look at ‘mental healing’ i.e. psychiatry. He career began slipping in the mid-1910s and she began touring vaudeville performin playlets such as ‘The Turn of the Tide.’ Fealy tired of Durkin, divorced him, and in 1920 married John Cort the son of her manager. They lived together for a year before she took to the roads. Cort divorced Fealy for abandonment in 1923. The life of a stock company diva tired on her in 1931 and she headed for Hollywood where she played minor roles in numerous movies. Cecil B. DeMille, who knew her from his acting days, put her in every sound film he made. During the First World War she had made a number of silent films, but her theatrical gesturing then seemed too extravagant.

Published in: on June 17, 2007 at 10:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Maude Scrapbook

I am working on a scrapbook, or a photo album or an altered book of Maude Fealy.  I would really like to see some older photos of Maude, or maybe I should say more recent. I have one that looked so different that I was sure it wasn’t her at first, but now I think it is. What do you think?


Published in: on June 17, 2007 at 10:01 pm  Comments (1)  

Yep, she’s gorgeous

Published in: on June 11, 2007 at 10:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thanhouser Biography: After Thanhouser

Her Career After Thanhouser: Variety, July 10, 1914, carried this item: “The withdrawal of James Durkin, director, and Maude Fealy, leading woman, from the ranks of the Thanhouser Film Co. comes as a big surprise to the movie world. Mr. Durkin and Miss Fealy are not deserting the pictures, but will, very likely, branch out with a new company of their own, featuring Miss Fealy. Ralph Cummings is slated as Durkin’s successor with the Thanhouser.” After leaving the Thanhouser Film Corporation, Miss Fealy went to Detroit, where she joined the Washington Theatre stock company, with whom she was seen on stage in August.

The Moving Picture World, October 16, 1915, stated that for Knickerbocker Star Features, Miss Fealy would appear in The Girl from Tim’s Place, and, in blithe disregard for the facts, went on to inform readers: “Miss Fealy is a well-known figure with the legitimate stage, and The Girl from Tim’s Place marks her initial appearance before the moving picture public.”

In early 1916 she was a headliner on stage at Proctor’s Theatre in Mount Vernon, New York, in a playlet, When the Tide Turned. Miss Fealy appeared in The Immortal Flame, released by Ivan Film in March 1916, possibly the film that was being produced at the Pathé studios as described above. In December 1916 she joined the Jesse Lasky Picture Company to star with Theodore Roberts in a feature film for the Paramount program. She remained with Lasky in 1917.

The October 1916 Motion Picture News Studio Directory noted that Miss Fealy was 5’1″ tall, weighed 110 pounds, and had brown hair and dark blue eyes. At the time she lived at 206 West 52nd Street, New York City, and her pastime diversions included swimming and writing. She spoke German and French in addition to her native language.

By early June 1917, Maude Fealy assembled a company of stage players for work on the stage at the Lakeside Theatre in Denver, where such productions as Sauce for the Goose, Her Own Money, Baby Mine, and a four-act play from her own pen, Shadow Lights, were staged. On September 1, 1918, The Little Teacher, a comedy drama, opened at the Grand Theatre in Kansas City, with Miss Fealy as the star. Later, the production traveled to the West Coast. In the 1920s she was on stage in numerous plays, including the 1928 Chicago productions at the National Theatre of Dancing Mothers and Madame X.

In the 1930s she was involved in the Los Angeles Federal Theatre Project, where she became the center of a bitter controversy (the nature of which was not disclosed in articles preserved in the Robinson Locke Collection and consulted for the present biography) and was demoted to a job in the sewing division of the Works Progress Administration. During the same decade she was seen in such films as Laugh and Get Rich, The Buccaneer, and Southern Pacific. In the early 1940s, Maude Fealy returned to Denver, where she taught dramatics. Later, she moved to California and opened a dramatic studio in Hollywood. Among her students were Edwina Booth and Nanette Fabray. In 1954 her stepfather retired. He was hospitalized in Pueblo, Colorado, and later died after a prolonged illness. Her mother passed away in 1955.

Published in: on June 8, 2007 at 3:34 pm  Comments (1)