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date: 15 October 2019

Perry, Antoinettelocked

(27 June 1888–28 June 1946)
  • Ellis Nassour

Extract

Perry, Antoinette (27 June 1888–28 June 1946), actress and director for whom the Tony Awards were named, was born in Denver, Colorado, the daughter of William Russell Perry, a city clerk, and Minnie Betsy Hall, an artist and Christian Science healer. Perry’s father, who was Catholic, and his wife separated over religious differences two weeks after their marriage and divorced shortly following their child’s birth. Her mother married twice again. Perry, nicknamed Tony, wrote in a 1930s article that even in grade school she had felt an urge to be an actress, in part because of the encouragement of her uncle, actor George Wessells. “My uncle trained me as a child—in Shakespearean men’s parts—and stimulated my desire,” she recalled. “When I was six, I didn’t say I’d become an actress. I felt I was one. No one could have convinced me I wasn’t.”...

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