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Carroll, Earl (16 September 1893–17 June 1948), theatrical producer and songwriter, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of James Carroll and Elizabeth Wills, hotelkeepers. At thirteen, Carroll became a program boy at a Pittsburgh theater. At seventeen, having graduated from Allegheny High School, he was assistant treasurer and box-office manager at another theater. He worked his passage around the world doing odd jobs, wrote for an English-language newspaper in the Orient, and, after visiting New York, became treasurer at Pittsburgh’s Nixon Theater....

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Cowl, Jane (14 December 1884–22 June 1950), actor, producer, and writer, was born Grace Bailey in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Charles A. Bailey, a provision dealer and clerk, and Grace Avery, a singer and voice teacher. Around 1887 the family moved to Brooklyn, where Jane published verses in ...

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Duncan, Augustin (17 April 1873–20 February 1954), actor and producer, was born in San Francisco, California, the son of Joseph Charles Duncan, a businessman and art dealer, and Mary Isadora Gray. His sister Isadora Duncan became a famous dancer. Educated in the public schools of San Francisco and Oakland, California, Duncan later studied art and painting at the San Francisco Art Association. Encouraged by his mother, Duncan decided to pursue a career as an actor; he began his training at home—his mother taught him dancing, music, and fencing—and studied elocution. At the age of fourteen, Duncan and his brother Raymond made a makeshift stage in a stable and put on ...

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See Lunt, Alfred

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Frohman, Daniel (22 August 1851–26 December 1940), producer and theater manager, was born in Sandusky, Ohio, the son of Henry Frohman, an itinerant peddler, and Barbara Straus. His father, an immigrant from Darmstead, Germany, and a cigar maker, sold his wares by traveling from town to town with his horse and buggy. An amateur actor, Henry Frohman joined the Little German Theatrical Company in Sandusky, exposing Daniel and his brothers Gustave and ...

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Geddes, Norman Bel (21 April 1893–08 May 1958), scene and lighting designer, industrial designer, and producer, was born Norman Melancton Geddes in Adrian, Michigan, the son of Clifton Terry Geddes and Gloria Lulu Yingling. He was educated in public schools in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois before attending the Cleveland School of Art and the prestigious Chicago Art Institute by the time he was sixteen years old. When he was in his early twenties, Geddes had his earliest successes as a magazine and poster artist in Detroit, Michigan. He designed his first theatrical production, ...

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Guthrie, Tyrone (02 July 1900–15 May 1971), theater director and producer, was born William Tyrone Guthrie in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, the son of Thomas Clement Guthrie, a socially conscious physician and surgeon of Scottish descent, and Norah Power Guthrie, who had Protestant Irish forebears. Thomas Guthrie was the namesake of his grandfather, a noted nineteenth-century preacher and philanthropist; Norah Guthrie was a granddaughter of a famous nineteenth-century comedian named Tyrone Power, whose great-grandson of the same name became a Hollywood film star in the 1940s. Tyrone Guthrie was educated at Wellington College in Berkshire and at St. John's College, Oxford....

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Lee, Canada (03 May 1907–09 May 1952), actor, theater producer, bandleader, and boxer, was born Leonard Lionel Cornelius Canegata in New York City, the son of James Cornelius Canegata, a clerk, and Lydia Whaley. Lee’s father came from a wealthy and politically prominent family in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, whose ancestors had adopted a Danish surname. Lee’s grandfather owned a fleet of merchant ships; the family also raced horses. James Canegata shipped out as a cabin boy at eighteen, settled in Manhattan, married, and worked for National Fuel and Gas for thirty-one years. Lee grew up in the San Juan Hill section of Manhattan’s West Sixties and attended P.S. 5 in Harlem. An indifferent student, he devoted more energy to fisticuffs than to schoolwork. Lee studied violin from age seven with composer J. Rosamund Johnson, and at age eleven he was favorably reviewed at a student concert in Aeolian Hall; his parents hoped he would become a concert violinist....

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Lunt, Alfred (12 August 1892–03 August 1977), and Lynn Fontanne (06 December 1887–30 July 1983), actors and producers., Lillie Louise Fontanne, known from childhood as Lynn, was born in Woodford, Essex, England, the daughter of Jules Pierre Antoine Fontanne, a printer, and Frances Ellen Thornley Barnett. Lynn demonstrated theatrical aptitude at an early age and was recommended by a family friend to Ellen Terry, England’s foremost actress, who occasionally gave lessons to talented aspirants. Partly as a result of Terry’s training, Fontanne was given secondary roles in plays in London and on tour throughout England from 1905 to 1916, at which time she emigrated to the United States, accepting an offer to perform in a company headed by ...

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Marbury, Elisabeth (19 June 1856–22 January 1933), agent and theatrical producer, was born in New York City, the daughter of Francis Ferdinand Marbury, a prominent admiralty attorney, and Elizabeth McCoun. She attended private schools, but her most important education came in her father’s office, where she read Blackstone’s ...