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Browne, Maurice (12 February 1881–21 January 1955), actor, director, and producer, was born in Reading, England, the son of Frederick Herbert Browne, a distinguished teacher, and Francis-Anna “Marsie” Neligan, the founder of a number of successful private schools. Educated at the private schools of Ipswich, Temple Grove, and Winchester, Browne later attended Eastbourne College and received his B.A. from Cambridge University....

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Jane Cowl Photograph by Arnold Genthe, 1914. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-G432-0155-B-007).

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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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Lynn Fontanne Photograph by Carl Van Vechten, 1932. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-111857).

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See Lunt, Alfred

Article

Houseman, John (22 September 1902–31 October 1988), producer, director, and actor, was born Jacques Haussmann in Bucharest, Romania, the son of Georges Haussmann, a Jewish-Alsatian grain merchant, and May Davies, a British woman of Welsh and Irish descent. As a small child Houseman spoke English to his mother, French to his father, German to his governess, and Romanian to the household staff. When Houseman was five years old, the grain business run by his father’s family went bankrupt, and he moved with his parents to Paris, where his father became a broker in commodities. At age seven Houseman was sent to the Clifton School in Bristol, England. Summer vacations and holidays were spent with his parents in France. His father died in 1917. After completing his studies at Clifton in December 1920, Houseman lived for a year in Argentina, working on a cattle ranch and as a clerk at the Dutch Bank of South America. Returning to England, he turned down a scholarship to Cambridge University in order to help support his mother and became an apprentice at an international grain brokerage in London....

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Kaminska, Ida (04 September 1899–21 May 1980), actress, director, and producer, was born in Odessa, Russia, the daughter of Avram Izhak (Abraham Isaac) Kaminski and Ester Rachel Halpern. Her father was an actor, director, and producer at the family’s Yiddish theater in Warsaw, and her mother was a famous Yiddish actress known as “the Jewish ...

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Canada Lee Photograph by Carl Van Vechten, 1941. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LOT 12735, no. 687 P&P).

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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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Logan, Joshua (05 October 1908–12 July 1988), director, producer, playwright, lyricist, and actor, was born Joshua Lockwood Logan in Texarkana, Texas. His lumberman father, Joshua Lockwood Logan, Sr., died when Logan was only three years old. He was raised in Louisiana by his mother, Susan Nabors, and stepfather, Howard F. Noble, an officer on the staff of the Culver Military Academy, where Logan attended school. Logan began his theatrical career in 1928 as a student at Princeton University, where he was a founder of the University Players, a summer stock group that performed on Cape Cod and that also included ...

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Alfred Lunt Photograph by Carl Van Vechten, 1932. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-103655).

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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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Moore, Mary Tyler (29 Dec. 1936–25 Jan. 2017), actress and producer in television, film, and theater, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the eldest of three children of Marjorie (Hackett) and George Tyler Moore, a utilities clerk. Mary’s earliest memories were of performing in order to seek approval from her parents, who were cold and unsupportive. She began taking ballet lessons upon the family’s relocation to Los Angeles in ...

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Muse, Clarence E. (07 October 1889–13 October 1979), actor, producer, and writer of plays and films, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Alexander Muse and Mary Sales. He was educated at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where he became interested in music and participated in choral groups; although he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in international law in 1911, he immediately embarked on a musical and theatrical career. In 1907 he married Frieda Belle Moore; the marriage was apparently dissolved soon after the birth of their son in 1910....