1892 Viola Allen Portrait Broadway Actress Shakespeare Theater PRINT
This historic 117+ year old ORIGINAL vintage print, Our Gallery of Players: Miss Viola Allen, was carefully removed from the Illustrated American, published in 1892. Page size is 9" x 12". (IA00362)
Condition: Good Condition with some light soiling to the pages due to age. See photo
Allen was born in Huntsville, Alabama in 1867 (some sources say 1869 see discussion), the daughter of actor C. Leslie Allen. She moved to Boston at three years of age and later moved with her family to Toronto. She was educated at the Bishop Strachan School, her brothers being educated at Trinity College School, Port Hope, Ontario.
Allen was educated in Boston, Toronto and New York City. With her family involved with theatre, she had her first stage appearance at the age of 15 at the Madison Square Theatre, in New York in 1882. This followed the sudden illness of Annie Russell, who was playing the title role in Esmeralda at the Madison Square Theatre. Her father was a member of the cast. The theater's stage manager asked if Mr. Allen would allow his daughter to play the part. Viola's debut on July 4, 1882, attracted the attention of actor John McCullough, who made Viola his leading lady in 1884.
Between the years of 1884 and 1886, she performed in a variety of modern and Shakespearean plays. She performed with the best-known 19th century actors. She is best remembered for her roles in Shenandoah (by Bronson Howard) and Little Lord Fauntleroy (by Frances Eliza Burnett). From 1885 to 1916, Allen starred in over two dozen Broadway productions, creating characters in many original plays. She played classical Shakesperian and comedy roles with Salvini, Lawrence Jarrett, Joseph Jefferson and V. J. Florence. In 1898, she created the character of Gloria Quayle in "The Christian." She acted in The Masqueraders, Under the Red Robe, The Christian, In the Palace of the King (1900), Twelfth Night, A Winter's Tale, As You Like It, The Lady of Coventry (1911), and others. She played such roles as Virginia, Cordelia, Desdemona, Lydia Languish, Dolores, Julia and Roma.
The gravesite of Viola Allen
Viola Allen in "The Daughter of Heaven", a play by Pierre Loti and Judith Gautier
Allen starred in the 1915 silent film The White Sister along with Richard Travers. The film was produced by the Essanay Studios and was based on the 1909 play The White Sister that was a hit for Allen. She was married to Peter Duryea. Her last professional appearance was in 1918, at a benefit supporting war relief. She remained an active supporter of charitable and theatrical organizations.
She died in New York City, and is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Sleepy Hollow, New York.
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