21 March 2011

Maude Fealy

Maude Fealy (March 4, 1883 – November 9, 1971) was an American stage and film actress. Fealy first gained public notice as a silent film actress, and successfully adapted to performing both on the stage, and, later, successfully adapted to acting in films with sound, a feat that many of her peers never successfully accomplished.

Born Maude Mary Hawk on March 4, 1883, Memphis, Tennessee, the daughter of actress and acting coach, Margaret Fealy. Her mother remarried to Rafaello Cavallo, the first conductor of the Pueblo, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, and Fealy lived in Colorado off and on for most of her life. At the age of three, she performed on stage with her mother and went on to make her Broadway debut in the 1900 production of Quo Vadis, again with her mother. She toured England with William Gillette in Sherlock Holmes from 1901 to 1902. Between 1902 and 1905, she frequently toured with Sir Henry Irving's company in the United Kingdom and by 1907 was the star in touring productions in the United States.

Maude Fealy appeared in her first silent film in 1911 for Thanhouser Studios, making another eighteen between then and 1917, after which she did not perform in film for another fourteen years. During the summers of 1912 and 1913, she organized and starred with the Fealy-Durkin Company that put on performances at the Casino Theatre at Lakeside Amusement Park in Denver and the following year began touring the western half of the U.S.

Fealy had some commercial success as a playwright-performer. She co-wrote The Red Cap with Grant Stewart, a noted New York playwright and performer, which ran at the National Theatre in Chicago in August 1928. Though she was not in the cast of that production, the play's plot revolves around the invention of a wheeled luggage carrier ostensibly invented by Fealy herself. A newspaper article reporting on the invention may be genuine, or may be a publicity stunt created to promote the play. Other plays authored or co-authored by Fealy include At Midnight and, with the German playwright, Alice Gerstenberg, The Promise.

Throughout her career, Fealy taught acting in many cities where she lived; early on with her mother, under names which included Maude Fealy Studio of Speech, Fealy School of Stage and Screen Acting, Fealy School of Dramatic Expression. She taught in Grand Rapids, Michigan; Burbank, California; and Denver, Colorado. By the 1930s, she was living in Los Angeles where she became involved in the Federal Theatre Project and at age 50 returned to secondary roles in film, including an uncredited appearance in The Ten Commandments. Later in her career, she wrote and appeared in pageants, programs, and presented lectures for schools and community organizations.

In Denver, she met a drama critic from a local newspaper named Hugo Louis Sherwin. The two married in secret because, as they expected, her domineering mother did not approve. The couple soon separated, and a divorce in 1909 followed, with Fealy immediately marrying an actor named James Peter Durkin. That marriage ended in divorce in 1917. Soon after this, Fealy married James E. Cort. This third marriage also ended in a 1923 annulment and would be her last. She bore no children in any of the marriages.

Fealy died in 1971, aged 88, at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California. She was interred in the Abbey of the Psalms Mausoleum at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

source: Wikipedia

More pictures of Maude Fealy - see here


  1. Another beautiful Edwardian actress. She is very collectable,some posstcards going for ridiculous amounts on Ebay.


  2. Maude Fealy is one of my favourites! And her hair... You have great postcards of her!

  3. I agree about her hair which gives her pictures a renaissance feel to them, a real beauty.


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