Sunday, November 7, 2010

Miss Maude Fealy

So, I haven't had a chance to see any of Maude's movies. This is mostly due to the fact that her silent features aren't available or they are lost and also because when she did appear in later films, it was in small, nonspeaking, and uncredited roles. I will say this though, she photographed beautifully. Her picture/postcards are breathtaking. She didn't have the looks of Garbo or Harlow, but she still photographed like a goddess. This is one reason she definitely deserves to be remembered. Back in the days of early cinema, and not just cinema, but back in that time, women were curvy and considered beautiful. I am not gonna go on a women's beauty rant, don't worry. I am just making the point that the hourglass figure was in and women were gorgeous! Interesting how taste evolves over years...

There isn't a ton of info on Maude, but I am doing an entry anyway because I want to show off her pictures. Doesn't hurt to look, eh?

Maude Fealy was born Maude Mary Hawk on March 4, 1883 in Memphis, Tennessee. Her mother, Margaret was also an actress. She appeared mostly on stage but did make a handful of movies, none very memorable though. Margaret divorced her husband soon after Maude was born, so they both took on her maiden name of Fealy.

Not surprisingly, she got her first stage experience acting along side her mother. She first appeared on stage at age three and then made her Broadway debut a few years later when she was seventeen. For a few years she toured in the United Kingdom before coming back to tour in the U.S. again for a few more years.

Maude made her screen debut in 1911 while working for the Thanhouser Studios. (May I just say, I would love to go back in time and just hang out at that studio? In my opinion at least, they had some wonderful people working for them).

It is interesting to note that she worked for them only until 1917 and then she didn't appear in another film for almost 14 years! She instead chose to tour again with a vaudeville show. She also began playing around with play writing and one of her shows that she co-wrote, "The Red Cap," opened in Chicago in 1928. This woman could do it all!

Another career Maude became involved in was helping other actors. She opened a few different acting workshops around the states and even taught some with her mother early on.

When Maude was in her 50s, she returned to the screen. It is said that she appeared in all of Cecile B. DeMille's talking pictures (in small roles) up until 1958.

Maude Fealy passed away on November 9, 1971 at the Motion Picture and Television Home and Hospital in Los Angeles, California. I just realized now writing out her date of death that it is in three days...freaky deaky.

She was laid to rest at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Maude was married three times. First to drama critic Louis Sherwin. They were married in secret in 1907 for fear of Margaret Fealy's disapproval...rightfully so. And, inevitably, the couple divorced in 1909. Kinda hard to make a marriage work when you have to hide it from your mother. Her second marriage was to actor James Durkin in 1909. Durkin was actually her touring partner during her early days of film retirement. The couple divorced in 1917. Her third husband was John Cort in 1920. This marriage ended in an annulment in 1923. Maude never had any children.

Apparently her funeral and grave were paid for by the estate of Cecil B. DeMille. I am not exactly sure how close these two were, but it must have been close since he gave her movie parts and money for a funeral. Pretty nice move on his part I must say.

**  Maude Fealy Postcard Gallery. Please visit it because there are a TON more absolutely breathtaking pictures to browse.