Morris, Clara, 1848-1925

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Actress Clara Morris was born in Toronto and moved with her mother to Cleveland, Ohio. She became a ballet girl in the resident company of the Cleveland Academy of Music; after nine years of training with that company she played a leading lady at Wood's Theatre in Cincinnati in 1869. She made her New York debut in September in "Man and Wife," directed by Augustin Daly at his Fifth Avenue Theatre. She worked with Daly in a series of highly emotional roles over the next three years in such plays as "No Name," "Delmonico's," "L'Article 47," "Alixe," "Jezebel," and "Madeline Morel."

Over the next few years Morris had great successes in "Camille" in 1874, "The New Leah" in 1875, "Miss Multon," her most popular role, in 1876, "Jane Eyre" in 1877, and "The New Magdalen" in 1882. She also toured extensively, especially in the 1880s, and everywhere mesmerized audiences with her emotional power. Although neither a great beauty nor a great artist, nor trained in elocution or stagecraft, she had an instinctive genius for portraying the impassioned and often suffering heroines of French melodrama.

After her retirement from theater she contributed articles on acting to various magazines, wrote a daily newspaper column for ten years, and published numerous books, including A Silent Singer (1899), Little Jim Crow and Other Stories for Children (1900), Life on the Stage (1901), Stage Confidences (1902), A Pasteboard Crown (1902), The Trouble Woman (1904), The Life of a Star (1906), Left in Charge (1907), New East Lynne (1908), A Strange Surprise (1910), and Dressing-Room Receptions (1911). She died in New Canaan, Connecticut, on November 20, 1925.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Golden Family Collection, 1795-1996 Working Men's Institute of New Harmony, Indiana
referencedIn Goldberg, Harry, Mrs.,. Mrs. Harry Goldberg collection of 19th century American stage portraits, 1880-1894 and undated. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Lloyd Stephens Bryce Papers, 1807-1895, bulk 1882-1895 The Huntington Library
creatorOf Morris, Clara, 1848-1925,. Autograph letter signed from Clara Morris to Mr. Winter [manuscript], 19th or 20th century Thursday. Folger Shakespeare Library
creatorOf Morris, Clara, 1848-1925. The new Magdalen. Adapted & copyrighted by Clara Morris. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Morris, Clara, 1848-1925. Papers, 1899-1910 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Frohman, Daniel, 1851-1940,. Autograph letters signed to Daniel Frohman from various correspondents [manuscript], 1883-1926. Folger Shakespeare Library
creatorOf Morris, Clara, 1848-1925,. Autograph letter signed from Clara Morris Harriott, New York, to Stuart [manuscript], 1889 June 2. Folger Shakespeare Library
creatorOf Weidenthal, Leo, 1878-1967. [Weidenthal collection of autographs and letters, mainly theatrical]. Cleveland Public Library, Main Library
creatorOf Morris, Clara, 1848-1925,. Autograph letter signed from Clara Morris, Riverdale-on-Hudson, New York, to Mr. Haverly [manuscript], 1879 November 8. Folger Shakespeare Library
creatorOf Morris, Clara, 1848-1925,. Autograph letter signed from Clara Morris Harriott, Whitestone City, to William Winter, Staten Island [manuscript], 1916 March 2. Folger Shakespeare Library
creatorOf Diaries of Clara Morris, 1867-1924 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Southern Folklife Collection Artist Name File, 1940-2005 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Folklife Collection.
creatorOf Dreiser, Theodore, 1871-1945. Letter, 1909 May 17, New York, to Mrs. F.C. Harriot [Clara Morris], Riverdale, N.Y. Ohio State University Libraries
creatorOf Letter and Photographs of Clara Morris University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Roosevelt, Robert Barnwell, 1829-1906,. Autograph letters signed from Robert Barnwell Roosevelt, New York City, to Augustin Daly [manuscript], 1867-1877. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn James T. and Rachel Booth Powers Collection, [1864]-1948, undated New-York Historical Society
referencedIn The Robert Cushman Butler Collection of Theatrical Illustrations Washington State University Libraries Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC)
creatorOf Morris, Clara, 1848-1925,. Telegram from Clara Morris, Yonkers, New York, to Elizabeth Campbell Winter, New York [manuscript], 1886 January 25. Folger Shakespeare Library
creatorOf Morris, Clara, 1848-1925,. Autograph letter signed from Clara Morris Harriott, "the Pines," Riverdale-on-Hudson, to William Winter [manuscript], 1878 February 2. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn Photographs of theatrical performers, 1862-1982. Harvard Theater Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
referencedIn MacRae, Charles, fl. 1875,. Autograph letter signed from Charles MacRae, New York, to Augustin Daly [manuscript], 1875 September 23. Folger Shakespeare Library
creatorOf Morris, Clara, 1848-1925,. Autograph letters signed from Clara Morris to Augustin Daly [manuscript], 1872-1885. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn Harriott, Frederick C., 1839 or 40-1914,. Autograph letters signed from F.C. Harriott to William Winter [manuscript], 1875-1901. Folger Shakespeare Library
creatorOf Morris, Clara, 1848-1925,. Autograph letter signed from Clara Morris Harriott to Mrs. Winter [manuscript], 1876. Folger Shakespeare Library
creatorOf Morris, Clara, 1848-1925,. Autograph letter signed from Clara Morris to William Winter [manuscript], 1872 May 18. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn Robinson Locke Collection, 1870-1920 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Clara Morris papers Sophia Smith Collection
referencedIn Howells family papers, 1850-1954 (inclusive). Houghton Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Booth, John Wilkes, 1838-1865 person
associatedWith Brougham, John, 1810-1880 person
associatedWith Bryce, Lloyd Stephens, 1851-1917. person
correspondedWith Daly, Augustin, 1838-1899 person
associatedWith Dreiser, Theodore, 1871-1945. person
associatedWith Eytinge, Charles D., 19th/20th cent. person
correspondedWith Frohman, Daniel, 1851-1940, person
associatedWith Goldberg, Harry, Mrs., person
associatedWith Golden Family family
associatedWith Harriott, Frederick C., 1839 or 40-1914, person
correspondedWith Haverly, Jack, 1837-1901 person
associatedWith Locke, Robinson, 1856-1920 person
associatedWith Lyceum Theatre (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith MacRae, Charles, fl. 1875, person
associatedWith O'Donnell, Michael S., fl. 1892-1915, person
associatedWith Roosevelt, Robert Barnwell, 1829-1906, person
associatedWith Sanger, Margaret, 1879-1966. person
associatedWith Winter, Arthur, 1872-1886 person
correspondedWith Winter, Elizabeth C. (Elizabeth Campbell), 1841-1922 person
correspondedWith Winter, William, 1836-1917 person
associatedWith Young, Robert, 1927-2008, person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Toronto 08 CA
New Canaan CT US
New York NY US
Cleveland OH US
Subject
Theater
Drama (American)
domestic life
Actresses--Biography--Sources
Women journalists--United States--Biography--Sources
Husband and wife
World War, 1914-1918
Women in the theater--United States--History--Sources
American literature--19th century
Actresses--United States--Biography--Sources
Women in the theater--History--Sources
Women journalists--History--Sources
Folk songs, English
Women--Health and hygiene
Occupation
Authors
Actresses
Activity

Person

Birth 1848-03-17

Death 1925-11-20

English

Information

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Ark ID: w6301wwj

SNAC ID: 85396870