Eleanor Robson Belmont

A Theatrical Life


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SKU: 9781476692296 Categories: ,

About the Book

When Mrs. August Belmont died in 1979, just before her 100th birthday, she was remembered as a philanthropist and advocate for the arts, especially the Metropolitan Opera—but before her triumphs as Mrs. Belmont, she had dignified the American stage for 13 glorious years as Eleanor Robson, actress. Her splendid voice, understated style, and always-evident intelligence thrilled legions of theatregoers and enthralled the best playwrights of her time, including Israel Zangwill, Clyde Fitch, and George Bernard Shaw.
Despite the brevity of her career, Eleanor Robson stands as a prototype for many actresses who followed her—women who sought to control their own careers and demanded artistic respect and freedom, and who, by the twenty-first century, would confidently call themselves not actresses, but actors. This is the first book-length biography of her, focusing especially on her theatrical career.

About the Author(s)

Retired Broadway performer and teacher Kevin Lane Dearinger lives in Lexington, Kentucky. He is the author of several books, published poems, plays and introductory essays.

Bibliographic Details

Kevin Lane Dearinger
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 258
Bibliographic Info: 30 photos, chronology, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9229-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5031-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Abbreviations ix
Introduction 1
A Note on Scope and Purpose 5
Preparing the Stage—Madge Carr Cook: “A woman of individuality and no end of ‘snap’” 6
Season 1. “Still in braids and an unclouded smile on her face” 19
Season 2. “Dainty, refined, girlish, but ­well-poised” 34
Season 3. “So many natural qualities” 42
Season 4. “About to become” 50
Season 5. “Something that holds attention” 64
Season 6. “Fire and energy and intellectual poise” 74
Season 7. “Merely” 86
Season 8. “You are an artist” 100
A Shavian Interlude: “Wonderful and mystical things” 108
Season 9. “Something there that I have
only seen Duse do” 114
Season 10. “Nearly everything” 128
Season 11. “Nothing left after the night is over” 142
Season 12. “I’m tired, tired!” 153
Season 13. “Near the edge of greatness” 166
Later Stages: “Enthusiasm” 176
Chronology and Production History 192
Chapter Notes 199
Bibliography 229
Index 235