Jolly Della Pringle

Star of the Western Stage

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About the Book

The story of American repertory theatre actress Jolly Della Pringle (1870–1952) is an odyssey of travel, adventure, drama, romance and many changes in fortune. Pringle was a major star to the people in the gold fields, cow towns, logging camps, military forts and rural communities of the West and Midwest during the decades before and after the turn of the 20th century. She knew most of the famous performers of her day, including Buffalo Bill Cody, Charlie Chaplin, Fatty Arbuckle, Douglas Fairbanks and Gloria Swanson. Before serial marriage was common in show business, the seldom single Della Pringle married and divorced five times.
Here for the first time is Pringle’s saga, covering her rise from a teenage hotel maid to the magnificently gowned star of her own theatrical company, her amassing of a fortune, her coast to coast fame and her appearances in Mack Sennett’s Keystone Kops comedies.

About the Author(s)

The director of nearly 100 plays, musicals and operas, Charles E. Lauterbach is a retired Boise State University professor of theatre arts and a founding member of the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and the Michigan State Performing Arts Company. He lives in Boise, Idaho.

Bibliographic Details

Charles E. Lauterbach
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 236
Bibliographic Info: 20 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9891-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2123-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments ix

Preface 1

Prologue 3

1. Curtain Up: Child Star, Novice Actress 7

2. Della’s Wedding and the Comedy Ideals 12

3. Della Pringle and G. Faith Adams 20

4. Prosperous Seasons and the Great Loop 34

5. Western Star on Eastern Stages 47

6. West to the Coast 58

7. To Court and to the Altar 68

8. Seasons of Challenge 80

9. Rough Road to a New Home 98

10. Running Before the Wave 111

11. Off the Stage and Onto the Screen 126

12. Biding Time in Boise 142

13. “The working old fool” 154

14. Curtain Coming Down 172

Epilogue: A Summing Up 183

Chapter Notes 187

Bibliography 201

Index 205


Book Reviews & Awards

“the author has done a tremendous amount of research, impressive…. The effort he put into uncovering the story of this now forgotten woman and the hardships she endured maintaining a touring troupe, is amazing”—Classic Images