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Minnie Maddern Fiske 1865 ~ 1932


Minnie Maddern Fiske

Was born in New Orleans December 19, 1865. She was educated in the convents of Cincinnati and St. Louis. Has been on the stage practically all her life, playing under her maiden name of Minnie Maddern, achieving great success all over the United States. She first appeared at the early age of three as the Duke of York, in "Richard III"; at the age of fifteen was a "star." She made her first appearance on the New York stage at Wallack's Theatre, July 11, 1870, in the part of Little Fritz, in "Fritz, Our German Cousin," with the late J. K. Emmett.

In 1871 she appeared in "Hunted Down," at Niblo's Garden. Since then she has played in "Chicago Before the Fire," "King John," "Fogg's Ferry," "Caprice," "In Spite of All" and "Featherbrain." In 1890 she left the stage on the occasion of her marriage with Harrison Grey Fiske, but after an absence of four years she appeared in 1894 as the heroine, in "Hester Crewe," a play written by her husband. She has played the part of Nora Helmer, in "A Doll's House," with great success; has appeared in "Frou-Frou," "The Queen of Liars" and her own play, "A Light From St. Agnes." One of her greatest successes was as Tess, in "Tess of the D'Urbervilles."

Since 1898 she has appeared in "A Bit of Old Chelsea," "Love Finds the Way," "Little Italy" and "Becky Sharp." At the Manhattan Theatre, of which her husband became the lessee and manager, she appeared in 1901 in "Miranda of the Balcony" and "The Unwelcome Mrs. Hatch." Her performance of Mary, in "Mary of Magdala," created a profound impression. In 1906 she appeared in a new play, "The New York Idea," which was one of Mrs. Fiske's greatest successes. In 1907 she appeared as Rebecca West, in Ibsen's "Rosmersholm." Mrs. Fiske is a remarkably gifted woman. Not only is she a fine actress, but she is, as well, a stage manager, and has directed the production of most of the plays produced at the Manhattan Theatre during her husband's tenancy. She is also the author of the following plays: "The Rose," "A Light from St. Agnes," "The Eyes of the Heart," and "Not Guilty." She has also collaborated with her husband in "Fontenelle."

Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.


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