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Evangeline Raleigh

Biography: 

(1906-19??)

Voted "Miss Broadway of 1927," a title that secured for her the honor of escorting all "distinguished visitors" to the Great White Way, Evangeline Raleigh made her mark on the stage as a cast member in that year’s "A Night in Spain." She followed this with work in the 1928 Hassard Short musical, "A Sunny Day," where she won kudos more for beauty than talent. In October of 1928 she played Audrey Nugent, a supporting part, in "Three Cheers," the Caldwell-Burnside musical about politics starring Will Rogers.

Earl Carroll gave Raleigh the title role in the touring company of "Fioretta" (1929) preferring to have Dorothy Knapp, who played the part on Broadway, remain in town for his personal pleasure. Raleigh's success in the tour attracted the attention of Paramount Studio's East Coast casting department who had her appear in "The Twentieth Amendment," a two-reeler that went nowhere.

In short order she was back on the road as a dancing soubrette, one of the trio of principals in the Walter Kollo operetta, "Three Little Girls," enjoying a year's run in Chicago before moving to Pittsburgh and other stops in the Schubert network. The Schuberts, recognizing her ability in the genre, cast her in "Cyrano de Bergerac," which premiered in St. Louis in 1932 and came to New York for a scant month's performance before expiring. In early 1933 she joined the cast of the hit musical, "Take a Chance," which kept her on Broadway until mid-summer. It was during this run that "certain experts . . . claimed that her legs are now the best engaged in the arts of dance."

Raleigh remained in the orbit of the Schuberts, enlisted in support of Pola Negri's attempt to storm the stage in "A Trip to Pressberg." 1934 brought a starring role in "All the King’s Horses" followed by "Within the Gates." She retired from the stage except for a brief 1949 appearance in a revival of "Romeo and Juliet."

NOTES: NY Times (May 29, 1927), A:6. Washington Post (Jan 1, 1928). Chicago Tribune (Jun 27, 1928), G:3. NY Times (Oct 16, 1927), 28. NY Times (Sep 30, 1929), 27. Chicago Tribune (Sep 21, 1930), F:2. Chicago Tribune (Jul 23, 1933), E:2. Washington Post (Nov 12, 1933), F:1. Internet Broadway Database. David S. Shields/ALS