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Marguerite Clark

Biography: 

(1887-1940)

Orphaned at age eleven, Ohio-born Marguerite Clark learned dramatic art in theatricals at her convent school. She broke in the profession as a singing ingenue in a stock company. Her Broadway premiere took place at the Casino Theater in 1900 in "The Belle of Bohemia"; she was thirteen. Blessed with a pleasing voice, she became the first choice among producers for female musical comedy roles in the 1900s and 1910s. Her string of successes was unmatched by any singer of the period. Among her many hits, the Winthrop Snow version of "Snow White" (later adapted for the screen), "Baby Mine," "The New Yorkers," and "The Wishing Ring" were long remembered. Victor Herbert was greatly taken by her skill and made her the focus of "Babes in Toyland" and "Merely Mary Ann."

In 1915 Clark gave into the lure to become a movie star. Working for Adolph Zukor in the Famous Players Company, her film career lasted three years and was characterized by great box office success. Her marriage to New Orleans sportsman Henry Palmerston Williams brought a close to her career. She lived on a plantation in Louisiana until her husband's death, then returned to New York, the scene of so many triumphs, to live out her life in the company of a sister. David S. Shields/ALS