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Minna K. Gale

Biography: 

(1867-1944)

After the departure of Mary Anderson for England, the American stage began a painful and long-lived search for the next statuesque beauty with charisma, virtuosic vocal ability, and instinctive stage sense. Minna K. Gale was one of the aspirants to Anderson's mantle. Trained as a Shakespearean, she supported Edwin Booth and Lawrence Barrett, playing Juliet, Portia, and Rosalind. Her time in the limelight was relatively short, however - from 1886 to 1893. In 1892 she married Archibald C. Haynes and had him underwrite the 1892-93 season which she organized at the Star Theatre in New York City by buying up blocks of tickets. He sank so much money into the subvention of her career that he ran into debt and was forced to retire in December 1894 from the Equitable Life Insurance Company in which he was an officer. This contretemps forced Gale to become a supporting actress in various companies, eventually settling after the turn of the century in Viola Allen's troupe. David S. Shields/ALS