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Violet Heming

Biography: 

(1894-1981)

English-born Violet Heming came to Broadway as a juvenile, playing Wendy in "Peter Pan" and years as Rebecca in "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm." Possessing a resonant soprano voice, she sounded particularly good with leading men whose vocal range was baritone or bass. George Arliss was a favorite stage partner, and her success in his star vehicle, "Disraeli" kept her on tour for two years. A sprightly comedian, she was always in demand throughout the 1910s and 1920s. None of the failures in which she appeared crashed because of her performance, but more than a few ("Three Faces East," "Spring Cleaning," "This Thing Called Love," "Yes, My Darling Daughter,") won popularity because of her vital presence.

Heming had an intermittent film career, playing girls in the early 1910s and serious leads in 1917-1919; perhaps the most interesting of the latter is "Everywoman" (1919) in which she played the allegorical heroine. She participated in two films in the 1920s and two in the 1930s – of these the one worth examining is 1932's "The Man Who Played God." Much of the 1930s was spent in theatrical touring companies. In 1945 she married ex-senator Bennett Champ Clark. President Harry Truman was best man. David S. Shields/ALS