B: March 17, 1848 in Toronto, Ontario
D: November 19, 1925 in New Canaan, Connecticut
Clara Morris was born Clara La Montagne (some sources say Proctor) and was the eldest child of a bigamous marriage. When she was three her father was exposed, and her mother fled with her to Cleveland, Ohio, where they adopted her grandmother`s name, Morrison. Clara received only scanty schooling and around 1860 she became a dancer in the resident ballet company of the Cleveland Academy of Music. She shortened her last name to Morris and after nine years of training with that company, she played a season as leading lady at Wood’s Theatre, Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1869. She made her New York debut in September 1870 as Anne Sylvester in Wilkie Collins’ Man and Wife. Clara Morris had an instinctive genius for portraying the impassioned and often suffering heroines of French melodrama. Her stage success was such that she was dubbed “The Queen of Melodrama.” Ill health forced her to retire from the stage in the 1890s, but she turned her talent to writing and penned three books of reminiscences: Life On The Stage in 1901, Stage Confidences in 1902 and Life of a Star in 1906. Her film appearances were few and came late in her life.
Features & TV Movies:
Diane of the Follies (1916)
My Lady Friends (1921)