Julia Dean


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Joseph Jefferson (1774—1832)

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(1880–1952), actress. A beautiful blonde with warm, vivid eyes, she was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, but raised in Salt Lake City, where she made her first stage appearances with a local stock company. After playing briefly with Joseph Jefferson, James O'Neill, and in vaudeville, she made her New York debut in The Altar of Friendship (1902). Small roles followed in Merely Mary Ann (1903) and The Serio-Comic Governess (1904) before she won attention as Anna Gray, who destroys evidence that might incriminate her lover, in The Little Gray Lady (1906) and as the carefree Polly Hope in The Round Up (1907), then toured as Emma Brooks in Paid in Full (1908). Dean's performance as the desperate Christiane in The Lily (1909) earned her further recognition, and after playing the part for two seasons she was acclaimed for her poor telephone operator Virginia Blaine in Bought and Paid For (1911) and her murderess Mrs. Harding in The Law of the Land (1914). None of her later performances found success, including her last New York appearance opposite George Arliss in Poldekin (1920). Dean was praised as an actress of “absolute naturalness and much varied emotional expressiveness.”

From The Oxford Companion to American Theatre in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Theatre.

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