Margaret Illington


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Daniel Frohman (1851—1940)


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(1881–1934), actress. This “lovely, stately, talented” leading lady, as her first husband, Daniel Frohman, described her, was born in Bloomington, Illinois, and studied at Illinois Wesleyan and then at a Chicago dramatic school. Her first professional appearance was made under Frohman in The Pride of Jennico (1900). In 1903 she scored a major success as the Japanese girl Yuki in A Japanese Nightingale, followed by Henrietta in an all-star revival of The Two Orphans. One of Illington's most memorable assignments was as the wife falsely accused of having an affair with a young man in Mrs. Leffingwell's Boots (1905). After playing Shirley Rossmore in a road company of The Lion and the Mouse and the unhappy second wife Nina Jesson in His House in Order (1906), she gave what many admirers consider her finest performance: the guilty Marie Louise Voysin in The Thief (1907). As often happens she found it hard to find an equally effective successor to this play and did not have another major success until she played the poor wife Maggie Shultz in Kindling (1911). This was her last significant new role, although she later took leading parts in several road companies before retiring in 1919.

From The Oxford Companion to American Theatre in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Theatre.

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