? asked in Education & ReferenceHomework Help · 1 decade ago

Anything you know about Lillian Russell (aka Helen Louise Leonard)?

i am doing a history/english report for Lillian Russell, and am adding in some extra details;; i was wondering if anyone knew some interesting things about her? anything that you know would be appreciated! i've got a lot of information, but i just wanna have some extra things, because the paper has to be 3-5 pages;; thankyou!


1 Answer

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Lillian Russell (1861 1922) was born Helen Louise Leonard, the fifth daughter of Charles E. Leonard, a newspaper publisher, and Cynthia Rowland (Van Name) Leonard, a feminist and author. Lillian was born in Clinton, Iowa, but the family moved in 1865 to Chicago, where she was educated in the Convent of the Sacred Heart, and the Park Institute. In 1877 or 1878 Mrs. Leonard left her husband and moved to New York, where Lillian studied singing under Leopold Damrosch, in hopes of an operatic career. She joined the chorus of a Brooklyn company of H.M.S. Pinafore in 1879, however, and two weeks later married the orchestra leader, Harry Graham. They were divorced after the death of their infant son. Meanwhile, she made her first appearance on Broadway November 22, 1880, at Tony Pastor's Theatre, as Lillian Russell, the English Ballad Singer. She toured with Pastor's company the following summer, then appeared under several managers in succession.

    Lillian Russell married her second husband, composer Edward Solomon, in May 1884, then sailed with him for England. There she was first successful in Solomon's Polly, or the Pet of the Regiment. They returned to New York in the winter of 1885, and toured the following season, but Solomon was arrested for bigamy in the fall of 1886 and Lillian joined the J.C. Duff Opera Company. She toured with Duff for two years, then returned to New York in 1888 to appear at the Casino under the management of Rudolph Aronson. In 1891 she opened at the Garden Theatre as the star of the Lillian Russell Opera Company.

    Russell married John Haley Augustin Chatterton, who was appearing under the stage name of Giovanni Perugini, in 1894. They separated six months later, and were divorced in 1898. Between the years 1895 1899, she appeared in several operas which did not draw well, so in 1899 she joined Weber and Fields, where she continued until 1904. Because of the deterioration of her voice, she switched to straight comedy, and toured from 1906 1908 under the management of James Brooks, but soon returned to singing.

    In 1912 Lillian Russell married Alexander Pollock Moore, owner of the Pittsburgh Leader, and essentially retired from the stage. In the following years she wrote a newspaper column, advocated woman suffrage, and lectured on health, beauty and love. During World War I she recruited for the Marine Corps, sold war bonds, and raised money for the American Legion. She toured Europe in 1922 as special investigator on immigration for President Harding, and reported in favor of isolationism and restricted immigration. She died in June, 1922, survived by her fourth husband, and her daughter Dorothy, by her second marriage.

    The collection consists of letters written by Lillian Russell and Edward Solomon to Constance DuFlon, chiefly during the 1885 1886 tour, which deal with the daily occurrences and conditions of a touring company. There are also letters to Constance DuFlon from Fred Solomon, the company buffoon, Fanny Davenport and Jesse Millward.

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