Cora Urquhart Potter 002

Mary Cora Urquhart (1857-1936) aka Mrs. Brown Potter and Cora Urquhart Potter - American socialite and stage actress was born the eldest of four children on 15 May 1857 in New Orleans, Louisiana to parents, merchant David Urquart (1828-1900) and Augusta Caroline Slocomb (1835-1910). She married financier James Brown Potter (1853-1922) the son of millionaire Howard Cranston Potter in 1877. They had one daughter, Anne "Fifi" Brown Potter (1879-1969). In 1886 the couple travelled to England where they were guests of the Prince of Wales at Sandringham House.

Mr. James Brown Potter returned to the United States, while much to the displeasure of her in-laws Cora embarked upon a stage career. Her debut in 1887 was at the Theatre Royal in Brighton, Sussex and a month later appeared at the Haymarket Theatre, London. She began an acting partnership with Harold Kyrle Bellew (1850-1911) which lasted for about ten years and took them on tours around the world, including Australia, India, South Africa, Japan, China and New York. On her return to England she carried two hundred and forty cases of curios and photographs, received in the various countries she visited.

Cora and James Brown Potter eventually divorced in 1900. Cora entered unsuccessfully into theatrical management in 1904 before returning to acting in various tours and productions. Her last appearance on the London stage was in 1912 performing the prologue to "Buddha", returning for a benefit at St. Julians, Guernsey in 1919. In semi retirement she lived with her mother at Staines on the Thames and died on 12 February 1936 at her villa in Beauliue-sur-Mer, France aged 78.
Date & Place: Unknown
1857 - 1936 1857 - 1936
Updated May 04, 2020

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Born in 1857 New Orleans and marrying well at age 20, this socialite did something quite scandalous - she became an actress!
May 04, 2020 · Reply
MaryJo Heibel Regier
Gorgeous still.
May 04, 2020 · Reply
Steven Melendez
Funny how acting was seen as a lowly profession back then.
May 04, 2020 · Reply
Linda Woody
Yes, it was considered very low class and scandalous for women to act on stage in The United States during the Victorian period. One of my paternal Great Grand Aunts trained to be an Actress during the early 1900s and had a lot of grief about that from family.
May 04, 2020 · Reply
Suzanne Berglund-Edwards
Wowser on the picture on your site. So beautiful but it makes me hurt.
May 04, 2020 · Reply
Michele E. Lupe
The Victorians considered acting only second to prostitution. A nice girl would never consider either!
May 04, 2020 · Reply
Sheridan Fenwick
May 04, 2020 · Reply
Sally Roffey Ivison
Great story. Beautiful lady.
May 04, 2020 · Reply
Lisa Downey Harris
Beautiful woman. Oh my how that tight of a corset must have hurt. Plus her arms were so skinny.
May 05, 2020 · Reply
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