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Celebrities & Entertainers

Actors, singers, comedians and everyone else who has entertained us over the years. Read more >>

Royal courts of all ages have been hosts to the best of music, drama, dance, and storytelling. In ancient Rome, gladiators were the superstars of their time. In ancient Egypt, the temples were the best place to find entertainment - temple dancers, temple music, and machines that seemed to make the gods talk. Even our most distant ancestors entertained each other around their fires at night with stories. Wherever there are humans, it is their nature to entertain - to seek pleasure and delight. It's in our DNA.

By 1594, Shakespeare's dramas became the most popular entertainment in England and the stage is where you could find mass entertainment for centuries all over the world. In the early 1880s, vaudeville emerged, creating a new form of popular entertainment for the next 50 years. Records, radio, silent movies, "talkies", and television followed. And with all of these inventions and new forms of recreation, more people became the celebrities of their day. Over the past nearly 200 years, since the invention of photography in 1826, the actual images of all of these entertainers have become available.

The photos on these pages are of the celebrities and entertainers of their time. Some of them you will know, being a part of your own history. Some will be new to you but not to your parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents. All of their faces provide a window into a different way of life and recreation.
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Nellie Stewart (1858-1931) Australian stage actress and singer was born as "Eleanor Stewart Towzey" on 20 November 1858 in Wooloomooloo, Sydney, New South Wales. Her parents were actor and singer Richard (Towsey) Stewart (1826-1902) and opera singer Theodosia Yates (1815-1904). She began her long and productive stage career at about 5 years of age and excelled in comic opera. She went on to tour in Britain, America and India but always returned to her beloved Australia. Nellie Stewart married wool expert, Richard Goldsbrough Row (1860-1914) in 1884 but separated a few weeks afterwards and eventually divorced in 1900. Her long term business and romantic relationship was with theatrical manager George Musgrove (1854-1916). They had one daughter, actress Nancye Doris (Musgrove) Stewart (1893-1973). Nellie Stewart died 21 June 1931 in Mosman, Sydney, New South Wales aged 72. additional information: Nellie Stewart was a descendant through her maternal line to well known British comedian, Richard Yates (1706-1796). She had two step sisters by her mother's first marriage who were also actresses, Theodosia and Margaret Stewart. Her 1906 tour to America was abandoned due to the San Francisco Earthquake. She acted in one film, "Sweet Nell of Old Drury" 1911.
People in this photo:
A photo of Dorothy Wardell Hyson (1914-1996) stage and screen actress born 24 December 1914 in Chicago, Illinois. Her parents were actors, Dorothy Schofield Dickson (1893-1995) and Carl Constantine Hyson Jr (1887-1966). She first married actor, Robert Douglas Finlayson (1909-1999) in 1935 and secondly actor, John Anthony Quayle (1913-1989) in 1947. Their children were Jennifer, Rosanna and Christopher Quayle. She died following a stroke on 23 May 1996 in Kensington and Chelsea, England aged 81. btw... Dorothy Hyson was a cryptographer at Bletchley Park during WWII.
People in this photo:
A photo of Lucy Weston as 'Columbia' for 'The Follies of 1908' at the New York roof garden theatre 'Jardin de Paris'... photographer, Otto Sarony. Lucy Weston (1888-) stage actress and singer born in London, England. As a child performer she appeared in the British Music Halls before emigrating on the Lusitania to America in 1908 where she toured widely with various theatre companies including a number of appearances on Broadway with early productions of the Ziegfeld Follies.
People in this photo:
Lucy Weston
Born: 1888
A photo of Agnes Ethel (1846-1903) stage actress was born Agnes Ethel Koen in New York City to parents Bernard Koen and Mary O'Donnell. She married millionaire, Francis Walsingham Tracy (1839-1886) in 1874. After his death she married her childhood sweetheart Clinton DeWitt Roudebush (1842-1913) in 1890, they divorced in 1901. She died of heart disease in Irving Place, New York 1903 aged 57.
People in this photo:
Agnes Ethel Koen
1846 - 1903
A photo of Drucilla Anna Strain (1913-1994) Actress and Ziegfeld Girl born in New York City to parents Robert Strain (1893-1950) and Anna Fallon (1894-1981). She married Charles Eugene Teagarden (1913-1984) in 1931 and had a daughter Druanne Teagarden (1939-1981). She later married Dick Stone and died in Long Beach, Nassau, New York 1994.
People in this photo:
A photo of Mae West
People in this photo:
Mae West
Aug 17, 1893 - Nov 22, 1980
Los Angeles, CA, United States
Janet Gaynor was born Laura Augusta Gainor October 6, 1906 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania but grew up in San Francisco, California. Later moving to Los Angeles, California, she is fondly remembered as the a popular Hollywood actress during the silent film era. She was the first woman to win an academy award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She was also the youngest to win an Oscar, holding onto the title for 57 years.
People in this photo:
Laura Augusta Gainor
Oct 6, 1906 - Sep 14, 1984
Famous silent film actress Theda Bara posing as Cleopatra in the 1917 film Cleopatra directed by J. Gordon Edwards. Cleopatra 1917 was one of the first big budget Hollywood movies - costing over $500,000 and employing 2,000 people during the filming in 1916 - 1917. Of course Theda Bara was a famous actress in the early days of silent film, best known for her femme fatale roles and risqué clothing. Unfortunately, this film has been lost to time as less than one minute of footage lasts today.
People in this photo:
Theodosia Burr Goodman
Born: Jul 29, 1885
Mary Pickford was an actress, founder of United Artists and was one of the original 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
People in this photo:
Mary Pickford
Apr 8, 1892 - May 29, 1979
A photo of Kirk Douglas taken in 1950s Los Angeles. (He was known as Izzy Demsky before his career as an actor in old Hollywood demanded a name change.) A great actor, he was also a writer (10 books!) and father of 4 - one of whom is Michael Douglas (who looks just like him). RIP Kirk - or Izzy.
People in this photo:
Kirk Douglas
Dec 9, 1916 - Feb 5, 2020
Autographed photo of actress, Myrna Loy
People in this photo:
Myrna Loy
Aug 2, 1905 - Dec 14, 1993
New York, NY, United States
Publicity photo of actor, Ralston Hill circa 1970's
People in this photo:
Ralston Hill
Apr 24, 1927 - Oct 19, 1996
A publicity photo of actor Patricia Elliott
People in this photo:
Patricia Elliott
1938 - Dec 20, 2015
New York, NY, United States
A photo of Curt Jurgens
People in this photo:
Curd Jürgens
Dec 13, 1915 - Jun 18, 1982
A photo of Yul Brynner
People in this photo:
Yul Brynner
1920 - October 1985
A photo of Lew Ayres
People in this photo:
Lew Ayres
Dec 28, 1908 - Dec 30, 1996
A photo of Kay Armen (Armenian: Արմենուհի Մանուկյան)
People in this photo:
Kay Armen
Nov 2, 1915 - Oct 3, 2011
A photo of Dorothy McGuire
People in this photo:
Dorothy McGuire
Jun 14, 1916 - Sep 13, 2001
A photo of May Whitty
People in this photo:
May Whitty
Jun 19, 1865 - May 29, 1948
A photo of Phyllis Newman
People in this photo:
Phyllis Newman
Mar 19, 1933 - Sep 15, 2019
New York, NY, United States
A photo of Margaret Leighton
People in this photo:
Margaret Leighton
Feb 26, 1922 - Jan 13, 1976
A photo of Laurence Kerr Olivier
People in this photo:
Laurence Kerr Olivier
May 22, 1907 - Jun 11, 1989
A photo of Joan Blondell
People in this photo:
Joan Blondell
Aug 30, 1906 - December 1979
West Hollywood, CA
A photo of Donald O'Connor - Movie Star
People in this photo:
Donald O'Connor
Aug 28, 1925 - Sep 27, 2003
A photo of Tallulah Brockman Bankhead
People in this photo:
Tallulah Brockman Bankhead
Jan 31, 1902 - December 1968
New York, NY
A photo of Troy Donahue who was very nice to meet when I was a teenager in 1958. He took the time to chat with me Anita Dieppa. Two teenagers from Brooklyn.
People in this photo:
Troy Donahue
Jan 27, 1936 - Sep 2, 2001
A photo of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans
People in this photo:
Roy Rogers
Nov 5, 1911 - Jul 6, 1998
A photo of Roy Rogers (Leonard Franklin Slye)
People in this photo:
Roy Rogers
Nov 5, 1911 - Jul 6, 1998
A photo of Will Rogers on the radio in 1930. His radio show was the most popular Sunday evening show, his newspaper columns were read by millions of people in the US, and he was the second biggest motion picture box office draw. A great wit, Will Rogers died in a plane crash in Point Barrow, Alaska Territory in August of 1935. (Alaska didn't become a state until almost 25 years later.) One of America's greatest wits, some of his quotes are: “A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people. ” "We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others." “When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.” "There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves." "Never miss a good chance to shut up." "Too many people spend money they haven't earned to buy things they don't want to impress people they don't like." “Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else.” “All I know is just what I read in the papers, and that's an alibi for my ignorance.” "Common sense ain't common.” “Don't let yesterday take up too much of today.” “When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging.” “I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.” “If stupidity got us in this mess, how come it can't get us out.” “The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected.” “The more you observe politics, the more you've got to admit that each party is worse than the other.” “Ten men in our country could buy the whole world and ten million can't buy enough to eat.” “It takes a lifetime to build a good reputation, but you can lose it in a minute.”
People in this photo:
William Penn Rogers
Nov 4, 1879 - Aug 15, 1935
A photo of Della Reese
People in this photo:
Della Reese
1931 - 2017
A photo of Ethel Waters
People in this photo:
Ethel Waters
Oct 31, 1896 - Sep 1, 1977
Los Angeles, CA
A photo of Marisa Pavan, who married Jean-Pierre Aumont - twice!
People in this photo:
Marisa Pavan
Born: 1932
A photo of Jean-Pierre Aumont
People in this photo:
Jean-Pierre Aumont
Jan 5, 1911 - Jan 30, 2001
Teenager Laurence Tureaud in his high school senior photo taken at the Dunbar Vocational High School in 1970.
People in this photo:
Laurence Tureaud
Born: May 21, 1952
A photo of Bea Lillie
People in this photo:
Bea Lillie
May 29, 1894 - Jan 20, 1989
A photo of Esther Jane Williams
People in this photo:
Esther Jane Williams
Aug 8, 1921 - 2013
A photo of Michael Dunn
People in this photo:
Michael Dunn
Oct 20, 1934 - August 1973
A photo of Pier Angeli
People in this photo:
Pier Angeli
Jun 19, 1932 - Sep 10, 1971
A photo of Caroline May (Harper) Butler
People in this photo:
Caroline May (Harper) Butler
Aug 21, 1909 - Jun 27, 1932
A photo of Betty Hutton
People in this photo:
Betty Hutton
Feb 26, 1921 - Mar 11, 2007
Palm Springs, California
A photo of Nancy Marchand
People in this photo:
Nancy Marchand
Jun 19, 1928 - Jun 18, 2000
New York, NY
A photo of Diahann Carroll in the title role of her tv series,
People in this photo:
Diahann Carroll
1935 - Oct 4, 2019
A photo of Charly Baumann
People in this photo:
Charly Baumann
Sep 14, 1928 - Jan 24, 2001
A photo of Ethel Merman
People in this photo:
Ethel Merman
Jan 16, 1908 - Feb 15, 1984
A photo of Teresa Wright
People in this photo:
Teresa Wright
Oct 27, 1918 - Mar 6, 2005
East Haven, CT
A photo of Conrad Veidt
People in this photo:
Conrad Veidt
Jan 22, 1893 - Apr 3, 1943
A photo of Una Merkel
People in this photo:
Una Merkel
Dec 10, 1903 - Jan 2, 1986
A photo of Maureen O'Hara
People in this photo:
Maureen O'Hara
Aug 17, 1920 - Oct 24, 2015
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