Marie Doro - A Forgotten Star

This biography was taken from the Kansas City Star of 14 December, 1915, written at the time of the announcement of her marriage to Elliott Dexter.

 

Marie Stuart, stage christened Doro, in pinafore and pigtails,is not at all an unremembered figure in the minds of many Kansas City persons. Born in Duncannon, Pa., but reared and educated in Kansas City, the future actress first became known to the public in a professional capacity as Little Eva in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" at the Coates Opera House. Even in 1897 Marie Stuart was riding on the Star's Float in the Priests of Pallas parade. She lived at that time at 1318 East Ninth Street with her parents, Mr & Mrs. R.H. Stuart. Mr Stuart was then a clerk with the Guarantee Trust Company and is now an attorney in New York.

Miss Stuart attended the Woodland School and Central High School in 1896-98. Later when her parents removed to New York she attended a boarding school there. In 1901 she appeared professionally in St. Paul with a stock company and required only one short season to climb the ladder to stardom. The next year she entered New York in "Naughty Anthony" making successful a part that Blanche Bates had thrown away.(*)

Since that time the Kansas City girl has had many successes, notably in William Locke's play "The Morals of Marcus" when Charles Frohman made her one of his regular leading women.

A stage legend has grown up around Marie Doro of the same quality as that about Maude Adams. Fifteen years of successful stage life had failed until now to draw her into matrimony. In 1907 there was a persistent rumour that Miss Doro and William Gillette, for whom she had been acting in a leading capacity, had been secretly married in England. She denied it emphatically at the time, although she conceded that Gillette was a very charming man.

Marie Doro came back to Kansas City once in 1908 and played at the Willis Wood in "The Richest Girl". Asked at that time how she happened to take the name of Doro, she replied that she had been so nicknamed by some of her Italian friends in New York before she went on the stage, and that the name stuck after she began to appear in public.

 


 

(*) This appears to be incorrect. Blanch Bates appeared in "Naughty Anthony" early in the previous year, but there is no record of an appearance by Marie Doro.

The Kansas City Star of 16 September 1945 contains an interview by Ward Morehouse, New York drama critic, with Marie Doro, and mentions a childhood appearance by Marie in a play by Charles Nevins, who directed a dramatic club in Kansas City for several years, and had a class in dramatics.

Nevins lived in the same street as the Stuart family. This residential proximity probably accounted for Mr. Nevins's selection of little Marie to play a child part in one of his plays, "The Southerner", which had a history of one night, at the Grand Opera House.

Grand Opera House, Kansas City

Willis Wood Theatre, Kansas City

Coates Opera House - Contemporary Program