Marie Doro - A Forgotten Star

Obituary from the New York Times - 10 October 1956

Marie Kathryn Stewart, known as Marie Doro on the stage and screen, died early yesterday morning of a coronary thrombosis in her apartment at the Volney Hotel, 23 East Seventyfourth Street. She was 74 years old.

During the first thirty years of the century Miss Stuart, as she preferred to be known in her later days, was one of the famous stars of Charles Frohman, the most influential American producer of the period.

A small alert young woman, with spectacularly dark eyes and thick brown hair, she was widely admired for her extraordinary beauty and her sensitivity and intelligence as an actress.

Born in Duncannon, Pa.,she was the daughter of Richard H. and Virginia Stewart. She studied in private schools in New York.

She first appeared on the stage in St. Paul in 1901 in "Aristocracy". Until she retired about a quarter of a century ago, she played constantly in America and in England, and appeared on the screen in Italy, France, England and America.

William Gillette, who wrote "Clarice" for her and himself in 1905, acted with her in Barrie's "The Admirable Chrichton", Sardou's "Diplomacy" and his own "Sherlock Holmes". She was famous as Oliver Twist in the play of that name and in 1916 played the same part in the film.

In 1914 she had the distinction of appearing in a command performance of "Diplomacy" before the King and Queen of England at Windsor Castle. The cast for the command performance also included Gerald du Maurier and Lady Tree.

When she appeared under Arthur Hopkins' direction in Florence Lincoln's "Barbara" in 1917, a New York Times reviewer wrote: "Inexpert as the play is *** the central character and situation have the rich gift of inspiration, and Miss Doro touches them everywhere with an art that is as compelling as it is exquisite and unaffected. Part and performance blend into a mood of poetic beauty so rare as to be in fact unique. One searches the memory in vain for a parallel."

Apart from her career on the stage and screen, Miss Stewart was interested in many other things. She was a trained musician and wrote a number of popular songs, the last of which, entitled "Do I make it Clear" was published only last summer. She was an authority on the Shakespeare Sonnets and Elizabethan poetry.

A lifelong student of religion, she studied it formally at the Union Theological Seminary in New York and at Princeton Theological Seminary after her retirement from the stage. She was a brilliant conversationalist.

Miss Stewart was married to the late Elliott Dexter, actor, in 1915. The marriage ended in divorce.

 

(Copyright New York Times)