- Amelia Bingham
Amelia Swilley Bingham (
March 20, 1869"-" September 1, 1927) was an American actress from Hicksville, Ohio."Amelia Bingham, Actress Is Dead", New York Times, September 2, 1927, pg. 17.] Her Broadway career extended from (1896 "-" 1926). [http://www.ibdb.com/person.asp?id=14194 Amelia Bingham, Internet Broadway Database] , Retrieved on 1-3-08.]
Ohio Wesleyan Universitybefore marrying Lloyd Bingham. Her father was a Methodistminister who managed a hotel. Her future husband persuaded her father to permit Bingham to go on stage approximately a year before the couple married.
Her first role in a stage production came on the
Pacific Coast. Her New York Citydebut came at the People's Theatre, 199 Bowery, [ [http://cinematreasures.org/theater/1386 Cinema Treasures | Peoples Theatre ] at cinematreasures.org People's Theatre, Cinema Treasures] , Retrieved on 1-3-08.] in 1893. Her role was a leading part in a melodramaentitled "The Struggle For Life".
Her first successes in the 1890s included "The Power of Gold", "The Shaughran", "Colleen Bawn", "The Village Postmaster", and "Captain Impudence". By 1897 she was managed by
Charles Frohmanand was the leading ladyin "The White Heather". With Frohman she was featured in "The Pink Domino", "The Proper Caper", "On and Off", At the White Horse Tavern", "The Cuckoo", and "His Excellency The Governor".
Bingham's popularity as a performer peaked around 1897. She tallied more than 9,000 of 30,000 votes cast in a newspaper competition for the title of "American State Queen". Earlier stars like
Lillian Russell, Maud Allan, Ada Rehan, and Fannie Davenport received a mere hundred votes each.
She started the Amelia Bingham Company which produced "The Climbers" starring
Bijou Fernandez. ["Bijou Fernandez, Stage Actress", November 8, 1961, pg. 35.] In accomplishing this feat in 1901, she became America's first female manager. A visit to London, Englandin 1900 acquainted her with actresses who were their own producers. "The Climbers" by Clyde Fitchpremiered at the Bijou Theatreon January 15, 1901, and had an extended run. Other plays which were staged with her oversight were "Lady Margaret", "The Modern Magdalen", and "The Frisky Mrs. Johnson". Bingham performed and produced "Olympe" (1904), a Broadway play in which she later toured with Gilbert Miller. ["Gilbert Miller-International Trader", New York Times, November 19, 1950, pg. X4.] Bingham acted the lead in "Big Moments from Great Plays" (1909) and starred with William H. Craneand Douglas Fairbanks Sr.in "The NewHenrietta", prior to World War I. However illness began to hinder her from working around 1914. In 1918 she appeared in "The Man Who Stayed Home".
Her final stage appearance came at the
Century Theatrein "The Pearl of Great Price". She depicted "Shame" in the 1926 production. Bingham detested having to play the type of woman she portrayed in this production. She commented, "for years I have played decent women on the stage." Financial circumstances forced her into accepting the part. The previous year she participated in a revival of "Trelawny of the Wells" (1925), written by Arthur Wing Pinero.
Bingham died of
heart diseasecomplicated by pneumoniain 1927. She was 58 and her illness lasted eight months. She died in her home at 103 Riverside Drive in New York City, a house formerly owned by Joseph Jefferson. Following breakfast she gazed out on to the Hudson Rivera final time prior to succumbing. She loved the river and preferred seeing it to "looking at the Seine Riveror any of the European rivers." Her husband, Lloyd Bingham, predeceased her. He died in Kristiania, Norwayon a mission of peace for Henry Fordto Scandinaviain 1915.
Bingham resided in the Riverside Drive mansion for a decade after her husband's demise. Passers-by noticed statues and black curtains inside. Its interior also housed gilt-framed mirrors with intricate decorative patterns, clocks, coats of armor, helmets, lances, swords,
candelabra, and crucifixes. Many of the items were collected by Lloyd Bingham and some were sold when it was discovered that Bingham's estate amounted to less than $5,000. In 1925 two thieves stole $1,500 in jewelry from the home. Bingham's quick thinking prevented them from noticing a bag which contained $20,000 in jewels.
She was buried at
Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronxafter a funeral which took place at the Little Church Around the Corner.
* [http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchresult.cfm?parent_id=142064&word= Amelia Bingham]
New York Public LibraryDigital Galleryphotos
* [http://www.ibdb.com/person.asp?id=14194 Amelia Bingham] credits at Internet Broadway Database
* [http://www.hicksvillehistoricalsociety.org/Amelia%20Bingham.htm Amelia Bingham] at Hicksville Historical Society.org
* [http://flickr.com/photos/belle_epoque_1900s/1414772884/in/set-72157602088884326/ Amelia Bingham] color photo at Flickr.com
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Bingham, Amelia — ▪ American actress née Amelia Swilley born March 20, 1869, Hicksville, Ohio, U.S. died September 1, 1927, New York, New York American actress who not only achieved great popularity as a performer but also became perhaps the country s… … Universalium
Bingham, Amelia — (1869 1927) Born Amelia Smiley (or Swilley, according to Robert L. Sherman) in Hicksville, Ohio, she grew up waiting tables in her father s hotel. She attended Ohio Wesleyan University, but was at home when Lloyd Bingham, advance man for the… … The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater
The Climbers — Clyde Fitch s four act drama opened at the Bijou Theatre on 21 January 1901 for 163 performances. Blanche Sterling sadly returns from her father s funeral, knowing that he died bankrupt and that her mother and siblings are greedy social… … The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater
Bijou Fernandez — (born 1873? Fun For The Stage Children , New York Times, December 28, 1885, pg. 5.] November 7, 1961) was a Broadway actress from New York City. Bijou Fernandez, Stage Actress, 84, New York Times, November 8, 1961, pg. 35.] Her theatrical career… … Wikipedia
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Harris, Henry B. — (1866 1912) The St. Louis born manager Henry B. Harris, son of William Harris Sr., started out as a program boy at Boston s Howard Atheneum. He rose from treasurer to business manager of Boston s Columbia Theatre in three years. He became an… … The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater
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