The Maxine Elliot Theater Group (USA, 1905) 25″ x 33″ Advertising Poster
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Miss Maxine Elliot (USA, 1905)
Maxine Elliot (1868-1940) was born as Jessie C. Dermott in Rockland on February 5, 1873. She was an actress romantically linked with J.P. Morgan in the early 1900s who is believed to have financed her Broadway theater group in 1907. As she was one of the most celebrated and photographed celebrities of her day the name of the actual photographer is lost to time.
The daughter of sea Captain Thomas Dermott and his wife Adelaide, she had a younger sister May Gertrude, born in 1874, who also became a celebrated actress using the name Gertrude Elliott.
They were both born in “The Old Dermot Place,” as Down East magazine entitled an article about the homestead. It was originally at the current site of the Rockland City Hall. It was later moves to the current site of the passenger train depot at 4 Union Street. A plaque recognizing the Elliott sisters birthplace hangs inside Trackside Station.
She was the star of the stage and motion pictures. In 1908 she built the Maxine Elliott Theatre on 39th Street, in the Times Square area off Broadway in New York – the first woman to finance and build a theatre there. (Photo of the theater is at left. No date is available and the title was from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards, according to the Library of Congress.)
Much of the sisters childhood was spent aboard a sailing ship of which their father was captain, plying the North American sea lanes. Maxine was educated at the Notre Dame Academy at Roxbury, Massachusetts, before striking out to pursue a career as an actress in New York as a tender sixteen year old. Her first professional stage appearance was in the role of ‘Felicia Umfraville’ in “The Middleman” at Palmers Theatre in New York on 10th November, 1890. That was with the company of the great English actor/producer Edward S. Willard, in his first US production. She remained with Willard for the next three years, touring the USA and Canada in various productions, most notably “The Professor’s Love Story”, one of Willard’s greatest successes. She began to use the stage name ‘Maxine Elliott’ at the suggestion of the great actor and dramatist Dion Boucicault. Her sister Gertrude would adopt the same surname for her own stage career. [Maxine Elliott (1873-1940)] (Photo right is Elliott posing a Portia in about 1901.)
As a young actress, her many boyfriends included baseball’s Hall of Famer John Montgomery Ward and heavyweight champion and actor “Gentleman” Jim Corbett. She quit her acting career during World War I to finance and staff a floating hospital to nurse wounded soldiers in France.
Maxine Elliott died in France on March 5, 1940 from a heart ailment.
Condition: Overall displays in Very Good to Excellent condition.