Emma Dunn: Actress (1875 - 1966) | Biography
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Emma Dunn
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Actress
Was Actor Stage actor Film actor
From United Kingdom
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender female
Birth 26 February 1875, Cheshire
Death 14 December 1966, Los Angeles (aged 91 years)
Star sign Pisces
Emma Dunn
The details (from wikipedia)


Emma Dunn (February 26, 1875 – December 14, 1966) was an English-born American character actress on the stage and in motion pictures.


Emma Dunn and Emmett Corrigan in David Belasco's production of The Governor's Lady (1912)

Emma Dunn appeared onstage in her early teens, graduating to the London stage for several years and later became a noted Broadway actress. She appeared in the first American production of Ibsen's Peer Gynt (1906) with Richard Mansfield as Peer. She played Peer's mother, Ase, even though she was, in real life, 20 years younger than Mansfield. She appeared in three productions for theatre impresario David Belasco: The Warrens of Virginia (1907), The Easiest Way (1909) and The Governor's Lady (1912). In The Easiest Way, Dunn portrayed Annie, who was black, in blackface. In 1913 Dunn appeared in vaudeville.

Dunn made her first film in 1914, a silent film of her 1910 stage success, Mother, directed by Maurice Tourneur. This was Tourneur's first American film. Dunn's second film was 1920's Old Lady 31, reprising the role she played in the 1916 Broadway play of the same name. One more silent film followed in 1924, Pied Piper Malone, before she made her talkie debut in Side Street, co-starring the Moore brothers, Matt, Owen and Tom as her sons.

Dunn wrote two books on elocution and speech: Thought Quality in the Voice (1933) and You Can Do It (1947).

Personal life

Emma Dunn with daughters Helen (left) and Dorothy (1915)

Emma Dunn was born February 26, 1875, in Birkenhead, England, although she sometimes gave her year of birth as 1883.

Dunn married actor Harry Beresford (born Harry J. Morgan) in Chicago on October 4, 1897.

They divorced on February 10, 1909, in New York City. She was awarded sole custody of their young daughter, Dorothy. On May 19, 1909, Dunn married John W. Stokes (John W. S. Sullivan), an actor, playwright and theatrical manager. They subsequently adopted a second daughter, Helen. The couple divorced sometime between 1923 and Stokes' death in 1931.

After suffering a heart attack some months before, Dunn died December 14, 1966, in Los Angeles, California, aged 91.

Theatre credits

Date Title Role Notes
November 30 – December 6, 1902 The Wrong Mr. Wright Tillie Bird National tour beginning at Morosco's Burbank Theatre, Los Angeles
January 8 – January 1906 The Redemption of David Corson Majestic Theatre, New York City
October 28, 1906 – January 1907 Peer Gynt Ase Grand Opera House, Chicago
February 25 – March 23, 1907 Peer Gynt Ase New Amsterdam Theatre, New York City
December 3, 1907 – October 1908 The Warrens of Virginia Mrs. Warren Belasco Theatre, Stuyvesant Theatre, New York City
January 19 – June 1909 The Easiest Way Annie Stuyvesant Theatre, New York City
September 7 – December 31, 1910 Mother Mrs. Katherine Wetherill Hackett Theatre, Criterion Theatre, New York City
September 10, 1912 – January 1913 The Governor's Lady Mary Slade Theatre Republic, New York City
January 7 – July 1915 Sinners Mrs. Horton Playhouse Theatre, New York City
October 30, 1916 – March 1917 Old Lady 31 Angie 38th Street Theatre, New York City
August 16 – September 10, 1921 Sonny Mrs. Crosby Cort Theatre, New York City
November 24, 1924 – January 1925 Dawn Mary Slayton Sam H. Harris Theatre, New York City
November 24, 1925 – 19?? Rip Van Winkle Gretchen Boston Repertory Theatre, Boston
January 1927 Junk Old Sal Garrick Theatre, New York City


Advertisement for Mother (1914)
Year Title Role Notes
1914 Mother Mrs. Wetherell
1920 Old Lady 31 Angie Rose
1924 Pied Piper Malone Mother Malone
1929 Side Street Mrs. O'Farrell
1930 Manslaughter Miss Bennett
1931 Bad Sister Mrs. Madison
1931 Compromised Mrs. Squires
1931 Guilty Generation, TheThe Guilty Generation Nina
1931 Morals for Women Mrs. Hutson
1931 Prodigal, TheThe Prodigal Mrs. Cynthia Farraday
1931 Texan, TheThe Texan Señora Ibarra
1931 This Modern Age Mrs. Blake
1931 Too Young to Marry Jennie Bumpsted
1931 Under 18 Mrs. Evans
1932 Blessed Event Mrs. Roberts
1932 Broken Lullaby Mrs. Miller
1932 Cohens and Kellys in Hollywood, TheThe Cohens and Kellys in Hollywood Mrs. Sarah Cohen
1932 Hell's House Emma Clark
1932 It's Tough to Be Famous "Moms" McClenahan
1932 Letty Lynton Mrs. Darrow
1932 Wet Parade, TheThe Wet Parade Mrs. Sally Chilcote
1932 When a Fellow Needs a Friend Kind lady
1933 Elmer, the Great Mrs. Kane
1933 Grand Slam Sob sister
1933 Hard to Handle Mrs. Hawks
1933 It's Great to Be Alive Mrs. Wilton
1933 Man of Sentiment, AA Man of Sentiment Mrs. Russell
1933 Private Jones Mrs. Jones
1934 Dark Hazard Mrs. Mayhew
1934 Dr. Monica Mrs. Monahan
1934 Flirtation Mrs. Poole
1934 Quitter, TheThe Quitter Cordelia Tilford
1935 Another Face Sheila's mother
1935 Crusades, TheThe Crusades Mother of Alan
1935 George White's 1935 Scandals Aunt Jane
1935 Glass Key, TheThe Glass Key "Mom"
1935 Keeper of the Bees, TheThe Keeper of the Bees Margaret Campbell
1935 Ladies Crave Excitement Mary Phelan
1935 Little Big Shot Matron
1935 Seven Keys to Baldpate Mrs. Quimby
1935 This Is the Life Mrs. Davis
1936 Harvester, TheThe Harvester Granny Moreland
1936 Mr. Deeds Goes to Town Mrs. Meredith
1936 Second Wife Mrs. Brown
1937 Circus Girl Molly
1937 Emperor's Candlesticks, TheThe Emperor's Candlesticks Housekeeper
1937 Madame X Rose
1937 Varsity Show Mrs. Smith
1937 Waikiki Wedding Old woman
1937 When You're in Love Mrs. Hamilton
1938 Cowboy and the Lady, TheThe Cowboy and the Lady Ma Hawkins
1938 Cowboy from Brooklyn Ma Hardy
1938 Crowd Roars, TheThe Crowd Roars Laura McCoy
1938 Duke of West Point, TheThe Duke of West Point Mrs. West
1938 Lord Jeff Mrs. Briggs
1938 Thanks for the Memory Mrs. Platt
1938 Three Loves Has Nancy Mrs. Briggs
1938 Young Dr. Kildare Martha Kildare
1939 Calling Dr. Kildare Martha Kildare
1939 Each Dawn I Die Mrs. Ross
1939 Hero for a Day "Mom" Higgins
1939 Llano Kid, TheThe Llano Kid Dona Teresa
1939 Secret of Dr. Kildare, TheThe Secret of Dr. Kildare Martha Kildare
1939 Son of Frankenstein Amelia
1940 Dance, Girl, Dance Mrs. Simpson
1940 Dr. Kildare Goes Home Martha Kildare
1940 Dr. Kildare's Crisis Martha Kildare
1940 Dr. Kildare's Strange Case Martha Kildare
1940 Great Dictator, TheThe Great Dictator Mrs. Jaeckel
1940 Half a Sinner Granny Gladden
1940 High School Mrs. O'Neill
1940 Little Orvie Mrs. Welty
1940 One Crowded Night Ma
1940 Yesterday's Heroes Aunt Winnie
1940 You Can't Fool Your Wife Mrs. Fields
1941 Dr. Kildare's Wedding Day Martha Kildare
1941 Ladies in Retirement Sister Theresa
1941 Mr. & Mrs. Smith Martha
1941 Monster and the Girl, TheThe Monster and the Girl Aunt Della
1941 Penalty, TheThe Penalty "Ma" McCormick
1941 Rise and Shine Mrs. Murray
1941 Scattergood Baines Mirandy Baines
1941 Scattergood Meets Broadway Mirandy Baines
1941 Scattergood Pulls the Strings Mirandy Baines
1942 Babes on Broadway Mrs. Williams
1942 I Married a Witch Wife of the justice of the peace
1942 Mad Martindales, TheThe Mad Martindales Agnes
1942 Postman Didn't Ring, TheThe Postman Didn't Ring Martha Carter
1942 Talk of the Town, TheThe Talk of the Town Mrs. Shelley
1942 When Johnny Comes Marching Home Nora Flanagan
1943 Cross of Lorraine, TheThe Cross of Lorraine Mme. Marchand
1943 Hoosier Holiday Molly Baker
1943 Minesweeper Mom
1943 North Star, TheThe North Star Old lady
1944 Are These Our Parents? Ma Henderson
1944 Bridge of San Luis Rey, TheThe Bridge of San Luis Rey Dona Mercedes
1944 Irish Eyes Are Smiling Mother Machree
1944 It Happened Tomorrow Mrs. Keever
1944 My Buddy Mary Ballinger
1945 Horn Blows at Midnight, TheThe Horn Blows at Midnight Mrs. Smith
1945 Hoodlum Saint, TheThe Hoodlum Saint Maggie
1946 Night Train to Memphis Mom Acuff
1947 Life with Father Margaret
1947 Mourning Becomes Electra Mrs. Borden
1948 Woman in White, TheThe Woman in White Mrs. Vesey

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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