Today is the birthday of Patricia Collinge (Eileen Cecilia Collinge, 1892-1974). Dublin born Collinge strated out as a child actress, debuting at London’s Garrick’s Theatre in 1904. In 1907 she moved to New York with her mother and went into vaudeville the following year, billed as “A Little Girl from Dublin”.
Her greatest success came on the legitimate stage however, starting with The Queen of the Moulin Rouge in 1908 and ending with I’ve Got Sixpence in 1952. Notable productions included The New Henrietta with Douglas Fairbanks (1913-1914), the title role in Pollyanna (1916), the original production of The Little Foxes (1939-1940), The Heiress (1947-48), and lots of classics like The Rivals, Becky Sharp, She Stoops to Conquer and The Importance of Being Earnest. She also did a modest amount of film work, including the screen version of The Little Foxes (1941) and the mother in Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt (1943). Hitchcock seems to have liked Collinge a lot; he employed her in numerous episodes of his television show from 1955 through 1964. Her last credited role was “SCreaming Woman” in an episode of N.Y.P.D. (1967).
Here she is in a great scene from The Little Foxes:
To find out more about vaudeville past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.
And don’t miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc