Frances Starr: Star of Broadway

Frances Starr (1886-1973) was an important early 20th century stage actress who later dabbled in screen work as well.

Originally from upstate Oneonta, New York, she started out it with an Albany stock company circa 1901, where fellow company members were Alison Skipworth and Lionel Barrymore. She appeared in two Broadway shows Nell Gwyn (1901) and Gallops (1906) before signing with David Belasco and truly making her mark their over the the course of five decades, and two dozen productions. Her first play with Belasco was the the hit The Rose of the Rancho (1906-07). Other notable early stage successes included The Easiest Way (1909), The Case of Becky (1912) and The Secret (1913-14). She also appeared in one act plays in big time vaudeville venues such as the Palace.

When talkies came in, she got her feet wet in three pictures, but went no further: The Star Witness (1931) with Walter Huston; Five Star Final (1931) with Edward G. Robinson; and This Reckless Age (1932) with Buddy Rogers. She then returned to Broadway, where she continued to work steadily though 1953. Starting in 1949, however, she had begun to act in television as well and she amassed numerous credits on various dramatic series in the new medium through the mid 1950s.