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Jean Adair

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Jean Adair
Jean Adair
Born
Violet McNaughton

(1873-06-13)June 13, 1873
DiedMay 11, 1953(1953-05-11) (aged 79)
New York City, U.S.
Other namesJennet Adair
OccupationActress
Years active1922–1953

Jean Adair (born Violet McNaughton; June 13, 1873 – May 11, 1953) was a Canadian actress. She was also known as Jennet Adair.[1]

Career

Born Violet McNaughton in Hamilton, Ontario,[1] Her work as Jennet Adair in vaudeville included performing as a "singing comedienne".[2]

Adair received a scholarship for a dramatic school course, after which she acted for two years with stock theater companies. She moved from stock performances to replacing Irene Dunne in a production of Mother, and her New York debut came in September 1922 when she acted in It's a Boy at the Sam H. Harris Theatre. [3]

She worked primarily on stage but also made several film appearances late in her career, most notably as Aunt Martha, one of Cary Grant's dotty old aunts in Arsenic and Old Lace, a role she originated on Broadway. Her final performance was as the beloved matriarch Rebecca Nurse in the original production of The Crucible. Like many stage actresses of her era, she also appeared in vaudeville.[4]

Death

She died at Beth Israel Hospital in New York City on 11 May 1953, aged 79. She was cremated at Ferncliff Crematory in Hartsdale, New York. Her ashes were collected by playwright Howard Lindsay.[5]

Broadway productions

  • It's a Boy! (1922-?)
  • The Jay Walker (1926)
  • Devils (1926)
  • The Good Fellow (1926)
  • Machinal (1928) (*with a young unknown Clark Gable)
  • That Ferguson Family (1928-9)
  • Scarlet Pages (1929)
  • Everything's Jake (1930)
  • Rock Me, Julie (1931)
  • Blessed Event (1932)
  • Best Years (1932)
  • Black Sheep (1932)
  • The Show Off (1932-3)
  • For Services Rendered (1933)
  • Murder at the Vanities (1933-4)
  • Broomsticks, Amen! (1934)
  • Picnic (1934-?)
  • Mid-West (1936-?)
  • Sun Kissed (1937-?)
  • On Borrowed Time (1938)
  • Morning's at Seven (1939–40)
  • Goodbye in the Night (1940)
  • Arsenic and Old Lace (1941-4)
  • Star-Spangled Family (1945)
  • The Next Half Hour (1945)
  • Detective Story (1949–50)
  • Bell, Book and Candle (1950-1)
  • The Crucible (1953)

Filmography

Film
Year Title Role Notes
1933 Advice to the Lovelorn Mrs. Prentiss Uncredited
1944 Arsenic and Old Lace Aunt Martha Brewster
1947 Living in a Big Way Abigail Morgan
1947 Something in the Wind Aunt Mary Collins
1948 The Naked City Little Old Lady Uncredited

References

  1. ^ a b Liebman, Roy (7 February 2017). Broadway Actors in Films, 1894-2015. McFarland. p. 8. ISBN 978-1-4766-2615-4. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  2. ^ "King Joy is crowned anew by the Keith bill at new Palace". The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. November 2, 1915. p. 10. Retrieved September 23, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ "Miss Jean Adair, Noted Actress, 80". The New York Times. May 12, 1953. p. 27. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  4. ^ Laurie, Jr., Joe (1953). Vaudeville: From the Honky-tonks to the Palace. New York: Henry Holt. p. 50. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  5. ^ Resting Places: The Burial Site of 14,000 Famous Persons by Scott wilson


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