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CLAXTON, Kate [1848-1924] -- American actress

Relationship to me: 6C4
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née CONE, Kate Eliza

She first appeared with Lotta Crabtree in Chicago, but attracted no attention until the production of Led Astray, in 1873. HE It was as Louise in The Two Orphans for which she would always be associated, appearing in it as late as 1903. At about that time, she sold film rights for the script to director D. W. Griffith, who adapted it into his final epic, Orphans of the Storm (1921), a silent film starring sisters ¤Lillian and ¤Dorothy Gish.

In a Harper’s Weekly cartoon, artist Thomas Nast defended her from the rumor, spread in the tabloid press of the day, that her presence in a building was bad luck. The superstitious fear arose after a Brooklyn theater where she was performing (1876 Brooklyn Theater Fire) and a St. Louis hotel where she was staying were consumed in separate fires. (Kate Claxton miraculously survived the Brooklyn Theater Fire although most of her clothing was burned off.)  -30-
 

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