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FOOTLIGHT NOTES

images of theatre and other popular entertainment
1850s-1920s

no. 679

updated
Saturday, 18 September 2010

remembering Patrick O'Connor (1949-2010)

Louise Montague


a carte de visit photograph of Louise Montague (1859-1910), American actress and singer

(photo: Sarony, New York, circa 1883)

'Miss Louise Montague, a member of the variety-theatre profession born in New York, aged 21, has been selected by Mr. Forepaugh as the winner of his prize of $10,000 for the handsomest woman in the country. In complexion she is a semi-brunette. Her lips are cherry, teeth regular and pearly, and visible at every smile through a large but not disproportionate mouth; has large expressive brown eyes, a symmetrical nose and an intelligent cast of countenance. In conversation and she is possessed of a fund of sparkling talk every feature if animated, and her flashing eyes and health-tinted cheeks, coupled with a vivacious manner, lend an additional charm to her demeanor. She is of medium height and figure and has a little foot.'
(The Lancaster Daily Intelligencer, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Monday, 4 April 1881, p. 2b/c)

New York, 29 April 1887.
'Capt. Alfred Thompson and Joseph Brooks, composing the Imperial Burlesque Company, have been sued for [$]8500 by Miss Louise Montague, whom they had engaged for four weeks, commencing May 29th, and whom they discharged because she would not sing for them, so that they might judge of her vocal powers.'
(The Era, London, Saturday, 14 May 1887, p. 15e)

'Louise Montague, the $10,000 beauty, is making the hit of The Gondoliers in the company that is touring through the West [United States], and she makes it by high kicking. It was reported a year ago that she was studying for opera and it is evident that the report was true.'
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Sunday, 20 April 1890, p, 18g)

'Don Juan [to be produced on 28 October 1893] at the Gaiety [London], is to have the services of Mr. Arthur Roberts, Mr. Robert Pateman, Mr. Arthur Playfair, Mr. Edmund Payne, Miss Millie Hylton, Miss Sylvia Grey, Miss Katie Seymour, Miss Cissie Loftus, and Miss Louise Montague, a young singer from America.'
(The Birmingham Daily Post, Birmingham, England, Monday, 18 September 1893, p. 6h)

'DEATH DRAWS VEIL ON $10,000 BEAUTY
'Louise Montague, Who Captured the Big Beauty Prize Money, Dies.
'NEW YORK March 16 [1910]. - ''Montague, Louise M., died on Tuesday at her residence, 184 Manhattan avenue.''
'This simple death notice appeared in the New York papers today. It was written in the main by Louise Montague herself a week before her death, the day on which death would come being left blank, to be filled in by the undertaker.
'Few who read this notice know that the Louise Montague, whose death was so simply chronicled, was the woman who was once heralded far and wide over the country as the ''Ten Thousand Dollar Beauty.''
'After the first rage over her had subsided she sought the quiet of private life, but a few years afterwards went on the stage because it was discovered that she had talents equal to her beauty.
'Then [sic] Forepaugh with a showman's acumen, offered a $10,000 prize for the most beautiful woman in America and had the judges select Louise Montague. Riding on a gorgeous chariot she was a feature of his circus parades.
'but just before she died she asked that all the old pictures of herself in the days of her fleeting glory be brought to her, and tonight they stood on the mantel and on chairs in the room where Louise Montague lay in her coffin. Pinned on the wall was a glaring, many-colored poster ''Forepaugh's prize beauty'' and over the mantel was a faded photograph, life size of Louise Montague as ''Sindbad the Sailor.'''
(Evening Bulletin, Honolulu, Friday, 1 April 1910, p. 10c/d)

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