Press Clippings for the week ending
Saturday, 5 March 2008

A random selection of clippings
from newspapers and magazines

Hale Hamilton and Myrtil Tannehill
are divorced - Grace La Rue the 'Other Woman,' New York, 1920

Grace La Rue

Grace La Rue (1882-1956), American vocalist and actress,
in her 'bewildering gown of black with silver stripes'

(photo: Bassano, London, 1913)

'Did Grace La Rue "Vamp" Mrs Hale Hamilton's Husband?
'The "Love Triangle" in Real Life Which Three Well Known Stage Stars Are Playing in the New York Courts.
'Playwrights deal chiefly with the "Eternal Triangle" - the Man, the Wife and the Other Woman.
'But just at this moment there is a drama of Love's Triangle being enacted in a rather different way.
'Well-known actors and actresses are playing the leading parts, but no playwright wrote the plot!
'And the play is staged, not in a Broadway theatre, but in the Supreme Court of New York.
'The Man is - - - Hale Hamilton
'The Wife is - - - Myrtle Tannehill
'The Other Woman is - - - Grace La Rue
'The opening scene of this real-life domestic triangle tragedy was played out by Mrs. Myrtle Tannehill Hamilton, the actress, the other day when she filed a suit for $100,000 damages against Grace La Rue, the well-known vaudeville star, for alienating the affections of Myrtle's former husband, Hale Hamilton, the actor.
'One of the odd things Mrs. Hamilton asserts in her suit is that Grace La Rue enticed Hale Hamilton away by gifts of jewelry - that she helped win him a wrist watch. This seems almost a touch of comedy; but read what the Wife says about it in all seriousness.

'By Myrtle Tannehill (formerly Mrs. Hale Hamilton.)
'(In an interview)
'GRACE LA RUE entered my home as a guest at a party. Hale Hamilton, my husband, and I, his wife, were as happy as any couple in all New York. Grace La Rue lavished gifts upon my husband and won him away from me. My home is broken up - I have lost Hale Hamilton and Grace La Rue has won him. I have brought suit against her for $100,000 because I believe it is my duty to make an example for the sake of other women.
'I was very much interested to read that Grace La Rue said, when she found I had begun suit against her, that she declines to be made "a $100,000 vamp!" And that if I win my suit she will not marry Hale Hamilton, because it would convict her of having vamped my husband. But if I lose my suit - then she will marry my former husband, because losing my suit will be her vindication. Grace La Rue adds that Mr. Hamilton is everything that she desires and that his devotion is proven.
'Yes, we all agree that my former husband's devotion to Grace La Rue is thoroughly well proven, but what is the explanation of his devotion to this woman? It is a very interesting story, and will be told in circumstantial detail at the trial of my suit.
'Women have been wooed by golden gifts and by jewels. That has been an accepted method of pursuing the fair sex. Goethe knew it when he wrote the jewel song in Faust. Marguerite kneels before a box of glittering jewels and lifting the jewels into the light addresses a song to them before she yields to the temptation.
'But in this domestic triangle of my own the temptress was a woman! And I have stated in my sworn complaint that in this instance it was the Man who was won by baubles and trinkets!
'Hale Hamilton was receiving their gifts from Grace La Rue, but explained them away in one way or another. One day he told me that he had a chance to buy a very nice wrist watch from a member of the Lambs' Club who had been out of an engagement for some time, was hard up and was willing to sell the watch at a bargain. Quite naturally I advised that he take advantage of this opportunity, and thus he paved the way and prepared my mind for the appearance of the watch on his wrist.
'The day he wore it home he refused to take it off. He did not sing to it, but he slept in it. That wrist watch ticked away the hours of our happiness.
'We had had a romantic courtship, Hale and I, and a happy marriage. We had enjoyed a blissful honeymoon - our wedded life was indeed a prolonged honeymoon that lasted six years. The wrist watch was the first wedge which pried us apart.
'The appearance of a sapphire ring set in platinum was the next indication that some fairy godmother was sending trinkets to my husband. Then I discovered a book of poems, Sonnets from the Portuguese. The inscription on the first page was "To My Dearest Only One from Grace."
'These things began to make me nervous - what loyal wife who really loved her husband could escape a very natural anxiety to know what was going on? I discussed these things with my husband. At first the discussion was entirely one-sided - he let me do all of the talking and declined to make explanations.
'At last he became quite frank. Finally one day he threw off the mask and said: "Myrtle, she is a wonderful woman. She has offered to give me twenty-five hundred dollars whenever I need it."
'Hale Hamilton was a persistent, forceful lover. He persisted in seeking my acquaintance. Mr. Hamilton told me he loved me at first sight. Watching me in the dusk of the theatre at rehearsals he had decided that I "was the one woman in the world for him."
'The statement hasn't the value of originality, but there are times when it reaches a woman's heart. After I had heard it often enough I believed it. A year after we met we were married. Magistrate Barlow performed the ceremony in his study at his home near Madison Square.
'Hale was leaving for London with Get Rich Quick Wallingford. We didn't know whether it would please or displease London. So I remained with the Broadway Jones company and he sailed alone. He cabled of its success and asked me to sail at once. I resigned and followed him.
'Our honeymoon was spent in the Hotel Savoy. Never was a happier one. My husband kept our room a very bower of roses. He was all attention and devotion. For six years this lasted. I am convinced that it would have continued through out lives but for the glistening machinations of Miss La Rue.
'I grant that Miss La Rue is well equipped for husband charming. She has had two. The first was Charles Burke, with whom she played in burlesque many years ago. I am told this enchantress of my husband has the mellowness of middle age. Her old acquaintances of burlesque say she is forty-five. Age brings wisdom. Also art, even thought the art be questionable.

Grace La Rue / A Tango Dream

song sheet cover for Elsa Maxwell's 'A Tango Dream',
published by Enoch & Sons, London, 1913, and
introduced by Grace La Rue as an interpolated number in the musical,
The Girl Who Didn't at the Lyric Theatre, London, 18 December 1913 - 28 February 1914

Miss La Rue recorded 'A Tango Dream' for the HMV label
(03373, mx AL-7796f) in London on 6 February 1914

(photo: E.O. Hoppé, London, 1913)

'Hale and I were living in a cosy apartment at Ninety-ninth street and West End avenue. He loved his home and his wife. There was no cloud upon the sky of our happiness. One unfortunate night we went to the Sixty Club and met Miss La Rue. Both of us were introduced to her.
'But it was a slight and passing acquaintance. My husband doesn't dance, and he doesn't care for crowds. But the evil fates were plotting against my happiness. We were about to give a little party. We were indebted to a number of persons for invitations, and we wished to pay that indebtedness. While planning the party and how to entertain our friends we went to another of the Sixty Club's dances. There we again met Miss La Rue. We asked her to come to the party. She accepted. She sang for us. I will admit that she made my party a success by her songs. I did not dream that a discordant song she would make of my life.
'In the Winter I went to Chicago to pay a friend a little visit. When I came back several friends said: "Your hermit husband has been going about. We saw him at Reisenweber's with Grace La Rue." I thought little of this, so little that I did not even mention it to my husband. I said to my friends: "I do not expect my husband to sit at home and stare at a blank wall and think of me while I am away."
'Unfortunate speech! I am now inclined to believe that if a wife expects a husband to stay at home and do wall-staring he will.
'Everything was all right at home that Spring and early Summer. I went for a few weeks to Saranac Lake. When I came back my husband's attitude toward me was totally changed.
'He was cold, indifferent, preoccupied. I said: "Won't you tell me what is on your mind?" He would answer, "Nothing, my dear. Nothing at all." But I knew better.
'My husband said to me one day: "Do you think it is effeminate to wear a wrist watch?" I answered, "Not now, dear. Once it seemed so, but the war has changed that. Why?" He said: "A fellow at the club is broke. He offered to sell me a very decent watch for twelve dollars." I said: "If you can get a good watch for twelve dollars you'd better buy it." He answered: "Maybe you're right."
'That evening he came home wearing the wrist watch. "You seem to have made a bargain, dearest," I said. "The man couldn’t have worn it long. It looks brand new. Let me see it."
'But he wouldn't take it off. He would give no reason. He just wouldn't He even slept with that watch on his wrist.
'But one day, while he was taking a bath, I found it on the dresser. It was a fine watch, of solid gold setting with Elgin works. I knew it was worth a hundred and twelve dollars. No sane person would sell it for twelve dollars. As I examined it I found inscribed in the inner case his name. I knew there had not been time since he spoke of it that morning to have that inscription made. I am acquainted with the habits of jewelers. by one of those flashed that illuminate a situation, but render a woman very unhappy, I understood. I told him I had heard that he had been seen often with Grace La Rue while I was at Saranac and that I was sure she had given him the watch. He denied it. But very shortly afterward, when he met a friend of ours and walked down [the] street with her, he told her all about it.
'"I don't know what to do," he said, and showed her a new sapphire ring, a gift.
'This confession by proxy helped me in the slow, tormenting process of making up my mind what to do. I told my husband we would better separate, at least until this cloud had passes from our lives.
'He agreed with he. We signed separation papers and shook hands and wished each other well, But on his journey to California, where he was gong to fulfil an engagement, Hale seemed to have had a change of heart. He sent me a telegram: "Hold the thought that we will be reunited, dear one," he said. "I am sure we will be together this time next year. I feel as though I had been chasing rainbows and had not found the pot of gold."
'A little later a friend said to me: "I met your husband in Seattle. He was there spending Christmas with Miss La Rue."
'That determined by course. Learning that he was in St. Paul with Miss La Rue I went to that city and engaged a lawyer. Aided by persons in a local hotel, we made certain discoveries of a very conclusive nature.
'I only saw my husband once after that. We met at the corner of Sixth avenue and Forty-seventh street.
'He said: "How do you do, Myrtle?" I said: "Very well, thank you. How are you, Hale?" He answered: "May I walk with you? I would like to talk of things." I said: "Certainly." We walked across Forty-seventh street and turned up Fifth avenue. I reminded him that he was far in arrears. I noticed that he was looking very well. I had never seen him so well groomed. And he was wearing a magnificent fur-lined overcoat.
'Staring at the magnificent overcoat I reminded him that by the terms of our separations papers he was in arrears in his alimony. "Yes," he said, "but I want to talk to you about something. Please don't mention any names in your divorce suit. If you don't I will pay up."
'I and others dependent upon me needed the money. I answered impulsively, "Oh, very well!" When I did sue for my divorce, for which I have an interlocutory decree, I referred to "and unknown woman."
'But since the divorce has been granted I feel that I have a duty to perform in laying all the facts before the public through the courts.'
(The Sandusky Register, Sandusky, Ohio, Sunday, 28 March 1920, Magazine Section, p.1)

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