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Mabel Taliaferro

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mabel Taliaferro
Mabel Taliaferro 1916.png
Maybelle Evelyn Taliaferro

(1887-05-21)May 21, 1887
DiedJanuary 24, 1979(1979-01-24) (aged 91)
Other namesNell Taliaferro
Years active1899–1956
(m. 1906; div. 1911)

Thomas Carrigan
(m. 1913; div. 1919)
Joseph O'Brien
(m. 1920; div. 1929)
Robert Ober (died 1950)
RelativesEdith Taliaferro (sister)
Bessie Barriscale (cousin)

Mabel Taliaferro (born Maybelle Evelyn Taliaferro; May 21, 1887 – January 24, 1979) was an American stage and silent-screen actress, known as "the Sweetheart of American Movies."[4]

Early years

She was born as Maybelle Evelyn Taliaferro in Manhattan, New York City and raised in Richmond, Virginia. Taliaferro was descended on her father's side from one of the early families who settled in Virginia in the 17th century, the Taliaferros, whose roots are from a northern Italian immigrant to England in the 16th century.

Taliaferro was a sister of film and stage actress Edith Taliaferro and the cousin of actress Bessie Barriscale.[5][6]


Mabel Taliaferro retouched.jpg

Taliaferro began acting on stage at age 2[4] with Chauncey Olcott. Later she appeared with James A. Hearne and with Sol Smith Russell in A Poor Relation. In 1899, she achieved distinction in the role of little Esther in Israel Zangwill's play, Children of the Ghetto. A year later she played the witching elf-child in Yeats's Gaelic fantasy, The Land of Heart's Desire. In 1902-3 Taliaferro appeared in An American Invasion with John E. Dodson and Miss Annie Irish. The following year she was seen in the support of Louis Mann in The Consul. Her greatest opportunity came when she was cast for Lovey Mary in Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch, a part she played continuously for two and one-half years. In 1905 she supported Arnold Daly in You Never Can Tell and later went on tour in The Bishop's Carriage. After a brief season in vaudeville she joined William Collier's company in a tour of Australia. In 1906 Taliaferro married (as her first husband) Frederic Thompson, creator of the Luna Park on Coney Island and the New York Hippodrome, under whose management she starred in the Broadway play Polly of the Circus.[7][8]

In the first decade of the 20th century, Taliaferro's husband and manager, Frederic Thompson, announced that her first name would be changed to Nell for billing purposes. Her first production with her new name was Springtime, and the change brought an outcry of opposition from the public. By 1910, she was once again Mabel.[9]

In 1911, her movie career began with the Selig Studios in The Three of Us and the film version of Cinderella[4] co-starring her then-husband Thomas Carrigan.[10] She continued performing in films through her retirement in 1921. In 1940, she appeared in her final picture, My Love Came Back.[citation needed] Her final Broadway success was in ''Bloomer Girl'' (1944).[4]

On November 20, 1950, Taliaferro co-starred with Glenn Langan in "The Floor of Heaven" on Studio One on TV.[11]

Personal life and death

On January 11, 1920, Taliaferro married army officer Josephus P. O'Brien in Darien, Connecticut. They were divorced in Reno, Nevada, on June 3, 1929.[12] She was also married to, and divorced from, actor Thomas Jay Carrigan.[13]

In 1907 she was injured in a car crash.[14]

She died in Honolulu, Hawaii, on January 24, 1979.[4]



Mabel Taliaferro in the play Polly of the Circus
Mabel Taliaferro in the play Polly of the Circus


  • The De Santre Story (1956)
  • The Hat from Hangtown (1952)
  • Mistress Sims Inherits (1949)
  • You Can't Take It with You (1945)


  1. ^ New York Times Mabel Taliaferro A Bride. Actress Married to Tom Carrigan, Her Leading Man. Thursday July 10, 1913
  2. ^ New York Times Actress's Baby Wanders. Mabel Taliaferro's Child is Found in a Wood ... Thursday January 6, 1921
  3. ^,5058927&hl=en
  4. ^ a b c d e "Mabel Taliaferro, 91, Star of Silent Screen Acted in 100 Plays". New York Times. February 3, 1979.
  5. ^ New York Times . Saturday December 1, 1906
  6. ^ New York Times
  7. ^ "Fred Thompson Marries. Head of Thompson & Dundy Weds Miss Mabel Taliaferro". New York Times. December 1, 1906.
  8. ^ "Mabel Taliaferro Sues. Charges Her Husband, Fred Thompson, with Cruelty in Divorce Action". New York Times.
  9. ^ "Mabel Taliaferro (Nell)". The Anaconda Standard. Montana, Anaconda. February 6, 1910. p. 18. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  10. ^ Pictorial History of the Silent Screen by Daniel Blum c. 1953 page 25
  11. ^ "Television . . . . . . Highlights of the Week". Detroit Free Press. November 19, 1950. p. 22. Retrieved April 13, 2021 – via
  12. ^ "Mabel Taliaferro Divorced". The New York Times. Associated Press. June 4, 1929. p. 30. ProQuest 104948286. Retrieved April 14, 2021 – via ProQuest.
  13. ^ "Thomas Jay Carrigan". The New York Times. October 3, 1941. p. 23. ProQuest 105733806. Retrieved April 14, 2021 – via ProQuest.
  14. ^ "Mabel Taliaferro Hurt In Car Crash. Badly Cut on Arm and Bruised When Brougham is Wrecked on Broadway". New York Times. December 27, 1907.
  15. ^ "Mabel Taliaferro Star in Play, "The Prince's Secret"". Evening Star. Washington DC. February 18, 1935. p. A-12.

External links

This page was last edited on 15 June 2021, at 15:33
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