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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ola Humphrey
Humphrey in 1906
Pearl Ola Jane Humphrey

(1875-07-16)July 16, 1875
Iowa, U.S.
Died1948 (72/73)
Years active1906–1919
  • Edwin Mordant (divorced)
  • Prince Ibrahim Hassan
    (m. 1911; died 1918)
  • John Henry Broadwood
    (m. 1920, died)
RelativesOrrall Humphrey (brother)

Ola Humphrey (born Pearl Ola Jane Humphrey; July 16, 1875 - 1948) was an American actress

Early life

Ola Humphrey was born 16 July 1875 in Iowa as Pearl Ola Jane Humphrey [1] and gave the impression that she'd been almost entirely brought up in Oakland, California, some sources even giving it as her place of birth. However, she was a teenager when the family moved to Oakland, probably in 1891. Ola gave her birth year as 1884, but census figures establish it as 1875. She graduated Class of 1893 from the Snell Seminary in Oakland, where she was celebrated for her ability at dramatic recitation, and in 1894 attended the Emerson School of Oratory in Boston, Massachusetts after this beginning her professional career. She was the daughter of Thomas Marshall Humphrey and Minnie J. Paschal Humphrey. Her father was a San Francisco furniture salesman. Her brother Orrall Humphrey was an actor and film director.[1]


Ola Humphrey, from a 1911 newspaper.

Humphrey toured in stage companies in Australia, New Zealand,[2] and Great Britain, in The Empress,[3] The Prodigal Son (1906),[4] The Little Gray Lady (1906),[5] The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Second Mrs. Tanqueray, The Thief, and Another Woman's Window (1918),[6] among others.[7] She appeared in three silent films: Under the Crescent (1915, now lost; a highly-fictionalized serialized version of Humphrey's own story, [8] written by Nell Shipman).[9][10] The first of six two-reel chapters was entitled The Purple Iris. Other films were Missing (1918), and Coax Me (1919).

Personal life

Ola Humphrey married three times. Her first husband was Edwin Mordant, a fellow actor; they divorced.[1] While performing on the London stage, she caught the eye of Prince Ibrahim Hassan.[11] Hassan was a cousin to Abbas II of Egypt.[7] Their 1911 marriage in a London registrar's office was witnessed by American Vice-consul Richard Westacott (1849-1922) and the Count de Nevers. [12] However, the marriage soon foundered, and they separated;[13] the complicated matter of divorce was resolved when she was widowed in 1918 (though her legal troubles related to the marriage continued through at least 1923).[14][15] She remarried to John Henry Broadwood, an English military officer, in 1920.[1] Widowed again, she lived in Los Angeles in 1935, and donated Egyptian artifacts to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.[16] Late in life, she was living in an apartment in New York,[17] her fortune lost or withheld by the Prince's relatives.[18] Ola Humphrey died in California in 1948, aged about 73 years.


  1. ^ a b c d "Born at Cairo, Ia., Reigned in Cairo, Egypt" Des Moines Register (June 11, 1922): 27. via Newspapers.comopen access
  2. ^ "Ola Humphrey Married; An Egyptian Princess" Otago Daily Times (June 2, 1911): 6. via Papers Pastopen access
  3. ^ "An Experiment" The Argonaut (December 21, 1918): 406.
  4. ^ "Miss Ola Humphrey as Helga in 'The Prodigal Son'" The Bohemian (February 1906): 239.
  5. ^ "Ola Humphrey in The Little Grey Lady'" The Bohemian (June 1906): 576.
  6. ^ "The Players' Club" The Argonaut (December 7, 1918): 363.
  7. ^ a b "Khedive's Cousin Marries Actress" San Francisco Call (April 16, 1911): 1. via California Digital Newspaper Collectionopen access
  8. ^ "Princess Hassan Enacts Her Life Story for the Films" Atlanta Constitution (April 25, 1915): a11. via ProQuest
  9. ^ Kay Armatage, The Girl from God's Country: Nell Shipman and the Silent Cinema (University of Toronto Press 2003): 57. ISBN 9780802085429
  10. ^ Nell Shipman, Under the Crescent (Grosset & Dunlap 1915).
  11. ^ Edgeworth Downer, "One American Girl's Oriental Marriage" Detroit Free Press (September 14, 1919): 90. via Newspapers.comopen access
  12. ^ "Actress Weds a Prince" New York Times (April 16, 1911): 1. via ProQuest
  13. ^ "Universal's Harem Film" Motography (May 8, 1915): 731.
  14. ^ "Sues Actress for Fortune" Washington Post (April 2, 1922): 41. via ProQuest
  15. ^ "Princess Answers Roth" New York Times (September 7, 1923): 15. via ProQuest
  16. ^ "Princess to Reside Here" Los Angeles Times (March 27, 1935): A1. via ProQuest
  17. ^ Gwen Brewster, "Bitter Brew of Cairo" Philadelphia Inquirer (August 10, 1947): 127. via Newspapers.comopen access
  18. ^ Igor Cassini, "Beggared by a Prince" The Honolulu Advertiser (October 19, 1947): 9, 15. via Newspapers.comopen access

External links

This page was last edited on 21 November 2021, at 02:26
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