Blair, Mary


Blair, Mary
(1895?-1947)
   Born in Pittsburgh, Mary Blair made her New York debut in the first play produced by the Theatre Guild, The Bonds of Interest, and had a successful decade-long career marked by her appearances in several Provincetown Players productions of Eugene O'Neill's plays, including Diff'rent (1921), The Hairy Ape (1922), Before Breakfast (1929), and All God's Chil-lun Got Wings (1924). The latter caused a furor over its depiction of an interracial relationship. As white Ella Downey involved with an African American man, played by Paul Robeson, Blair's action of kissing Robeson's hand in one scene was the focus of vitriolic attacks on the production. Blair also acted in revivals of Fashion (1924), Patience (1924), and East Lynne (1926), as well as the first Broadway staging of August Strindberg's Spook Sonata (1923).
   Blair was married to critic Edmund Wilson for a time in the 1920s and made her last Broadway appearance in American Dream (1933), a failure.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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