Bloodgood, Clara


Bloodgood, Clara
(1870-1907)
   Born Clara Stevens in a well-to-do New York family, Clara Bloodgood won immediate success under the management of Charles Frohman, who presented her in The Conquerors (1898), Catherine (1898), Phroso (1898), and Miss Hobbs (1899). Positive reviews in Clyde Fitch's The Climbers (1901) led the playwright to write other roles with Bloodgood in mind, including The Way of the World (1901), The Girl with the Green Eyes (1902), and The Coronet of the Duchess (1904). When she played Violet Robinson in the American premiere of George Bernard Shaw's Man and Superman (1905), Bloodgood was firmly established as a star. Fitch wrote the role of congenital liar Becky Warder in The Truth (1907) for Bloodgood, but it received negative reviews in New York. Bloodgood took the play on a successful tour, but unexpectedly committed suicide while appearing in it in Baltimore. Her death prompted sensational headlines and rumors that she killed herself because Fitch had dedicated the published version of the play to its London star, Marie Tempest. Fitch issued a denial, but Bloodgood's death ended a fruitful collaboration.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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