Hatton, Fanny Locke


Hatton, Fanny Locke
(1870-1939) and Frederic H. Hatton (1879-1946)
   Known familiarly as "The Hattons," this husband-and-wife playwriting team supplied Broadway with a steady stream of comedies during the 1910s and 1920s. Fanny Cot-tinet Locke was born in Chicago and given an excellent education in Connecticut and Germany. While married to her first husband, John Kenneth MacKenzie, Fanny was familiarly called "Mrs. Jack" among the social elite of Chicago. MacKenzie was killed by the Yaqui in Mexico, and four years later, in 1909, the vivacious young widow married the Chicago Evening Post's drama critic, Frederic Hatton. They began collaborating on the play reviews, which were signed simply "The Hattons" after he moved to the Chicago Herald in 1914.
   The Hattons' playwriting collaboration began in 1911 with Years of Discretion, which David Belasco produced in New York, where it ran for a year, starring Effie Shannon. The "debonair couple" had a gift for creating sophisticated light comedies with innuendos that seemed daring without really offending polite sensibilities. Percy Hammond later saw them as "the pioneers of polite indecorum in the Drama" (New York Herald Tribune, 24 September 1932). Upstairs and Down (1916) ran for 320 performances and its "baby vampire" character was sometimes signaled as the origin of the 1920s flapper. Among their many other plays were The Call of Youth (1914), The Great Lover (1915, with Leo Ditrichstein), Lombardi, Ltd. (1917), We Girls (1921), and Treat 'em Rough (1926).

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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