MAY IRWIN - AUTOGRAPH 1900 - HFSID 40230
MAY IRWIN. Credited with first movie kiss Signature: "May Irwin/1900", 4¾x2¾. Canadian-born actress and singer May Campbell (1862-1938) debuted on variety stages with her sister, as Flora and Flo Irwin, a professional name she retained throughout her career.
Sale Price $68.00
Credited with first movie kiss
Signature: "May Irwin/1900", 4¾x2¾. Canadian-born actress and singer May Campbell (1862-1938) debuted on variety stages with her sister, as Flora and Flo Irwin, a professional name she retained throughout her career. After her sister left the stage, May Irwin earned further celebrity as a "coon shouter", a female performer of African American songs. In 1895, she starred in a hit Broadway play, The Widow Jones. Thomas Edison filmed a scene from this play, an embrace by Irwin and her co-star John C. Rice, releasing it as "The Kiss" in 1896. (Films were not yet projected onto theater screens in 1896. Viewers purchased tickets to view scenes such as Irwin's 1-minute embrace in Kinetoscope Parlors.) Another popular play starring Irwin, Mrs. Black is Back (1914) was also filmed, but no copies are known to survive. In 1907, she recorded several of her popular songs for Victor. These were hits from her plays, many in a humorous vein, including "If You Ain't Got No Money, You Needn't Come Around" and her signature song, "The Bully." A highly paid actress and a shrewd investor, Irwin maintained homes in New York, Florida, and the Thousand Island area of Ontario. She is credited with naming Thousand Island salad dressing. Lightly toned. Fine condition.
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