Perry, Antoinette

Perry, Antoinette

▪ American actress and director
in full  Mary Antoinette Perry 
born June 27, 1888, Denver, Colo., U.S.
died June 28, 1946, New York, N.Y.

      American actress and director in whose honour the American theatre's Tony Awards are named.

      Perry frequently traveled in the summer with an aunt and uncle who were touring actors. She made her theatrical debut in Mrs. Temple's Telegram in Chicago in June 1905; later that year she made her New York debut in the same play. Over the next four years she appeared in Lady Jim, David Belasco (Belasco, David)'s The Music Master, and A Grand Army Man. In 1909 she married Frank W. Frueauff, a Denver businessman, and during the marriage her connection with the theatre was limited to aiding talented young people, notably composer Deems Taylor. Her husband died in 1922, and in 1924 Perry returned to the stage in Zona Gale (Gale, Zona)'s Mr. Pitt. Subsequently, she appeared in Minick (1924), Caught (1925), The Masque of Venice (1926), and Electra (1927), among other plays.

      In 1928 Perry made her directorial debut with Goin' Home. Preston Sturges (Sturges, Preston)'s Strictly Dishonorable, which opened on Broadway in September 1929 and ran for 557 performances, was Perry's first great success as a director. Working with producer Brock Pemberton, with whom she shared a professional and personal alliance for two decades, she subsequently directed such plays as Divorce Me Dear (1931), Ceiling Zero (1935), Red Harvest (1937), Clare Boothe Luce (Luce, Clare Boothe)'s Kiss the Boys Goodbye (1938), Janie (1942), Pillar to Post (1943), and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Harvey (1944). She helped found the American Theatre Wing (ATW), which operated the well-known Stage Door Canteens in several cities and otherwise provided hospitality and entertainment for servicemen, and was its chairman from 1941 to 1944. She also staged an ATW production of The Barretts of Wimpole Street, with Katharine Cornell (Cornell, Katharine), for Allied military audiences in Europe (1944–45).

      In 1947, a year after Perry's death, the ATW established the annual Antoinette Perry Awards—known as Tony Awards—for distinguished theatrical performance, direction, production, design, composition, and other accomplishments on the New York stage.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Perry, Antoinette — (1888 1946)    Born in Denver, Colorado, Antoinette Perry made her acting debut at age 17 in 1905, appearing in Lady Jim (1906) and A Grand Army Man (1907) before marrying wealthy businessman Frank Freauff in 1909. She retired until his death in… …   The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater

  • Perry,Antoinette — Per·ry (pĕrʹē), Antoinette. 1888 1946. American actress and director. The Antoinette Perry Awards, or Tony Awards, are named for her. * * * …   Universalium

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  • Antoinette Perry — Infobox Actor name = Antoinette Perry birthdate = June 27, 1888 birthplace = Denver, Colorado deathdate = June 28, 1946 (aged age|1888|6|27|1946|6|28) deathplace = New York City, New York spouse = Frank W. Frueauff (1909 1922)(Mary) Antoinette… …   Wikipedia

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