Christmas Child – future Broadway star Fay Templeton born on Dec. 25, 1865

Though largely forgotten today, Little Rock native Fay Templeton was one of the leading stars of vaudeville and Broadway in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

She was born in Little Rock on Christmas Day in 1865.  Her parents were touring here with the Templeton Opera Company. Her father, John Templeton, was a well-known Southern theatre manager, comedian, and author. Her mother, Helen Alice Vane, starred with her husband.  The family of three left Little Rock a few weeks after Fay was born, once her mother was able to travel.

She made her stage debut at age three, and her New York vaudeville debut at eight. At fifteen, she married a co-star but separated after six weeks.  She made her legitimate New York stage debut at nineteen in a revival of Evangeline.

In the late 1880s and early 1890s, she spent most of her time in Europe, appearing on stage and touring shows.  By 1895, she was back on stage in New York.  She then starred in a series of shows first for the vaudeville team of Joe Weber and Lew Fields, later for George M. Cohan. She introduced the songs “So Long Mary” and “Mary Is a Grand Old Name” in the latter’s Forty-Five Minutes from Broadway.  Her work with Cohan is portrayed in the Oscar winning film Yankee Doodle Dandy and in the Tony winning musical George M!

She retired from the stage after marrying Pittsburgh businessman William Patterson. But by 1911, Fay was once again touring with Weber and Fields.  She retired again in 1913, this time staying off stage until 1926. She then played the role of Buttercup in a revival of HMS Pinafore and would be known as the definitive Buttercup for the rest of the 1920s and into the 1930s.  When her husband died in 1932, she returned to the stage.  In 1933, she starred with Bob Hope in the Jerome Kern musical Roberta.

In 1936, she entered the Actors’ Fund Home in New Jersey, but later moved to San Francisco to live with a cousin.  She died there on October 3, 1939, and is buried in Valhalla, New York.

Templeton returned to Little Rock several times throughout her life as she was criss-crossing the US on tours.

Little Rock Look Back: Christmas Day birth of actress Fay Templeton

Though largely forgotten today, Little Rock native Fay Templeton was one of the leading stars of vaudeville and Broadway in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

She was born in Little Rock on Christmas Day in 1865.  Her parents were touring here with the Templeton Opera Company. Her father, John Templeton, was a well-known Southern theatre manager, comedian, and author. Her mother, Helen Alice Vane, starred with her husband.  The family of three left Little Rock a few weeks after Fay was born, once her mother was able to travel.

She made her stage debut at age three, and her New York vaudeville debut at eight. At fifteen, she married a co-star but separated after six weeks.  She made her legitimate New York stage debut at nineteen in a revival of Evangeline.

In the late 1880s and early 1890s, she spent most of her time in Europe, appearing on stage and touring shows.  By 1895, she was back on stage in New York.  She then starred in a series of shows first for the vaudeville team of Joe Weber and Lew Fields, later for George M. Cohan. She introduced the songs “So Long Mary” and “Mary Is a Grand Old Name” in the latter’s Forty-Five Minutes from Broadway.  Her work with Cohan is portrayed in the Oscar winning film Yankee Doodle Dandy and in the Tony winning musical George M!

She retired from the stage after marrying Pittsburgh businessman William Patterson. But by 1911, Fay was once again touring with Weber and Fields.  She retired again in 1913, this time staying off stage until 1926. She then played the role of Buttercup in a revival of HMS Pinafore and would be known as the definitive Buttercup for the rest of the 1920s and into the 1930s.  When her husband died in 1932, she returned to the stage.  In 1933, she starred with Bob Hope in the Jerome Kern musical Roberta.

In 1936, she entered the Actors’ Fund Home in New Jersey, but later moved to San Francisco to live with a cousin.  She died there on October 3, 1939, and is buried in Valhalla, New York.

Templeton returned to Little Rock several times throughout her life as she was embarking on tours.

Little Rock Look Back: Actress Fay Templeton born on Christmas Day 1865

Fay_TempletonThough largely forgotten today, Little Rock native Fay Templeton was one of the leading stars of vaudeville and Broadway in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

She was born in Little Rock on Christmas Day in 1865.  Her parents were touring here with the Templeton Opera Company. Her father, John Templeton, was a well-known Southern theatre manager, comedian, and author. Her mother, Helen Alice Vane, starred with her husband.  The family of three left Little Rock a few weeks after Fay was born, once her mother was able to travel.

She made her stage debut at age three, and her New York vaudeville debut at eight. At fifteen, she married a co-star but separated after six weeks.  She made her legitimate New York stage debut at nineteen in a revival of Evangeline.

In the late 1880s and early 1890s, she spent most of her time in Europe, appearing on stage and touring shows.  By 1895, she was back on stage in New York.  She then starred in a series of shows first for the vaudeville team of Joe Weber and Lew Fields, later for George M. Cohan. She introduced the songs “So Long Mary” and “Mary Is a Grand Old Name” in the latter’s Forty-Five Minutes from Broadway.  Her work with Cohan is portrayed in the Oscar winning film Yankee Doodle Dandy and in the Tony winning musical George M!

She retired from the stage after marrying Pittsburgh businessman William Patterson. But by 1911, was once again touring with Weber and Fields.  She retired again in 1913, this time staying off stage until 1926. She then played the role of Buttercup in a revival of HMS Pinafore and would be known as the definitive Buttercup for the rest of the 1920s and into the 1930s.  When her husband died in 1932, she returned to the stage.  In 1933, she starred with Bob Hope in the Jerome Kern musical Roberta.

In 1936, she entered the Actors’ Fund Home in New Jersey, but later moved to San Francisco to live with a cousin.  She died there on October 3, 1939, and is buried in Valhalla, New York.

Templeton returned to Little Rock several times throughout her life as she was embarking on tours.

Little Rock Look Back: Actress Fay Templeton born in Little Rock on Christmas Day 1865

Fay Templeton.jpg

Though largely forgotten today, Little Rock native Fay Templeton was one of the leading stars of vaudeville and Broadway in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

She was born in Little Rock on Christmas Day in 1865.  Her parents were touring here with the Templeton Opera Company. Her father, John Templeton, was a well-known Southern theatre manager, comedian, and author. Her mother, Helen Alice Vane, starred with her husband.  The family of three left Little Rock a few weeks after Fay was born, once her mother was able to travel.

She made her stage debut at age three, and her New York vaudeville debut at eight. At fifteen, she married a co-star but separated after six weeks.  She made her legitimate New York stage debut at nineteen in a revival of Evangeline.

In the late 1880s and early 1890s, she spent most of her time in Europe, appearing on stage and touring shows.  By 1895, she was back on stage in New York.  She then starred in a series of shows first for the vaudeville team of Joe Weber and Lew Fields, later for George M. Cohan. She introduced the songs “So Long Mary” and “Mary Is a Grand Old Name” in the latter’s Forty-Five Minutes from Broadway.  Her work with Cohan is portrayed in the Oscar winning film Yankee Doodle Dandy and in the Tony winning musical George M!

She retired from the stage after marrying Pittsburgh businessman William Patterson. But by 1911, was once again touring with Weber and Fields.  She retired again in 1913, this time staying off stage until 1926. She then played the role of Buttercup in a revival of HMS Pinafore and would be known as the definitive Buttercup for the rest of the 1920s and into the 1930s.  When her husband died in 1932, she returned to the stage.  In 1933, she starred with Bob Hope in the Jerome Kern musical Roberta.

In 1936, she entered the Actors’ Fund Home in New Jersey, but later moved to San Francisco to live with a cousin.  She died there on October 3, 1939, and is buried in Valhalla, New York.

Templeton returned to Little Rock several times throughout her life as she was embarking on tours.

Little Rock Look Back: Actress Fay Templeton

Fay_TempletonActress Fay Templeton was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, on December 25, 1865.  The daughter of vaudevillians, she grew up on stage touring throughout the country.  The family was in town for some performances when she was born.

Templeton made her “legitimate” Broadway debut in 1899’s Helter Skelter, although she had been appearing in New York theatres and opera houses since age 8.  She appeared with many of the leading performers of her day including Weber and Fields, who hired her for their repertory company.

In 1906, she appeared in George M. Cohan’s Forty-five Minutes from Broadway. His recruiting of her for the role was recreated in the musical George M!  She is also portrayed in the Cohan biopic Yankee Doodle Dandy and spoofed by Judy Garland in the movie Babes on Broadway.  Templeton herself did not appear in movies.

In the 1910s, she became the definitive Little Buttercup in New York City productions of HMS Pinafore.  Her final Broadway appearance was in 1933’s Roberta.

Templeton was married several times and lived with other men.  Throughout her career, she would “retire” from the stage but then return when she needed money.  At age 71, she was forced to stop working due to illness. She died at age 73 and is buried in New York.