Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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MORRIS, Clara, actress, born in Cleveland, Ohio, about 1846. At the age of fifteen, to assist her mother after her father's death, she became a member of the ballet corps at the Academy of music in Cleveland. Under the instruction of the manager she advanced rapidly, was promoted to leading juvenile lady, and in 1869 became leading lady at Wood's theatre, Cincinnati. In 1870 she went to New York and entered into an engagement at Daly's Fifth avenue theatre. She was there employed in comedy and smaller parts until, almost at the beginning of the season, a chance substituted her for the actress that was cast for Annie Sylvester in " Man and Wife." In this character her dramatic abilities were brilliantly displayed. She afterward appeared in " Divorce," and her reputation was increased by her representation of Cora in "Article 47," Camille, Miss Multon, Alixe, in a translation of the "Comtesse de Sommerive," and Mercy Merrick in the stage version of Wilkie Collins's "New Magdalen." She excels in depicting" grief and in the portrayal of death-bed scenes. When the theatre was burned, 1 January, 1873, she made a tour through the west with the rest of the company. She next appeared at the Union square theatre in "The Geneva Cross," and afterward from time to time at Daly's new theatre. In the winter of 1880 she filled an engagement in San Francisco. During the past ten or twelve years she has suffered constantly from impaired health, seldom being able to play throughout an entire season, and frequently being compelled to retire temporarily from the stage. The only new parts she has recently undertaken are the leading roles in the "Denise" of Alexandre Dumas, dramatized for her by Augustin Daly; Auguste R. Cazauran's adaptation of Hardy's " Far from the Madding Crowd," and "Rende," a version of Adolph d'Ennery's " Martyre." Her repertoire is now virtually limited to "Camille," "Miss Multon," "The New Magdalen," "Article 47," and " Rende." In 1874 she married Frederick C. Harriott, of New York.
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