Nance O'Neil

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Nance O'Neil (1874 – 1965)[1] was an Amercan actress of stage and film.


Born Gertrude Lamson on 8 October 8, 1874, in Oakland, California, she worked professionally as Nance O'Neil performing in plays in various theatres around the world, though largely working in the United States between the 1890s and 1930s. For a time she was promoted on theatre bills and in period trade publications and newspapers as the "American Bernhardt". She also had an active career in film.

She died at the age of 90 on 7 February, 1965

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

She was brought out to South Africa by the Wheeler Brothers in 1901, most probably en route to or from Australia, where she had become well known.

In one month in South Africa she played the lead in Südermann's Magda, Dumas's Camille, Sardou's plays Tosca and Fedora, Giacometti's Queen Elizabeth, Sheridan's The School for Scandal, Taylor and Reade's Peg Woffington and The Jewess (probably by Moncrieff and Scott).


D.C. Boonzaier, 1923. "My playgoing days – 30 years in the history of the Cape Town stage", in SA Review, 9 March and 24 August 1923. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman, 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [2]: pp.

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.

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