Gertrude McCoy

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(b. Sugar Valley, Georgia, 30/06/1890 – d. Atlanta, Georgia, 17/07/1967). Actress. Gertrude Lyon was a child star in vaudeville before, as Gertrude McCoy, she became a prolific actress in silent movies. She appeared in numerous shorts for the Edison Company, many of them directed by the likes of Charles Brabin, C.J. Williams, Walter Edwin and Ashley Miller. Also amongst them was A Fresh Air Romance (1912), which was directed by Harold M. Shaw, who later came to South Africa for African Film Productions. She made a few features in the United States, including The Blue Bird (1918), directed by Maurice Tourneur. However, most of her features were made in England, including three directed by her husband, actor Duncan McRae, who had already directed her in her own story Through Turbulent Waters (1915) for Edison. Her co-stars included Clive Brook, Seymour Hicks and C. Aubrey Smith, and in her last film, directed by Walter Summers, she played Lady Hamilton in Nelson (1926) opposite Cedric Hardwicke. In between she came to South Africa to appear in Sam’s Kid (1922), with Dick Cruikshanks, Hayford Hobbs and M.A. Wetherell for AFP. In 1915 a theatre on Fulton Avenue in Baltimore was named after her by the owner, who clearly was a great admirer of the beautiful actress. (FO)


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