Helen Ware (1908)


Although Helen Ware was not the heroine of ‘The Road to Yesterday,’ all those who saw the play brought away away with them a distinctly carved memory of her Malena.  She was told on every side that she must have gypsy blood in her veins, to be able to play the role so realistically.  Last winter, in Chicago, while she was doing the tough girl with Arnold Daly in ‘My Mamie Rose,’ it was not so pleasant to know that people were thinking, even if they did not dare say, that once more Miss Ware’s realism was only the outcropping of early associations.

As a matter of fact, Helen Ware is entirely unconnected with either gypsy camps of the slums, and she was the first member of her family to go on stage.  When she did Celia, in ‘The Kreutzer Sonata,’ she was taken for a Jewess; but her people, I believe, are of Quaker stock.  Her father was a San Francisco architect, who designed the Baldwin Theater.

After a series of character parts, Miss Ware is at last to have a chance to play herself, having been selected for the leading role in ‘Paid in Full,’ with the company that is to do Eugene Walter’s famous play in Chicago this summer.  She is one of the most complaisant members of the profession, always ready to take whatever post is assigned her, never standing on her rights for this or that ranking.  But that she has ‘made good’ in each and every environment is sufficiently demonstrated by wide-spread notice that her work had gained.

Beyond her brief period with Arnold Daly, in one-act plays at Berkley last winter, she has never played leads in the metropolis.  Her very first essay was as an extra lady with Maude Adams, in the third season of ‘The Little Minister.’  Later on she secured an engagement in a small part with Blanche Bates, in ‘Under Two Flags.’  One night Miss Bates fell ill, and Miss Ware was rushed into her place.  She acquitted herself with honor, but when it was found that the star must lie for a time, it was felt that a better-known substitute should be selected.  So another actress was sent for to play Cigarette, and Miss Ware went back to her small role.  The newcomer, however, was afraid of a horse, and when it came to riding down the mountainside, in the last act, she was smuggled behind the scenes, while Miss Ware vaulted into the saddle.  This, as all those who have seen the play will remember, is the big scene, and there is great applause for the actress who play it.  But it was the woman with the better-known name, and no the one that rode the horse, who took the call.”

Reference Data:

Munsey's Magazine, Vol. 39, 1908, page 409


Helen Ware (1908) — 1 Comment

  1. Ware family members played a huge role in developing this country as we know it today. Not only did they settle and assist taming the wilderness, till the soil, deal in merchandise and business ventures, legal and government issues on many levels, but also participated in the arts as well. A full rounded display of talent. Excellent post that further expands the Ware history.

    C. Wayne Ware
    Cedar Falls, IA

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