Laurette Taylor, American Stage Legend

Laurette Taylor became the biggest star of her day in 1912 when the stage play Peg o’ My Heart opened. Highly sought after to enter films, she appeared in three silent films between the years 1922 to 1925. Her career declined and her personal fortunes dwindled after her husband playwright J. Hartley Manners died in 1928. Following years of alcoholism and erratic performances, Laurette made a comeback in the 1939 revival of Outward Bound and then regained her fame with a memorable performance in The Glass Menagerie in 1944.

How did Laurette Taylor (1884-1946) become America’s most celebrated actress?

How did her failed 1920s silent film career influence her stage technique?

What was so remarkable about her portrayal of Amanda Wingfield in the original 1945 Broadway production of The Glass Menagerie that many actors and critics have proclaimed her performance the greatest they have ever seen, before or since?

These questions are answered in my book, Laurette Taylor, American Stage Legend.

This biography offers fascinating new insights into the life and craft of Laurette Taylor. You’ll discover how Laurette’s acting style evolved until she became an acting genius, still revered decades after her death. In addition, there are rare photos, a filmography, information on selected stage appearances, and Laurette’s only published play, “The Dying Wife.”

The book is available through all booksellers, including Amazon. Further information is available from my publisher’s website:

“I grew up surrounded by the legacy of my grandmother Laurette Taylor. My mother was busy writing the biography, “LAURETTE, The Intimate Biography of Laurette Taylor” for the first 7 years of my life. Over time I heard countless Laurette stories, and of course I have read my mother’s book. But somehow Lynn Kear has uncovered information about my grandmother that I was unaware of, and has done it in such a way to make it captivating, even to a jaded soul such as myself. I read her book in one sitting! Thank you Lynn Kear for re-introducing me to my grandmother.” Meg Courtney

“Reading this book reminded me of what it was I loved about theatre. The ‘take-away’ from Kear’s biography has been a deeper understanding of the art, craft, and magic of acting. Two of the commentaries on Taylor’s performances will stay with me for a long time: Producer/director Alan J. Pakula noted that Taylor was not so much acting as she was behaving. Actress Uta Hagen, who attended multiple performances in order to analyze Taylor’s technique, complained that she ‘never learned a damned thing because she could never catch her acting.’ Kear’s focus on Taylor’s life as an actor offers, perhaps, the best clues to the mystery.” —Carolyn Gage, playwright and performer

“Fair in its judgments, sharp in its insights, and exceptionally meticulous in its research.” Paul Wegner, documentary filmmaker

“Any scholar interested in Taylor–whether as an artist or as a personality–will find Kear’s book of particular interest.” Fonzie D. Geary II, Theatre Journal

1 Response to Laurette Taylor, American Stage Legend

  1. dallas wahl says:

    i have some photos of her and she signed them

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