Saturday, August 12, 2017

Born Today August 12: Martha Hedman


Famed Broadway stage actress Martha [Abagail] Hedman was born on this day in Ostersund, Sweden.  She studied acting under an apprenticeship in her native Sweden with the wife of well respected playwright and novelist August Strindberg.  She made her stage debut in 1905 in Helsinki, Finland.  For the next six years she appeared in a variety of different types of plays from Sweden to Germany. She was noticed by American theatrical producer Charles Frohman in 1915; he brought her to the United States and she began a successful stage career that would lead to stardom on Broadway.  By 1915 she was acting in a production by Aurthur Hammerstein.  It was at this time that she appeared in the only film of her career.  Just as in the case of Elsie Ferguson, it would be famed director Maurice Tourneur who convinced her to appear in front of the camera.  The film was The Cub (1915).  The experience was clearly not one that she wanted to repeat again; so she returned to the stage.  She had a very successful career there up until her retirement in 1921.  She briefly returned to the stage in 1942 for one last performance.  After this, she penned one book.  Hedman did not return to her birth country, but chose instead to spend her retired years here states-side.  She died in DeLand, Florida on the 20th of June at the ripe old age of 90!  There is not information about her burial or her cremation.

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