Woman of the Century/Cora Urquhart Potter
POTTER, Mrs. Cora Urquhart, actor, was born in New Orleans, La. Her maiden name was Cora Urquhart. Her father was a wealthy cotton-planter, and Cora in childhood lived a life of the typical southern kind, surrounded by wealth and refined associates. In her school-days she showed a talent for recitation, and she was early engaged in amateur theatricals and in elocutionary entertainments. She became the wife of James Brown Potter, of New York City, a man of wealth and high social standing in the metropolis. After her marriage she took a prominent part in New York society, and soon became famous locally as a reciter and emotional actor. Her husband was one of the original members of the Tuxedo association, and on the stage of that society she displayed her remarkable histrionic talents fully. She appeared in amateur performances in the Madison Square Theater, and her rendering of the poem, "Ostler Joe," in a society gathering in Washington, D. C., brought upon her a storm of criticism that made her known throughout the United States. In 1887 she went to Europe to study, and soon announced to her family and friends her intention to adopt the stage as a profession. In the Haymarket Theater, London, Eng., she made her debut as Anne Sylvester in Wilkie Collins' "Man and Wife." The English critics praised her work. In June, 1887, she played Faustine de Bressier in "Civil War," and Inez in "Loyal Love," in the London Gaiety Theater. In both roles she was very successful. She traveled in England and Europe for some time, and then returned to the United States. She made her first professional appearance in New York City, 31st October, 1887, in the Fifth Avenue Theater. During the first season she presented "Man and Wife" and "Loyal Love," and in both she achieved success. She played to crowded houses during the entire season. In 1888 she brought out "Cleopatra" in a superb style, and in that role she eclipsed all her former successes. In 1890 she went to Australia on a professional tour, and was very well received. In 1891 she went to India. In Bombay and Calcutta she created a furore, and was asked to give special recitations before the Maharajah of Bettiah and other notable personages. Afterwards she visited Japan, Ceylon and the Straits Settlements. On her return to England she carried two-hundred-forty cases of curios and photographs, received in the various countries she visited. During the past two years she has appeared as Kate Hardcastle, Floria Tosca, Pauline Deschappelles, Ada Ingot, Gilberte, Adrienne Lecouvreur, Juliet, and in the title role in "Hero and Leander," a play written for her. Her last foreign tour was to Cape Colony, South Africa. Mrs. Potter is a handsome woman, and her stage work is characterized by great earnestness, directness, simplicity and intense dramatic force. She is rapidly rising to a high position among the foremost actors of the age.