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 Clyde Fitch

Clyde Fitch

Birth
Elmira, Chemung County, New York, USA
Death 4 Sep 1909 (aged 44)
Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Burial Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA
Plot Wintergreen Plot, Section 12
Memorial ID 1364 · View Source
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Playwright. Born in Elmira, New York, he would write over 60 plays in his lifetime, 36 of them original, which varied from social comedies and farces to melodrama and historical dramas. An the only child to live to adulthood, his father, a Union Army officer in the Civil War, encouraged him to become an architect or to engage in a career of business, but his mother encouraged his literary talent. His first work of note was "Beau Brummell" (1890) a major work set in the Regency-era, which became a showcase for actor Richard Mansfield, who would play the title role for the rest of his life. His 1892 play "Masked Ball" would be the first time that theatrical producer Charles Frohman put actress Maude Adams opposite actor John Drew, which led to many future successes. In 1900 his play "Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines", made a star of actress Ethel Barrymore. Other acclaimed plays by Clyde Fitch were "Nathan Hale" (1898), "The Climbers" (1901), "The Girl with the Green Eyes" (1902), "The Truth" (1907) and "The City" (1909). His works became popular on both the United States and Europe. His play based on the heroine of John Greenleaf Whittier's poem "Barbara Fritchie" met with mixed public response in 1899 because of the romance he added to the tale, but it would be successfully revived a number of times. In 1896 he wrote the lyrics to a popular song "Love Makes The World Go 'Round" with the arrangement by William Furst. His two decades career earned him upwards of $250,000 from his plays at a time when a dollar a day was the working wage. He directed a few of his plays and was closely involved in the production of them all. Working with author Edith Wharton he wrote and directed the state adaptation of "The House of Mirth" in 1906. He was the first American playwright to be taken seriously and at one time managed to have 5 plays running simultaneously on Broadway. A generous host with an engaging personality he was renowned as a raconteur. His invitations in Greenwich, Connecticut at "Quiet Corner" were sought after. A close friend of socialite Elsie de Wolfe, she would help him find many of the furnishings for this house as well as others. He suffered from attacks of appendicitis, but refused his American doctor's recommendation of surgery, instead trusting the specialists in Europe who assured him that they could effect a cure over time without surgery. While staying at the Hotel de la Haute Mère de Dieu at Châlons, France, he suffered what would be a fatal attack. He underwent surgery by a local doctor, rather than travel to Paris and died from blood poisoning. His body was returned from France where it was entombed for a time in the Swan Callendar Mausoleum which belonged to a friend. In 1910 the body was removed and taken to New Jersey for cremation and the ashes were returned to the Swan Callendar Mausoleum until his sarcophagus in Woodlawn Cemetery was finished. His ashes were then placed there, where later his parents ashes would later join his.

Bio by: D C McJonathan-Swarm


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 1364
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Clyde Fitch (2 May 1865–4 Sep 1909), Find A Grave Memorial no. 1364, citing Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .