|Born||March 13, 1878|
San Francisco, California, US
|Died||June 6, 1960 (aged 82)|
New York City, New York, US
|Other names||Katherine Emmett, Kate Emmett, Katherine Emmet Bement (after marriage)|
|Known for||created part of Amelia Tilford in The Children's Hour|
|Spouse(s)||Alon Bement (1914–1954)|
Katherine Emmet (March 13, 1878 – June 6, 1960) was an American actress on stage, in film, and in television, and a director of radio plays.
Katherine Emmet was born in San Francisco, California. Her mother Harriet H. Hubbell was a physician in that city. Her father was said to be a descendant of Betsy Ross. Katherine Emmet attended Stanford University, with further studies in France and Monte Carlo.
Emmet had a long and varied career on stage in New York. Her Broadway appearances included roles in Matilda (1906-1907), A Woman of Impulse (1909), The Bridge (1909), The Affairs of Anatol (1912), The Ghost Breaker (1913), Help Wanted (1914), Polygamy (1914-1915), Any House (1916), The Gypsy Trail (1917-1918), A Doll's House (1918), Penrod (1918), The Marquis de Priola (1919), Moonlight and Honeysuckle (1919), The Laughing Lady (1923), The New Englander (1924), Thoroughbreds (1924), Hangman's House (1926), Paolo and Francesca (1929), Jenny (1929-1930), A Widow in Green (1931), We, the People (1933), The Children's Hour (1934-1936, and again in revival 1952-1953), Ring Around Elizabeth (1941), Guest in the House (1942), and Pygmalion (1945-1946).
Film work by Emmet included roles in Cupid's Caprice (1914, short), The Rube (1914, short), Little Miss Bountiful (1914, short), Peter's Relations (1914, short), Paying the Piper (1921, now lost), Orphans of the Storm (1921), The Hole in the Wall (1929), and The Night Angel (1931). On television, she appeared in episodes of Studio One in Hollywood (1950-1952), Campbell Summer Soundstage (1953), and Inner Sanctum (1954).
Directing, writing, and acting for radio
On radio, Emmet was known for adapting, directing, and sometimes acting in Shakespeare plays for a weekly program on WEAF in New York. "Audiences today have tabloid minds," she explained in 1927, "and, whether we like it or not, we must cut the classics to a length that they will tolerate, if we want them to be interested at all." She also directed Sheridan's The School for Scandal for the same radio program. She was later in the cast of radio soap operas, including Our Gal Sunday (1937-1955) and Front Page Farrell (1941-1942).
Emmet called herself "a good suffragette", but "non-militant — don't forget to put the non-militant part in", she reminded a reporter in 1913. She owned a dairy farm in California's San Joaquin Valley in the 1910s. During World War I, she sold Liberty Bonds, and served on the board of Stage Women's War Relief. She and Edith Wynne Matthison resigned from the board of directors at the Actors' Theatre in New York in 1928, in a contract dispute. The following year, she gave testimony at the state legislature against Sunday performances in New York theatres.
"If I say I am not married", Katherine Emmet told a reporter asking about her personal life in 1913, "people will wonder why I am an old maid. So I shall not tell you." She was married in 1914, to artist and educator Alon Bement, who was an early mentor of Georgia O'Keeffe. She was widowed in 1954, and she died in 1960, aged 82 years, in New York City.
- Untitled news item, San Francisco Examiner (August 2, 1914): 50. via Newspapers.com
- "Personals about Stage Personalities" Theatre Magazine (September 1918): 155.
- "Actress is Kin of Betsy Ross" Philadelphia Inquirer (January 28, 1942): 20. via Newspapers.com
- "Katherine Emmet Has Played Leads with Many Stars" The Philadelphia Inquirer (October 18, 1936): 71. via Newspapers.com
- Dan V. Goodman, "The Microphone" Indianapolis Star (March 13, 1926): 12. via Newspapers.com
- Virginia Swain, "Her 'Mike' is Haven for Bard" Santa Ana Register (January 27, 1927): 15. via Newspapers.com
- "Radio Fans to Hear Sheridan Comedy" The Courier-Journal (June 6, 1926): 38. via Newspapers.com
- Jim Cox, The Great Radio Soap Operas (McFarland 2015): 52, 145-146. ISBN 9781476604145
- Lois Willoughby, "Katherine Emmet, in Blank Verse" The Inter Ocean (June 29, 1913): 5. via Newspapers.com
- "Katherine Emmet's Mellifluous Dairying" The Inter Ocean (June 15, 1913): 36. via Newspapers.com
- "Katherine Emmet" The Dramatic Mirror (April 6, 1918): 5.
- "Two Directors Quit the Actors' Theatre" The New York Times (October 20, 1928): 11. via ProQuest
- "Asks Equity to Ban Sunday Performing" The New York Times (November 17, 1929): 31. via ProQuest
- Mae Tinee, "Aspiration of Katherine Emmet: To Play a 'Nice, Sane Woman'" Chicago Tribune (June 1, 1913): 16. via Newspapers.com
- "Here with Jane Cowl" The Baltimore Sun (May 5, 1929): 67. via Newspapers.com
- Timeline, Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.
- Karen Chernick, "A New Origin Story for Georgia O’Keeffe", Art & Object (December 5, 2018).
- "Katherine Emmet, a Stage Actress" The New York Times (June 7, 1960): 35. via ProQuest
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