Chrystal Herne

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Chrystal Herne
Chrystal Herne 02.JPG
Driftwood of the Stage, 1904
Born Katherine Chrystal Herne
(1883-06-16)June 16, 1883
Dorchester, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Died September 19, 1950(1950-09-19) (aged 67)
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Occupation Actor
Years active 1899-1936
Spouse(s) Harold S. Pollard

Chrystal Herne (June 16, 1883 - September 19, 1950) was an American stage actress active over the early decades of twentieth century. She was the daughter of actor/playwright, James A. Herne, and the younger sister of actress and Hollywood talent scout, Julie Herne.


Katherine Chrystal Herne, the middle daughter of James A. Herne and Katherine Corcoran, was born in Dorchester, (now a neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts) on June 16, 1883.[1] She made her stage debut in Washington D.C. at the age of sixteen as Sue Hardy in her father's play, "Rev. Griffith Davenport." Over the following two season she played Jane Cauldwell in "Sag Harbor," James A. Herne’s last play. "Sag Harbor," was a family affair with Herne and his daughters Julie and Chrystal playing principle roles. James Herne died a short while later in early June 1901.

After her father’s death Chrystal played a third season in "Sag Harbor," though this time assuming her sister’s role as the heroine Martha Reese. Later that same season she played Helen Berry in one of her father’s best known plays, "Shore Acres." She joined E. H. Sothern in 1903 playing Huguette in "If I Were King" and as the Queen in "Hamlet." She scored a major success in early 1905 in special matinees performances of "Richter's Wife." in which she played the jealous wife of a famous conductor upset over his interest in a young protégé played by Julie Herne, who also wrote the piece.[2]

Chrystal Herne was remembered for playing the title role in Arnold Daly’s production of Shaw’sCandida” during the 1905/06 season.[3] and as Vera Revendal opposite Walker Whiteside in Israel Zangwill's “The Melting Pot” that debuted in 1908 at the Columbia Theatrein in Washington D.C.[4] She was well received playing Diana opposite Dustin Farnum in a 1911 revival of “The Squaw Man” at the Broadway Theatre[5][6] and later in her career playing the title role in "Craig's Wife" opposite Charles Trowbridge produced at the Morosco Theatre in 1925 [7] Chrystal Herne appeared in some thirty-seven Broadway productions over her career. Her last performance was as Beatrice Crandall in “A Room in Red and White” staged at the 46th Street Theatre in January and February 1936. [8]


Chrystal Herne died fourteen years later, on September 19, 1950, after a month’s illness at the Phillips House, a private care facility at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. She was cremated.[9] She was survived by her husband, Harold S. Pollard, a former chief editorial writer for the New York World.[10] Besides by her husband, she left behind her sister Julie and a younger brother, John Temple Herne (1894-1966). John Herne appeared on stage in his youth, served as an Ensign with the U.S. Navy during World War I and later worked for Charles Scribner's Sons. He is interred at the Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale, N.Y.[11][12] Her younger sister, Dorothy Lucille Herne preceded her in death in 1921 at around the age of thirty-five. Dorothy, who also appeared on stage for a time, married Montrose Jonas Moses, a dramatic critic, playwright and children’s book author.[13] Chrystal Herne also had and older sister, Alma, who died young.[14] Her mother, Katherine Corcoran Herne, was originally an actress whom her father first met while performing in San Francisco. Chrystal's name came from her mother's role in "Hearts of Oak", a play written in 1879 by James Herne and David Belasco.[15] Katherine Herne died at the age eighty-six in 1943.[16]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Passenger Manifests (Chrystal H. Pollard) SS Mauretania (August 7, 1925), SS Aquitania (August 19, 1927) – scans
  2. ^ American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama, 1869-1914, by Gerald Martin Bordman 1994 pg. 554
  3. ^ Notable American Women: a Biographical Dictionary By Edward T. James, Janet Wilson James; 1974, pg. 168
  4. ^ The Melting-Pot: Drama in Four Acts By Israel Zangwill 1911 pg. viii
  5. ^ Who's Who in the Theatre - John Parker – 1947 pg. 751
  6. ^ Menu Marriage A Hit At The Casino - New York Times; Jan 3, 1911; pg. 12
  7. ^ Craig's Wife: a Drama By George Edward Kelly 1976 pg. 7
  8. ^ Chrystal Herne -Internet Broadway Database
  9. ^ Where Are They Buried?, GoogleBooks
  10. ^ Chrystal Herne, Stage Star, Dies New York Times, September 20, 1950; pg. 31
  11. ^ U.S. Veterans Gravesites, ca.1775-2006 about John Temple Herne –
  12. ^ John Temple Herne – World War I & II Draft Registration – scans
  13. ^ Who was who in America with world notables , Volume 1 Marquis-Who's Who, 1960 pg.873
  14. ^ Rensselaer County, NY GenWeb site - Biographies - James A. Herne
  15. ^ Notable American Women: a Biographical Dictionary By Edward T. James, Janet Wilson James; 1974, pg. 168
  16. ^ Rensselaer County, NY GenWeb site - Biographies - James A. Herne