From the New York Public Library Digital Gallery
October 12, 1884|
New York City
|Died||October 1, 1928
Bronx, New York
|Occupation||Actor, Celebrity Impersonator|
Edna Luby (October 12, 1884 – October 1, 1928), was an American actress and comedian. She acted on stage and in silent films and performed in vaudeville as a celebrity impersonator. Luby was the niece Sigmund Lubin, a pioneer film producer.
The daughter of an optician, Edna Luby was born in New York City to Louis and Emma Luby. A short while later Luby and her family relocated to London, England, where as a young girl she attracted some attention by mimicking her classmates. She soon developed a keen interest in the theatre that was nourished by her mother when, at the age of ten, she began receiving elocution instructions from the American-born British actress, Geneviève Ward.
Luby was back in New York by 1900 where she made her professional stage debut in Hearts Are Trumps at the Garden Theatre during its 1900 February to May run as a stand in for actress May Buckley.Hearts Are Trumps, a four-act melodrama, was written by Cecil Raleigh, produced by Charles Frohman and had also introduced to Broadway theatergoers a young Cecil B. De Mille. In late 1902 Luby was well received at the Madison Square Theatre, New York after she succeeded Jessie Busley in the rôle of Estelle in The Two Schools. In December, 1903 Luby played Greta opposite Fritzi Scheff in Babette at the Broadway Theatre, and a subsequent road tour. In May, 1907 she joined the cast of the Anna Held hit musical comedy A Parisian Model at the Broadway Theatre. and later that year she appeared in the original 1907 Ziegfeld Follies production, playing Miss Mimique and Miss Edna Might.
During this time Luby often appeared in vaudeville at venues operated by Tony Pastor, Keith and Proctor and Percy G. Williams, performing her imitations of popular celebrities. She played in at least four silent films between 1910 and 1916. The Immortal Flame, her last, was a five-reel melodrama written and produced by Ivan Abramson and starred Maude Fealy.
Sometime after Luby married Samuel Thor, a pharmacist, she left the stage to reside in Great Neck, Long Island. She died after an extended illness at Montefiore Hospital, Bronx, New York, just a few days shy of her forty-fourth birthday.
- Edna Luby, Actress, Dead. New York Times, October 3, 1928, p. 31
- Browne, Walter - Koch, E. De Roy Who's Who on the Stage, 1908, 1908, p. 288 accessed 5.10.13
- The Two Schools Internet Broadway Database accessed 5.10.13
- Babette Internet Broadway Database accessed 5.10.13
- A Parisian Model Internet Broadway Database accessed 5.10.13
- Ziegfeld Follies of 1907 Internet Broadway Database accessed 5.10.13
- Edna Luby - Internet Movie Database accessed 5.10.13
- The Moving Picture World, Volume 27, January-March, 1916, p. 1940 accessed 5.10.13