Beulah Poynter

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Beulah Poynter
Beulah Poynter 02.JPG
Beulah Poynter
Born June 6, 1883 (1883-06-06)
Eagleville, Missouri
Died August 13, 1960 (1960-08-14) (aged 77)
Manhasset, Long Island, New York
Other names Beulah Poynter Leffler
Occupation American actor, writer and playwright

Beulah Poynter (June 6, 1883 – August 13, 1960) was an American author, playwright and actor. Though her career touched on Broadway and Hollywood, Poynter was better known for her starring rôles with stock and touring companies and as a prolific author of mystery and romance stories. Poynter was probably best remembered by theatergoers for her title rôle in Lena Rivers, a drama she had reworked for the stage from the novel by Mary J. Holmes.

Early life[edit]

Beulah Marguerite Poynter was born in northern Missouri at Eagleville and raised in nearby Bethany. She was the daughter of Henry Douglas Poynter and Lucy "Lula" Walters[1][2] and an older sister to brothers, Fred and Victor. Her father, a hotel manager, was a Missourian whose family came from Kentucky, while her mother was born in Iowa to parents who had migrated from Ohio.[3] Poynter was a paternal descendant of James Nevill, a veteran of the American Revolutionary War from Virginia.[1] In her youth Poynter attended area schools before joining the chorus of a local opera company at around the age of sixteen.[4][5]

Career[edit]

Beulah Poynter

By 1904 Poynter was a leading actress touring with the Eastern Company in Out of the Fold, a comedy-drama by Langdon McCormick. The following year she joined the Pavilion Stock Company to play Bossy in their road production of Charles Hale Hoyt's farce comedy, A Texas Steer.[6] In August 1905 Poynter began a tour playing the title rôle in a dramatization by Edward W. Roland and Edwin Clifford of Charlotte Mary Brame's novel, Dora Thorne.[7] A little over a year later, beginning October 1906, Poynter embarked on a tour with Nixon and Co. performing the title rôle in Lena Rivers, a drama she had adapted from the novel by Mary J. Holmes. The play proved to be a hit with theatergoers and would tour with Poynter at the helm for four seasons.[8][9][10]

Theater in St. Louis, Missouri, advertising Poynter's appearance in Little Lord Fauntleroy (1910)

In August 1910 Poynter began a tour presenting The Little Girl He Forgot, a drama that she both wrote and, as June Holly, starred in.[11] The play toured into April 1911[12] and was followed that August by an engagement at the Majestic Theatre in Fort Wayne, Indiana with productions of her dramatization of Edward Eggleston's novel, The Hoosier Schoolmaster, and Poynter’s original play Mother's Girl.[13][14] In October at the Park Theatre in Indianapolis she played Rosalie in Edward Peple's drama The Call of the Cricket.[15]

Poynter continued to tour with her own company often in revivals of Lena Rivers, The Little Girl He Forgot and Mother's Girl. By November 1911 she was starring in road productions of A Kentucky Romance, a dramatic comedy written specifically for her by Joseph Le Brandt.[16][17] Poynter’s company remained on tour with A Kentucky Romance and Lena Rivers into the early months of 1913 before joining a vaudeville company that spring with a farce sketch entitled Dear Doctor.[18][19]

Broadway[edit]

Beulah Poynter

Poynter wrote two plays that appeared on Broadway, The Unborn in 1915 and One Way Street in 1928. At the Harris Theatre in Times Square she played Ethel Tate in Stephen Gardner Champlin's 1919 farce comedy, Who Did it? Of the three productions, only One Way Street reached a modicum of commercial success with fifty-eight performances at George M. Cohan’s Theatre between December 1928 and February 1929.[20][21] The Unborn, in which the villain is an illegal abortionist, became the center of a plagiarism lawsuit between Poynter and the producers of the 1916 motion picture The Sins that Ye Sin. In the end the court ruled that there was insufficient evidence to support the allegation that the film’s producers had plagiarized Poynter’s play and the case was dismissed.[22]

Hollywood[edit]

Poynter reprised her leading rôles in Hollywood adaptations of Lena Rivers (1914) and The Little Girl That He Forgot (1915), and appeared in four additional silent films, The Ordeal (1914), Born Again (1914), Hearts and Flowers (1914) and Heats of Men (1915). Three later films, The Miracle of Money (1920),[23] The Splendid Folly (1933) and Love is Dangerous (1933)[24] were adapted from Poynter's works.[25]

Personal life[edit]

On November 19, 1904, Poynter married actor Burton S. Nixon at Creston, Iowa. A native of Nevada, Missouri, Nixon became Poynter’s stage and business manager over the years of their marriage.[2][26] Poynter married twice more, John Bowers ( Bowersox), her leading man over the early 1910s.[1] and by 1930,[27] George Leffler (1874–1951), a one-time actor turned theatrical producer and booking agent. The latter union would end with his death in 1951.[28] Poynter died nine years later, aged 77, at Manhasset, Long Island.[29]

Selected literary works[edit]

Poynter coauthored Deep Water, serialized in The Argosy in 1918
  • Lena Rivers: Dramatized from Book by Mary J. Holmes; Drama in 4 Acts (1906) [30]
  • The Queen of the Sea (1907) [31]
  • Molly Bawn, a dramatization of the book by Margaret Wolfe Hungerford (1908)[32]
  • The Little Girl That He Forgot (1910) [5]
  • The Hoosier Schoolmaster, a dramatization of the book by Edward Eggleston (1910)[33]
  • The Cause of the War: A Comedy in 1 Act, with John Bowers (1914)[34]
  • Marrying Off Emmy, short story (1919)[35]
Beulah Poynter
  • The First Thrill, a three-act mystery-farce (1921) [36]
  • Thumbs Down: a Comedy in Three Acts with Edwin Levin (1921)[37]
  • The Murillo Mystery (1927) [38]
  • The Girl at the Stage Door: A Love Story (1929) [39]
  • The Gingham Bride: A Love Story (1929) [40]
  • The Splendid Folly (1929) [41]
  • Gay Caprice: A Love Story (1929) [42]
  • Fires of Youth: A Love Story (1929)[43]
  • Helping Hortense, syndicated story (1930)[44]
  • The Squatter Girl: A Love Story (1930) [45]
  • Joan of the River: A Love Story (1930) [46]
  • Love is Like That: A Love Story (1930) [47]
  • The Husband Hunter (1930) [48]
  • Cinderella on Broadway, syndicated story (1931)[49]
  • Honeymoon Cruise: A Love Story (1931) [50]
  • Mad Marriage: A Love Story (1931) [51]
  • Murder on 47th Street (1931) [52]
  • The Make-Believe Bride: A Love Story (1931) [53]
  • Everything but Love (1933) [54]
  • Dancing Man: A Love Story (1933) [55]
  • The Circus-Girl Wife: A Love Story (1934) [56]
  • Donna of the Big Top (1934) [57]
  • Love's Labor Won: A Love Story (1934) [58]
  • Lost Rapture (1934) [59]
  • The Disappearance of Mary Amber (1934) [60]
  • A Woman Dies (1935) [61]
  • The Enchanted Hour (1935) [62]
  • Love is not Enough: A Love Story (1936) [63]
  • Mad Folly: A Love Story (1937) [64]
  • No Time for Tears; or, Faith, Hope and no Charity (1945) [65]
  • White Trash (1952) [66]

Resources[edit]

  1. ^ a b c books.google.com/books?id=qI0BAAAAMAAJ Daughters of the American Revolution Beulah Poynter Bowers, ID Number: 117643 born in Eagleville, Mo., wife of John Bowers Lineage Book, 1931, p. 199] Retrieved May 25, 2014
  2. ^ a b Iowa, Select Marriages, 1809–1992 about Beulah Margurite Poynter, born 1883 Eagleville, Mo., married Burton S. Nixon Nov. 19, 1904 at Creston, Union, Ia., Ancestry.com
  3. ^ 1900 Census, Bethany, Missouri, Ancestry.com
  4. ^ Beulah Poynter, US Passport application February 1, 1921, Amazon.com
  5. ^ a b Who's Who in Music and Drama, 1914, p. 252 Retrieved May 18, 2014
  6. ^ Heading illegible (column 3). The Sandusky Star Journal, June 13, 1905, p. 3
  7. ^ Good Drama First of Season at Bell. Benton Harbor News Palladium, August 16, 1905, p. 5
  8. ^ Lena Rivers Coming. Goshen Democrat (Goshen, Indian), October 5, 1906, p. 8
  9. ^ Amusements. Washington Post, April 24, 1908, p. 12
  10. ^ Local Siftings. Decatur Daily Review (Decatur, Illinois), March 13, 1910, p. 5
  11. ^ The Theatre - Beulah Poynter. Coshocton Daily Age (Coshocton, Ohio), August 15, 1910, p. 5
  12. ^ Bestable - The Little Girl He Forgot. Syracuse Herald, April 2, 1911, p. 34
  13. ^ The Majestic Will Open Doors to Theare-Goers with The Hoosier Schoolmaster on Thursday. Fort Wayne Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne, Indiana), August 6, 1911, p. 24
  14. ^ At Majestic Theatre This Week. Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, September 3, 1911, p. 14
  15. ^ Park. Indianapolis Star, October 1, 1911, p. 39
  16. ^ Beulah Poynter in New Dramatic Comedy, A Kentucky Romance. Des Moines Daily News (Des Moines), November 25, 1911, p. 3
  17. ^ Miss Beulah Poynter Coming Again to the Crescent. The Herald (New Orleans, Louisiana), October 24, 1912, p. 7
  18. ^ Beulah Pointer in A Kentucky Romance. Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, February 9, 1913, p. 15
  19. ^ Plays that are Coming. Kansas City Star, April 3, 1913, p. 9
  20. ^ Drama by John Corbin. The New York Times, June 18, 1919, p. 20
  21. ^ Beulah Poynter - Internet Broadway Database Retrieved May 20, 2014
  22. ^ Blevins, Tim, 2012, p. 184 Film & Photography on the Front Range, ISBN 1567352979 Retrieved May 26, 2014,
  23. ^ from Marrying off Emmy (1919)
  24. ^ from Love is Like That (1930)
  25. ^ Beulah Poynter - Internet Movie Database Retrieved Mat 21, 2014
  26. ^ Will Play Here. Sandusky Star Journal (Sandusky, Ohio), June 6, 1905, p. 6
  27. ^ Beulah Leffler –Manhattan, N.Y., 1930 U.S. Census – Ancestry.com
  28. ^ George Leffler, Producer, Dies, 77. New York Times, August 6, 1951 p. 21
  29. ^ Death Notices. New York Times, August 14, 1960, p. 93
  30. ^ Poynter, B. (1906). Lena Rivers: Dramitized[!] from Book by Mary J. Holmes; Drama in 4 Acts. 
  31. ^ Catalog of Copyright Entries. Books, Dramatic Compositions" 1907, p. 641 Retrieved May 24, 2014
  32. ^ Molly Bawn to Step from a Book. New Brunswick Daily Times, March 26, 1908, p. 2
  33. ^ The Hoosier Schoolmaster. Fort Wayne Sentinel, August 7, 1911, p. 9
  34. ^ Catalog of Copyright Entries. Part 1. [B] Group 2. Dramatic Compositions Retrieved May 25, 2014
  35. ^ Goble, Alan, 1999, p. 869. The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film, Retrieved May 27, 2014
  36. ^ Catalog of Copyright Entries: Musical Compositions, 1947, p. 15 Retrieved May 24, 2014
  37. ^ Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 1 Books Group 2, 1922, p. 608 Retrieved May 23, 2014
  38. ^ Poynter, B. (1927). The Murillo Mystery. Henry Altemus Company. 
  39. ^ Poynter, B. (1929). The Girl at the Stage Door: A Love Story. Chelsea House. 
  40. ^ Poynter, B.; Chelsea House Publishers (1929). The Gingham Bride: A Love Story. Chelsea House. 
  41. ^ "The Splendid Folly by Poynter, Beulah: Chelsea House, New York Hardcover - Curious Book Shop". abebooks.com. Retrieved 2014-05-26. 
  42. ^ Poynter, B.; Chelsea House Publishers (1929). Gay Caprice: A Love Story. Chelsea House. 
  43. ^ "Fires of youth : a love story (Book, 1929) [WorldCat.org]". worldcat.org. Retrieved 2014-05-26. 
  44. ^ Helping Hortense. Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, July 19, 1930, p. 5
  45. ^ "The Squatter Girl: A Love Story by Poynter, Beulah: Chelsea House Hardcover, 1st Edition - Gyre & Gimble". abebooks.com. Retrieved 2014-05-26. 
  46. ^ "Joan of the river: A love story: Beulah Poynter: Amazon.com: Books". amazon.com. Retrieved 2014-05-26. 
  47. ^ Poynter, B.; Chelsea House Publishers (1930). Love is Like that: A Love Story. Chelsea House. 
  48. ^ Poynter, B.; Chelsea House Publishers (1930). The Husband Hunter: A Love Story. Chelsea House. 
  49. ^ Cinderella on Broadway, Syracuse Herald August 28, 1931, p. 17
  50. ^ Poynter, B.; Chelsea House Publishers (1931). Honeymoon Cruise: A Love Story. Chelsea House. 
  51. ^ Poynter, B.; Chelsea House Publishers (1931). Mad Marriage: A Love Story. Chelsea House. 
  52. ^ Poynter, B. (1931). Murder on 47th Street. Crime Club, Incorporated. 
  53. ^ Poynter, B. (1932). The Make-believe Bride: A Love Story. Chelsea House. 
  54. ^ [books.google.com/books?id=38AcAQAAMAAJ The Retail Bookseller, Volume 36, 1933, p. 95] Retrieved May 23, 2014
  55. ^ Poynter, B.; Chelsea House Publishers (1933). Dancing Man: A Love Story. Chelsea House. 
  56. ^ Poynter, B.; Chelsea House Publishers (1934). The Circus-girl Wife: A Love Story. Chelsea House. 
  57. ^ [books.google.com/books?id=PVZbAAAAIAAJ Catalog of Copyright Entries. Part 1. Books Group 2." 1935, p. 431]
  58. ^ Poynter, B.; Chelsea House Publishers (1934). Love's Labor Won: A Love Story. Chelsea House. 
  59. ^ Poynter, B. (1934). Lost Rapture. Greenberg. 
  60. ^ Poynter, B. (1934). The Disappearance of Mary Amber. Greenberg. 
  61. ^ Poynter, B. (1935). A Woman Dies. Greenberg. 
  62. ^ Poynter, B. (1935). The Enchanted Hour. Regent House. 
  63. ^ Poynter, B.; Chelsea House Publishers (1936). Love is Not Enough: A Love Story. Chelsea House. 
  64. ^ "poynter beulah - AbeBooks". abebooks.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-05-26. 
  65. ^ Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 1, Group 3 - Dramatic Compositions, Motion Pictures, NOS. 1-12 1945, p. 53 Retrieved May 25, 2014
  66. ^ Poynter, B. (1952). White Trash. Universal Pub. and Distributing Corporation. 

External links[edit]