Chrystal Herne

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Chrystal Herne
Chrystal Herne in 1918.jpg
Herne in 1918
Born Katherine Chrystal Herne
(1883-06-16)June 16, 1883
Dorchester, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died September 19, 1950(1950-09-19) (aged 67)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1899-1936
Spouse(s) Harold S. Pollard
(m. 1914; her death 1950)
Parent(s) James A. Herne

Chrystal Herne (June 16, 1883 – September 19, 1950) was an American stage actress.[1] 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, Massachusetts on June 16, 1883.[1][2] 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, her father's last play. Sag Harbor was a family affair with Herne and his daughters Julie and Chrystal playing principal roles. James Herne died a short while later in early June 1901.[3]

After her father's death, Chrystal played a third season in Sag Harbor, although 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 Gertrude 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 her sister, Julie Herne, who also wrote the piece.[4]

Chrystal Herne was remembered for playing the title role in Arnold Daly's production of Shaw's "Candida" during the 1905/06 season.[5] and as Vera Revendal opposite Walker Whiteside in Israel Zangwill's The Melting Pot that debuted in 1908 at the Columbia Theatre in Washington D.C.[6] She was well received playing Diana opposite Dustin Farnum in a 1911 revival of The Squaw Man at the Broadway Theatre[7][8] and later in her career playing the title role in Craig's Wife opposite Charles Trowbridge produced at the Morosco Theatre in 1925 [9] She appeared in almost 40 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. [10]


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.[11] She was survived by her husband, Harold S. Pollard, a former chief editorial writer for the New York World.[1]


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.[12][13] Her younger sister, Dorothy Lucille Herne preceded her in death in 1921. Dorothy, who had appeared on stage for a time, married Montrose Jonas Moses, a dramatic critic, playwright and children's book author.[14] Chrystal Herne also had and older sister, Alma, who died young.[15] 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, written in 1879 by James Herne and David Belasco.[16] Katherine Corcoran Herne died at age 86 in 1943.[15]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Chrystal Herne, Stage Star, Dies". New York Times. September 20, 1950. 
  2. ^ Passenger Manifests (Chrystal H. Pollard) SS Mauretania (August 7, 1925), SS Aquitania (August 19, 1927) – scans
  3. ^ "Death Of James A. Herne. Actor and Playwright Succumbs to Attack of Pneumonia. Had Occupied First Place as an Interpreter of Homely Folk-Life. On the Stage 35 Years". New York Times. June 3, 1901. 
  4. ^ American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama, 1869-1914, by Gerald Martin Bordman 1994 pg. 554
  5. ^ Notable American Women: a Biographical Dictionary by Edward T. James, Janet Wilson James; 1974, pg. 168
  6. ^ The Melting-Pot: Drama in Four Acts: Details,; accessed September 23, 2015.
  7. ^ Who's Who in the Theatre - John Parker – 1947 pg. 751
  8. ^ "Menu Marriage A Hit At The Casino, New York Times, January 3, 1911, p. 12
  9. ^ Craig's Wife: a Drama: details,; accessed September 23, 2015.
  10. ^ Chrystal Herne profile,; accessed September 23, 2015.
  11. ^ Where Are They Buried?, GoogleBooks
  12. ^ U.S. Veterans Gravesites, ca.1775-2006 about John Temple Herne –
  13. ^ John Temple Herne – World War I & II Draft Registration – scans
  14. ^ Who Was Who in America with World Notables, Volume 1, Marquis-Who's Who, 1960, p. 873
  15. ^ a b James A. Herne profile,; accessed September 23, 2015.
  16. ^ Notable American Women: a Biographical Dictionary By Edward T. James, Janet Wilson James; 1974, pg. 168