Will Martin.8 Cressy
Born October 29, 1863 in Bradford, New Hampshire.
The Actors' Birthday Book By Johnson Briscoe 1907
WILL M. CRESSY is a name that has become one of the most potent drawing-cards in vaudeville, where he and Mrs. Cressy, known to the footlight world as Blanche Dayne, have long held an unrivaled position among head-liners. The reason for their success is not hard to lind, for they are both exceptionally talented players and have always had the best sort of material in the way of playlets. As to the latter. Mr. Cressy, himself, has written every one of them, aml is also I he author of over a hundred other sketches that have been used from time to time by various vaudeville players, so his fame as an actor is fully equaled by that of author. A biographer once sought to gain some data from Mr. Cressy, but his only reply- was: "Oh, I was born up in Bradford, New Hampshire, quite a while ago; have acted some and written a few sketches — that's all." However, it is quite considerable to occupy his eminent position as an actor and to hold the record for having written more sketches than any other playright. Mr. Cressy and Miss Dayne are especially big favorites over the Keith-Proctor circuit, and the season of 1906-07 they played five weeks alone at the Union Square Theater, five at Keith's Philadelphia house, and six at the Boston house. Mr. Cressy's latest offering is entitled "The Wyoming Whoop" in which he plays the role of Judge Hiram Hodges a wild, woolly, self-sacrificing old Westerner.1
1. Johnson Briscoe,
The Actors'Birthday Book (New York:
Moffat, Yard & Company, 1907) p. 238.
|Blanche Dayne Cressy|
IN tile vaudeville theatres the name of Blanche Dayne has become a synonym for charming, unaffected acting, and her sweet and girlish personality has made her many friends with lovers of that branch of me amusement field. As co-star with Will M. Cressy, whom she married some years ago, Miss Dayne has built up a popularity and following that extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific. She was born in Troy, N. Y., and her debut was made in that city at the age of five, with the late Emma Abbott. At the age of sixteen she was starring in repertoire and, while one would not suspect it to see her now, she was at that time considered a great jig and reel dancer. Many theatregoers will pleasantly recall her Rickety Atm in "The Old Homestead," which she played several seasons. She has been particularly happy in the seven vaudeville playlets which she and Mr. Cressy have presented, her first big success being as the book-agent in "Grasping An Opportunity." This was quickly followed by equally as pleasing portrayals in "The Key of C," "A Village Lawyer," "Bill Biffin's Baby," "The New Depot," "Town Hall To-Night," and her latest success, Genevieve Monmorency in "The Wyoming Whoop," in all of which she displayed an unusual amount of versatility, and a complete grasp of the dramatic possibilities of each role. Miss Dayne is a careful, painstaking actress, with an appreciation of theatrical values and she is equally at home as the emotional wife in "A Village Lawyer, ' as the dainty, girlish heroine in "Bill Biffin's Baby." or as the barnstorming actress in "The Wyoming Whoop." quite a sufficient test of one's powers. She has always shared in half the histrionic glories that have gone to Cressy and Dayne. and many people have marveled that she does not seek to return to the wider field of the three- act drama. But Miss Dayne is too appreciative of the success that has come to her as a vaudeville co-star, and for the time being, at any rate, she is quite contented and satisfied with her field of endeavor.2
2. Johnson Briscoe,
The Actors'Birthday Book (New York:
Moffat, Yard & Company, 1907) p. 283.
Please address any comments to:
LeRoy D. Cressy