Posted 1 year ago
Born in New York City, Elsie Ferguson was the only child of Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Benson Ferguson, a successful attorney. Raised and educated in Manhattan, she became interested in the theater at a young age and made her stage debut at seventeen as a chorus girl in a musical comedy. She quickly became known as one of the most beautiful women to ever set foot on the American stage. For almost two years from 1903-05 she was a cast member in The Girl from Kays which despite its title starred Sam Bernard. In 1908 she was leading lady to Edgar Selwyn in Pierre of the Plains. By 1909, after several years apprenticeship under several producers including Charles Frohman, Klaw & Erlanger, Charles Dillingham and Henry B. Harris, she was a major Broadway star, starring in Such A Little Queen. In 1910, she spent time on the stage in London. Actresses Evelyn Nesbit and Ethel Barrymore were friends of hers.
During World War I, a number of Broadway stars organized a campaign to sell Liberty Bonds from the theatre stage prior to the performance as well as at highly publicized appearances at places such as the New York Public Library. Ferguson, noted for her great beauty and as one of the "Park Avenue aristocrats," on one occasion is reputed to have sold $85,000.00 worth of bonds in less than an hour.