Classic Entertainment Autographs

Cat. #00197431: EDNA MAY OLIVER

Nearly impossible to find vintage 11x14-inch matte-finish black and white portrait by Ernest Bachrach, signed in black fountain pen and dated 1937. In fine condition, with very mild creasing along the right edge and fair contrast of the writing against the shadowy areas of the image. Horse-faced character actress Edna May Oliver, who was a descendant of President John Quincy Adams, began her career as a light opera singer, but turned to the stage due to a diagnosis of vocal cord damage. An excellent turn as the servant in Owen Davis' Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Icebound" (1923) thrust her into the spotlight, and she was asked to recreate the role onscreen the following year. By the late 1920s, she was popping up in films at virtually every major studio, playing haughty matrons and no-nonsense relatives in Wheeler and Woolsey comedies, the Oscar-winning Cimarron (1931), Alice in Wonderland (1933), the early sci-fi flick It's Great to Be Alive (1933), the Hildegarde Withers mystery series, David Copperfield (1934), Tale of Two Cities (1935), Romeo and Juliet (1936), and Drums Along the Mohawk (1939). After a long intestinal illness, Edna May Oliver died on her 59th birthday in 1942; ironically, her last screen role was that of an infuriating hypochondriac in Lydia (1941).