Posted on 07/02/2014

Photo taken on September  1, 1912

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Inez H Clough
African American Woman
Actress of stage and screen

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Photo replaced on July  3, 2014
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Inez Clough

Inez Clough
Inez Clough was born on March 1, 1873 in Worcester, Massachusetts. And began her career in 1896, as a concert singer in Worcester, Massachusetts. In the late 1890s, she toured with John Isham's Oriental American Company around the United States and in Europe. After performing in England for ten years she returned to the United States, and began to appear in music halls before joining the Williams and Walker company.

With George Walker and Bert Williams, she appeared in In Dahomey in 1902, In Abyssinia in 1906, and Bandana Land in 1907. She worked with another legendary team in black musicals when she joined the cast of Shoo Fly Regiment, written by James Weldon Johnson and his brother J. Rosamond Johnson and produced by Bob Cole.

One of her greatest triumphs as a serious actress was in a series of plays presented under the title Three Plays for a Negro Theatre on April 5, 1917, at the Garden Theatre in Madison Square Garden. The plays, The Rider of Dreams, Granny Maumee, and Simon the Cyrenian, were written by white playwright Ridgely Torrence, and the evening was noteworthy because it was one of the earliest attempts to present black actors instead of white actors in plays dealing with the black experience. That same year she was cited as one of the ten most distinguished performers on the New York Stage. She was also one of the original members of the Lafayette Players, founded by Anita Bush. Many of the acting ensemble were among the casts of the Ridgely Torrence one-acts.

During the 1920s, Clough appeared in the landmark musical Shuffle Along by Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake and its successor, The Chocolate Dandies. She also appeared in the films Easy Money (1922), Secret Sorrow (1921), and The Gunsaulus Mystery (1921).

She died of peritonitis on November 24, 1933 in Cook County Hospital in Chicago after a long illness. She had been married to Henry Hogan at the time of her death.

Inez Clough was instrumental in establishing acting in the legitimate theatre as a possible option for African Americans.

Bio: 'African American Concert Dance: The Harlem Renaissance and Beyond' by John O Perpener

Photo: Crisis Magazine (1912) edition

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