John E. Halliday was chatted in the December 1911 issue of Motion Picture Story Magazine.
Multiple sources have different birth years, but all say September 14. Wikipedia says 1869, but that has to be way off, since he fought with the British Army in the Boer War, and it seems this would make him too old. Here, he states his year as 1881, but obituaries and findagrave.com state the year as 1880, so we are going to go with that. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/175804525/john-halliday
He was born in Brooklyn, but here he states that he was born in Scotland.
Unfortunately, I don’t know what heroic deed they refer to toward the end of the chat. I looked around and didn’t come up with anything. It is perhaps a made-up bait by the author to entice readers to believe that John was a kind, humble man.
John E. Halliday, sometimes called Jack, had a long career in film, from the early years going into talkies. He is most notable for playing as Seth Lord in The Philadelphia Story (1940). He died in Honolulu, Hawaii on October 17, 1947.
At this point, it is 1911, and John was about 31 at this time. Here he mentions that he is married, presumably to a Camille Personi (divorced). He was also married to Eva Lang (divorced), and finally married Eleanor Griffith in 1929 and stayed married to her till his death.
I hope you enjoy this short little interview.
Chats with the Players
MR. JOHN E. HALLIDAY, OF THE LUBIN CO.
I found John E. Halliday, familiarly known as “Jack,” in his apartment on North Broad Street, opposite Philadelphia’s fine Opera House.
“I was born in Scotland on the fourteenth of September, 1881,” he informed me, without hesitation. “I’m married, and glad of it.”
This genial frankness was encouraging. I foresaw that the rest of my questions would be kindly received, and they were.
Mr. Halliday was educated at Cambridge University, England. Altho his interest in theatricals began in childhood, he did not begin his stage work until mature years. He played with various companies, appearing with such stars as Belasco, Nat Goodwin and Mary Shaw. His Photoplay work has all been with the Lubin Company, where he has played a great variety of roles.
“Yes, I do miss the footlights,” he confessed; “there is a fascination about playing directly to our audience, and the applause furnishes a certain inspiration. On the other hand, I am pleased with the larger numbers which the Photoplay reaches. I enjoy emotional and light comedy roles best. It is always beneficial to sit in an audience and watch the films in which I have appeared. No, I never appear personally before such audiences, and would not consider doing so.”
Mr. Halliday thoroly enjoys his work and, unlike many of the players, does not dislike rehearsals.
Questioned about his recreations he said, laughingly, “I always enjoy seeing my friends work when I am not busy. I’m fond of walking and swimming. All my summers are sent at my cottage on the shore. I enjoy the opera and the regular theaters, and always see the ball games when I can.”
“You have had some extremely difficult and hazardous tasks to perform in your work, haven’t you?” I asked.
“Occasionally,” was the laconic answer. And that was all he would say.
“How about that heroic deed of yours that the newspapers featured awhile ago?” “Nothing to say,” he returned.
Burns, Wilde, and Kipling are Mr. Halliday’s favorite authors.
“I think your magazine is excellent,” he said in parting. “It tends to the general elevation of the Photoplay, and that is what we all desire.”