Miriam Nesbitt was born Miriam Schanke in Chicago, Illinois. She was born on September 14, 1873 and lived to the age of 81, dying on August 11, 1954 in Hollywood, California.
Our girl of the moment went to Stanhope-Wheatcroft Dramatic School. Starting her career on the stage, she was already a well-known Broadway actress. On April 20, 1916, She married Marc McDermott, a star in his own right, who played in many pictures with her at the Edison Company.
Miriam Nesbitt comes off as hoity-toity in this January 1912 interview, although I truly believe that this is not the intention of the interviewer. This one is a bit of a strange interview, as it is quite short and ends a bit abruptly.
At the point of this Motion Picture Story Magazine interview, Miriam Nesbitt is just 39 years old. She seems to be the way one would imagine a stage actress to be at that time, don’t you agree?
Chats with the Players
MISS MIRIAM NESBITT, OF THE EDISON CO.
Being rather a bold and prying person, and believing myself to be within my rights to be inquisitive, I set off to find and to interview Miss Miriam Nesbitt, of the Edison Players. That she would instantly “warm up” to my interesting personality and methods, I had not the slightest doubt of, and when I was introduced to her, at the end of a studio rehearsal, I presumed that the usual “tea and tittering” method would instantly engage her.
Right there, I was sadly mistaken. She is tall enough to look one straight in the eyes with her deep, blue ones, and my first feeling was that such a shapely head would seldom have to look down upon, or up to, the average citizen.
Having delivered my customary sugary prelude on the beautiful posing I had seen her do (which it was, in fact) and the craving therefrom that had fixed upon me to meet her, officially, of course, I expected that the answers to my personal questions would come about me like Mardi Gras confetti. I can assure you, tho, that Miss Nesbitt is too modest, or too unassuming, to give free access to her charming atmosphere at first sitting. She is a convent-bred girl, hers being Notre Dame, of Indianapolis, and the dignity of its cloistered walks and high-walled park has become a part of her personality.
When I inquired about her theatrical experience, a slight lifting of her well-turned chin seemed an apt answer. Then she told me that she had been associated with Frohman, Liebler, Savage, and Shurbet, as managers, for over a dozen years.
“Young man,” I thought to myself, “You are in pretty good company. Linger as long as you will officially be permitted to.”
After gazing calmly thru me for a minute or so, Miss Nesbitt informed me that George Eliot is her favorite author.
“Oh! Is he?” I said; and thereby eternally tarnished my literary reputation.
Her dainty nose wrinkled perceptibly and I could not tell whether she was starting a frown or a sneeze.
“Is she,” she corrected, and her little wrinkle melted into a most delightful smile. If I hadn’t seen it forming frankly in front of her snowy white teeth, I could have sworn she had borrowed it.
Thereat, we fell into a heated discussion on grand opera. She had seen and heard all the great divas and artists many times — couldn’t keep away from their voices; and if I came out second best, it is because she is a heart-felt lover of music, and can sing well, too, if I am judge of voice modulation.
Miss Nesbitt must be amiable as well as modest, for she does not miss the applause from in front of the footlights, takes a persistent interest in her present method of character representation, and is very painstaking at rehearsals. She often drops into an audience to be a stern critic to her pictured self; tho, why severe to such a fine art as hers, I have yet to learn.