Today’s Chat features Charles M. Seay. He was born Charles Morgan Seay on May 22nd, 1867, and died November 12, 1944. He was married to Grace Ballou Seay. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/54639087/charles-morgan-seay
I think he looks just like Ed Harris, particularly in the photo on the bottom right.
In the IMDB trivia section, it states “According to New York Dramatic Mirror (4 December 1915): Seay – “the only original owner of the name that is spelled with the ‘y’ and pronounced without it[.]”” I cannot find the article to confirm this, but it very well could be accurate.
Mr. Seay was a seasoned stage actor before breaking onto the film screen. He also directed and wrote screenplays. This chat was published in the February 1912 edition of Motion Picture Story Magazine.
Chats with the Players
CHARLES M. SEAY
After having haunted the front hedge of his cottage in the Bronx for several hours, I was informed by a suspicious neighbor that Mr. Seay spent a good bit of his spare time in the Zoological Gardens, not as an inmate, of course. Here I did succeed in finding him, and we walked back together to have our chat in his cheerful living-room.
“So you enjoy the Gardens?” I asked, as an opening question.
“They’re great! Half my leisure time is spent visiting them, or the Metropolitan Museum. You see, I was born and educated in the South and we haven’t so many of these wonderful institutions down there.”
“Speaking of leisure, do you have much?” I asked.
“Yes. My work averages only about four hours a day. I thoroly enjoy it. Even the rehearsals are interesting. I consider the Motion Picture business educational and uplifting. What could be more instructive or inspirational than such plays as ‘The Fall of Troy,’ for instance, or ‘The Battle of Trafalgar’?”
“You prefer Photoplay-acting to the regular stage, then?”
“My being in the business proves that. I played all over the United States, and for many years in New York, with regular companies, but this suits me better. Think of the millions of people whom the picture-player reaches, compared with the few thousands reached by the regular actor. Then, it is interesting to be able to visit a playhouse and watch my own acting— to see where I fall short, and where I can improve myself. I have played with only one company, the Edison, but have played upwards of a thousand parts.”
“Which play do you think you have done your best work in?” I ventured.
“In ‘Pigs is Pigs,’ as Mike Flannerty,” was the prompt response. “I was foolish enough to laugh at my own antics, when I saw it exhibited.”
Mr. Seay is very fond of reading, his favorite authors being Maspero, Scott and Huxley. He also is fond of social life, enjoys dancing, the theater and music, but he does not enthuse over politics or baseball.
“Work interests me most of anything,” he declared; “work, and the joy of living!”
He offered to walk part way home with me, and his long, active legs set me such a pace that further delving was impossible. I had good opportunity to study his face, however, and found it a fine type of unmixed American. A high, full forehead, faintly humorous mouth, pointed nose, and deep-set, observing eyes were features to be trusted in friendship and, maybe, feared in enmity or ridicule.
“I’m very glad I met you,” he said, with twinkling eyes, as we parted at a subway entrance. “It’s always a pleasure to be agreeable, you know. Your magazine is immense! Keep up the good work.”