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David Belasco was born in San Fransisco California on July 251853 Hisparents had come to California from London in the gold rush Belasco grew upin San Fransisco and Victoria British Columbia His early education in a RomanCatholic monastery influenced his simple mode of dress and helped earn him the nickname Bishop of Broadway He had some experience as a child actor and from 1873 to 1879 worked in a number of San Fransisco theaters as everything from call boy and script copier to actor stage manager and playwright He paid further theatrical dues in the time he spent as a theatrical vagabond Belascos term acting in small theatrical companies trouping through the mining camps and frontier settlements of the Pacific Slope He recited poetry sang danced painted and built scenery and played everything from Hamlet to Fagin in Oliver Twist and Topsy in Uncle Toms Cabin In 1879 with James A Herne his first important collaborator he wrote the popular melodrama Hearts of Oak In 1880 Theatrical manager Daniel Frohman brought Belasco to New York City where he spent most of his life For several years he was the stage manager of the Madison Square Theater for which he wrote plays Achieving popularity with May Blossom 1884 a Civil War love story It was followed by Lord Chumbley 1888 a domestic drama featuring a comic Englishmen In 1893 written with Franklyn Fyles was The Girl I Left Behind Me a popular Indian melodrama In 1895 Belasco had his first smash hit as a playwright director and independent manager His Civil War melodrama The Heart of Maryland became a runaway success in New York in London and on tour across the US Belasco wrote the play as a showcase for the particular talents of an actress who would be the first in a long line of Belasco stars-- a notorious flame -haired society divorcee named Mrs Leslie Carter Other stars discovered and trained
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