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Maxine Elliott button. From the collection of Lon Ellis.

She is Maxine Elliott, born “Jessie Carolyn Dermot” in Rockland, Maine, in 1868. At the age of fifteen she enrolled as a student at the Notre Dame Academy in Roxbury Mass. In 1889 she adopted her stage name “Maxine Elliott” making her first appearance in 1889 in “The Middleman”. She later appeared in “The Merchant of Venice” on Broadway in 1903 where she became a star.

In 1908, having been divorced twice, she became friendly with financier J. P. Morgan. Some biographers of Morgan claim the seventy-year-old Morgan had a relationship with Elliott but no evidence substantiates these rumors. That year, she opened her own theater "The Maxine Elliott" in New York. At the time, she was the only woman in the United States running her own theater. She also was a star in silent films during that time.

During World War I, Elliott moved to Belgium and volunteered both her income and her time to the cause of Belgian relief. Also in 1915, she started dating tennis star Tony Wilding who was 15 years younger than her. Unfortunately, he was killed in 1915 at the Battle of Aubers Ridge. They had planned to get married.

After the war, she returned to the US and appeared in her last stage appearance. After this performance, she retired from public life and later died in 1940 in France a very wealthy woman.

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