Monday, August 15, 2011

Alice Lee Edwards

A very distant cousin, Alice Lee Edwards was a character actress who appeared on stage and television from the late 1930's to 1950.  We share the ancestor, Johann Heinrich Linn, or Henry as he was known in America, and his wife, Elizabeth Stein.  

Alice Lee was born in 1910 to parents, Alice Linn and Leander Allison Edwards in Ripley, Ohio.  At the age of about five, the family moved to Hamilton, Ohio in Butler County where her mother was a teacher in the public schools.   

Alice Lee became familiar with death all during her childhood.  In 1917, her father died and she and her mother became a part of the household of Leon and Minnie Perkins in Hamilton.  They are listed as cousins of Leon in the 1920 census.  On December 16, 1925, Alice Lee suffered the death of her grandmother, Louisa Weiand Linn, then just a short time later, on January 14, 1926, her mother tragically died from liver problems that were a complication of influenza.  At the young age of sixteen, Alice Lee returned to Ripley to live with her grandfather, Charles A. Linn where just one year later, she would once again encounter death upon the death of  her grandfather.  

Alice Lee enjoyed participating in plays and public speaking during her high school years in Ripley.   Graduating from Ripley High School in 1927, she then attended Miami University, graduating from that institution in 1931.  After being a student of  drama under actress Madam Maria Ouspeskaya in New York City, Alice Lee became a teacher of that art in Buffalo, New York.  

Her later years found Alice Lee in various plays and productions in Hollywood and Pasadena, California.  She returned to the east coast where she performed on stage in New York City and other theaters in New England.  In 1949, she was a member of the Peterborough Players in Peterborough, New Hampshire.  In 1950, she made an appearance on the Gabby Hayes television show.

Alice Lee's life, while tragic, must have been an exciting one with her career and travels.  On January 26, 1955, exactly twenty-nine years after the death of her mother, Alice Lee met death for the final time. Her own death occurred in New York City where her body was cremated.  There is a marker honoring her life in the Edwards' family plot in Maplewood Cemetery, Ripley, Ohio.


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