Volume III: Biographies



Actress (1912-1913)

Thanhouser Career Synopsis: Eda von Luke appeared in a Thanhouser film made in 1912 and released in 1913.

Biographical Notes: Eda von Luke was born in Stettin, Germany and came to America with her family in her youth, settling in St. Cloud, Minnesota, where her parents remained for many years thereafter. Around 1906 she made her stage debut in a stock company in Minneapolis. By 1910 she was playing lead roles. An interview with her appeared in The New York Dramatic Mirror, July 24, 1912, at which time Miss von Luke had recently arrived in New York City, following an engagement in Erie, Pennsylvania. She had been seen in The Spendthrift in New York just prior to the interview and was part of the stock company at the West End Theatre. Hoping for a role on Broadway, "not 125th Street," in the autumn, Miss von Luke related: "Do you know that since coming to New York I have scarcely gone anywhere, or seen anyone? Those two dogs and my maid have been my only companions in a little apartment within walking distance of the theatre. Every morning I get up at six o'clock to study my part for the coming week, and at night I go home dead tired. That is what it means to be in stock, and I haven't had a rest for nine months."

On November 2, 1912 the actress sailed for Europe on the Minnewaska, according to the New York Morning Telegraph of that date. The same account noted: "A few weeks ago Miss von Luke met with an automobile accident from which she has completely recovered." In 1912 she worked before the motion picture camera at the Thanhouser studio for a time, and was seen in the January 19, 1913 release of The Commuter's Cat. By autumn 1915 she had been in more than 2,000 stage roles, according to an account in The Cleveland Leader, September 15, 1915. At the time she was on stage in The Prince of Pilsen and was devoting her career to musical comedy. Eda von Luke married Percy J. Kelly, producer of My Home Town Girl and the revival of The Prince of Pilsen. In 1915 the couple made their home in Locust, New Jersey.

Thanhouser Filmography:

1913: The Commuter's Cat (1-19-1913)

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Copyright © 1995 Q. David Bowers. All Rights Reserved.