Image: Fortescue as
(New York City, 1853 - 1925, New York City)

Fortescue as "Well fed Dora" , c. 1884

Gelatin silver print
5 3/4 in. x 4 in. (14.61 cm x 10.16 cm)
Gift of Barbara Tannenbaum
1995.40 a-d
George Fortescue, a popular nineteenth-century comedian and vaudeville actor, was known for his appearance in caricature theater roles. A large man—six feet tall and weighing 300 pounds—Fortescue’s portrayals of women were seen as particularly absurd. The title character of Well Fed Dora, which he performs in these publicity portraits by Benjamin Falk, is one example. Photographic cabinet cards such as these were an important promotional tool for actors and other celebrities—Falk was considered a master of the medium. Unfortunately for Fortescue, the 1884 burlesque production of 'Well Fed Dora' at New York’s Fifth Avenue theatre seems to have been a flop, receiving pan reviews.

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Online Collection paid for with a grant from
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