Nance O'Neil

Oakland, California, USA


Nance O'Neil, born Gertrude Lamson, was an American stage and screen actress. When she decided to become an actress, her religious father, George Lamson, an auctioneer, denounced his daughter in church for going on the stage and asked the congregation to pray for her. O'Neil's first performance in a professional production was in the role of a nun in Sarah at the Alcazar Theatre in San Francisco on October 16, 1893. At the height of her career, she was promoted on theatre bills and in period trade publications and newspapers as the "American Sarah Bernhardt".