A Players Flashback: Miss Bernhardt Visits


By MICHAEL QUINN


On June 20th, 1911, actress Sarah Bernhardt visited The Players. The elevator to the Famous Room was inoperable that day, so Bernhardt opted to find some shade on this sweltering late afternoon under the large tree in the photo below. She poured tea for 500 members while standing for a full hour asking, “one or deux lumps?” After touring the open-air dining area, she praised the shade provided by the tree. She was presented with a bouquet of roses. She kissed every rose and handed each one to members to give to their wives who sadly could not attend. She was presented with a bronze bust of Edwin Booth, a replica of the one inside the club sculpted by the founder’s dear friend Johnson. Bernhardt had been a guest of The Players twice before: the first time to enjoy tea with Mr. Booth on Ladies Day, and the second to visit the Famous Room. Today the expanded Dining Room and stage area occupy this site.


On June 16, 1930 (Bloomsday!), The Players back yard, complete with fountain, before the 1960 expansion.

Michael Quinn is a NYC native, historian, performer, and entrepreneur who is a member of the Admissions Committee at The Players. Drop him a line here: thisismichaelquinn@gmail.com

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