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Josephine Victor

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 11 November 1924
Given by John Culme, 1996
Photographs Collection
NPG x103205Josephine Victor (born Josephine Gunczler; June 28, 1885 – 1963) was a Hungarian-born American stage actress, director, and playwright. She was friend with Henriette McCrea Metcalf.

Victor was born in the Tokay Hills in Hungary in 1885,[1] and moved to New York City as a child. She may have attended the Wheatcroft School of Acting on a scholarship.[2] She used her brother Victor's first name for a surname when she began acting.[3] She began performing with the Howard Kyle Company,[4] and made headlines as early as 1906, when her costume caught fire on stage, and she doused the flames without breaking character.[5]

On Broadway she debuted in The Secret Orchard by Channing Pollock (1908), and appeared in Temperamental Journey (1913),[6] The Yellow Ticket (1914),[7] The Bargain by Hermann Georg Scheffauer (1915),[8] Just a Woman by Eugene Walter (1916),[9] Martinique by Laurence Eyre (1920),[10] Dolly Jordan by Ben Iden Payne (1922),[11] The Cup (1923),[12] Judgment Day by Elmer Rice (1934),[4] Wise Tomorrow (1937),[13] and finally Summer Night (1939).[14] She is credited as director of one play, Doctor X (1931), a "mystery thriller".[15] She toured the United States with a vaudeville show in 1921.[16] She also appeared on the London stage, in Pelican by F. Tennyson Jesse (1924), and in a few films.

Josephine Victor by Bassano Ltd bromide print, 11 November 1924 Purchased, 1996 Photographs Collection NPG x84977

Helen Ware, Josephine Victor, Henrietta Metcalf; 1923, Part of Henrietta Alice Metcalf Performing Arts Photographic Collection

Victor was also a playwright.[17] In 1910 she co-wrote a play, Ashes, with Eleanor Maud Crane. Later, as Josephine Victor Reid, she wrote The Prize Pig's Tea-party (1934), a play, How to Get Rich (1930). She also co-wrote two plays, Clay Pigeon (1936, with Marjorie Paradis) and Read about Laura Keene (1937, with I. S. Strouse). She collaborated with Laurence Eyre on creating the 1920 play Martinique, but was not credited as its co-author.[18]

Josephine Victor married Francis E. Reid, a publicist and drama critic.[19] She was widowed in 1933.[20] She died in 1963, aged 78 years.

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