Vintage Photos of 19th Century “Golden Girl” Lotta Crabtree (1847-1924)

Born in New York City to British immigrants, Lotta Crabtree (1847 – 1924) would go on to become one of the wealthiest and most beloved American entertainers of the late 19th century. She was an actress, comedian and also a significant philanthropist.

Crabtree achieved the height of her success in the 1870s and 1880s. She had danced her way to fame as an adult actress on the stages of England. In the 1880s she was the highest paid actress in America, earning sums of up to $5,000 per week.

Lotta never married, although she was escorted by a number of men. She was still playing children’s parts until the end of her career, and marrying might have cut into her act as the ingénue.

Her life story was filmed as Golden Girl in 1951.

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Lotta Crabtree

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Lotta Crabtree, 1870s

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Lotta Crabtree

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Lotta Crabtree

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Actress Lotta Crabtree  c. 1868.

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Lotta Crabtree at the height of her career

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Lotta Crabtree, c. 1870

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Lotta Crabtree

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