Copyright © 2009 Linda Apple
8"x10"-oil on canvas
Appletree Hollow Series
She was born Theodosia Waterspoon in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 27th, 1852. Her mother,a Swiss wigmaker and her father an Irish tailor, gave her a comfortable upbringing in a loving home situated in a small neighborhood inhabited mostly by immigrant merchants. She was a non-athletic, old fashioned, stay-at-home kind of gal, who loved her family, good food, writing and books. It was said that throughout her life, she was not truly happy without writing or having her nose buried in a book. Although she had a shy, retiring nature she longed to be an actress from early childhood.
When it came time to go to college, she ran away to pursue her dreams. She fabricated an exotic background of having an Egyptian royal heritage and being named, Theodosia, after a young woman who was lost at sea, sparked wild tales of abduction and pirates which got her noticed by the theater world. Her wavy waist-length hair, intense, penetrating eyes, curvy, buxom figure, and scandalous, skin-revealing gowns, brought a new kind of femme-fatale to the stage.
Even with the extravagant stories that were created, her career was short lived with only a few bit parts. This could have been a disaster but she squandered away her money and left the theater a rich woman. She met the elderly photographer, Herbert Adams of Appletree Hollow who convinced her to travel with him to the village and after her first visit, she decided to stay. A few years later, she returned to writing and became a success, under the name of “Theda Hara”.