A snapshot biography of actress Maude Adams

1905 black and white photograph of actress Maude Adams in the role of Peter Pan, sitting on a rock with one knee raised, playing a flute. She is dressed in a whimsical costume with leaf-like patterns, a hat with a feather, and is barefoot, set against a backdrop of foliage and trees, conveying a sense of being in a forest.
Maude Adams as Peter Pan, 1905

Maude Ewing Adams Kiskadden followed in her mother’s acting footsteps early in life, making her own acting debut at just nine months old. She continued to act through childhood, taking her mother’s maiden name as her stage name, becoming known to the world as Maude Adams.

As an adult, Maude became the most famous and highest-paid actress of her time. Her greatest success was playing Peter Pan in the 1905 Broadway production of Peter Pan.

Offscreen, Maude was shy. She loved fashion, and she was generous, known for helping recovering soldiers and natural disaster victims and raising money to build college theaters. And she would send tickets to disadvantaged kids so they could see Peter Pan.

Throughout her career, she also took part in technology development, helping invent better lighting, and working on experiments of color film. And later in life, she became a teacher, leading the drama department at Stephens College in Missouri.

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Notes and sources