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Biography

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Overview (4)

Born in Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (pneumonia)
Birth NameEvelyn Jarvis
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, pioneering black actress Evelyn Preer was educated in Chicago, where she and her mother moved after the death of her father. She entered show business vis vaudeville and the "chitlin' circuit" of minstrel shows that served the country's strictly segregated black communities at the turn of the century. She also appeared on Broadway, and in 1919 made her film debut in The Homesteader (1919), which was also the first film for pioneering black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. She made nine more films with Micheaux, and in 1920 she joined another pioneering black actress, Anita Bush, in Bush's Lafayette Players theatrical troupe. One of the actors in the troupe was Edward Thompson, and he and Preer married four years later. In addition to the Lafayette Players, Preer played the lead in a Broadway production of "Salome" and starred in productions by famed Broadway impresario David Belasco, among others. She was an accomplished singer and made records on which she was backed by such musical icons as Duke Ellington. She appeared in a few comedy shorts for producer Al Christie and made her feature sound debut in a low-budget independent musical, Georgia Rose (1930).

Her career was tragically cut short in 1932 when she died of double pneumonia due to post-partum complications after the birth of her daughter, Edeve.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: frankfob2@yahoo.com

Spouse (2)

Edward Thompson (4 February 1924 - 17 November 1932) ( her death) ( 1 child)
Frank Preer (16 January 1915 - 4 March 1923) ( his death)

Trivia (6)

African-American film performer.
Nearly drowned while filming a river-crossing scene for an Oscar Micheaux production.
Became a successful stage performer after leaving Hollywood, where her light complexion did not fit the industry's standards for its African American performers, who usually had darker skin.
Her husband, Edward Thompson, remained in films throughout the 1930s and 1940s and died in 1960.
In April 1932, she gave birth to her only child, Edeve Thompson, after which she developed post-parturition complications, dying of double pneumonia on November 27, 1932 in Los Angeles, aged 36.
Her daughter, Edeve, took the veil, joined the Sisters of Saint Francis, a Roman Catholic order of nuns and became Sister M. Francesca Thompson, O.S.F.; she was Associate Professor of theater and speech at Marian College in Indianapolis and is a noted historian of African-American cinema.

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