// Datum :26-11-2022 / 15:55 TAAL:EN / _DE User: [NL]
Madame Sul-Te-Wan

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Nellie Crawford

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Actress Madame Sul-Te-Wan (birth name Nellie Crawford) was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on March 7th, 1873. She was the daughter of freed slaves Cleon De Londa and Silas Crawford. The father abandoned the family early on so her mother toiled as a laundress for a Louisville stage company. As a child, Sul-Te-Wan would watch the actors perform from a comfortable spot backstage which nurtured her dream of becoming an actress.

She got her start on the stage with a Cincinnati based theatrical troupe called The Three Black Cloaks. In the early days, she was billed as Creole Nell. Sul-Te-Wan later moved to the sunnier climes of California where she would find employment with director D.W. Griffith, appearing in "Birth of a Nation" (1915) and "Intolerance" (1916). In fact, it has been said that she was the first African American to sign a contract with a major studio.

Sul-Te-Wan became an established character actress working alongside major stars like Tom Mix, Leatrice Joy, Matt Moore, Mildred Harris, Harry Carey, Robert Harron, Mae Marsh and Buster Keaton. She remained steadily employed in talking pictures, but was frustrated at the lack of substantial roles for African-American actresses. Madame Sul-Te-Wan passed away in 1959, at the age of eighty-five.

[Peter Cushing] [Mino Brugnoli ?]