"Vampire Baby" of 1917 (Vamp? Flapper?)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sun Aug 5 03:26:33 UTC 2001

   The (RH)HDAS isn't at "V," but this should be considered.  It perhaps started the "vamp" craze of 1917.  A check for this author's name on the web yielded no results, so it's offically obscure.
   See also my "vamp" posting in the old ADS-L archives (spotted during my "jazz" search).
   From the NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE, 28 November 1939, pg. 15, col. 5:

_Fanny Hatton Is Dead at 70;_
_Co-Author of 30 Gay Comedies_
_She and Husband Startled_
   _N.Y. With "Vampire Baby,"_
   _Wrote Plays for 15 Years_
   Fanny Locke Hatton, playwright who collaborated with her husband, Frederic Hatton, in the writing of more than thirty stage plays and motion picture scenarios, among them "Years of Discretion" and "The Great Lover," died yesterday morning...
   They had originally conceived the title "The Roaring Twenties" for the new play, but sold their rights to the title to Warner Brothers for a motion picture by Mark Hellinger, which is now showing on Broadway.
   For one of their plays, "Upstairs and Down," produced in New york in 1917 and shown for a year on the road, the Hattons created a character which became famous, the "vampire baby."  Played at different times by Ethel Stanwood and Julie Day, the "vampire baby" was a far cry from the ingenues who peopled the still popular melodramas.
   The "vampire baby" was a wicked young woman who wore short skirts, though ankle-length hems were proper at the time, flirted with married men, and, in general, "raised Ned," as observers commented at the time.  The Hattons did not present her sympathetically, but insisted she was true to life.  They presented her against a background of wild parties which they said were (Col. 6--ed.) faithful representations of high life on Long Island behind the scenes at the time, indignant denials were issued in behlf of Long Islanders, but "vampire baby" hats, scarfs, blouses and dolls soon were selling at a lively rate in department stores, and a series of plays about Long Island parties appeared.  Three years later the flapper craze was on.  The Hattons insisted that their "vampire baby" was the first flapper on the stage.

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