Julia Marlowe Grew up in Ironton

Sadie BROUGH probably won’t mean much to you. But Julia MARLOWE will. They were one and the same.

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Submitted by Barbara Madden

Ironton Evening Tribune September 4, 1938

When the famous actress Marlow was a familiar figure to Irontonians she was a wisp of a child, about five years old. Her family, the Broughs, was a transient one, much like many others who, in the period following the Civil War, were attracted to Ironton’s mills and foundries for work and daily bread. Sadie’s father was as itinerant shoe worker who brought his family here in the early ‘70s.

Some have handed down the story through the generations that Sadie’s mother managed a saloon, but there is nothing in surviving annals to verify this. And Sadie, herself, is remembered as a youngster in wretched surroundings, poor and dirty, but even then standing out from the crowd as a beautiful child.

In years to come, Sadie climbed above her family background and inferior heritage to become the greatest Shakespearean actress of her day, not as Sadie Brough, but as Julia Marlowe. She later married E.H. SOUTHERS, with whom she played in Shakespearean drama.