Blanche Oelrichs
American actor and writer
Blanche Oelrichs
Blanche Oelrichs was an American poet, playwright, and theatre actress known by the pseudonym, "Michael Strange."
Blanche Oelrichs's personal information overview.
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  • 1950
    Age 59
    Blanche Oelrichs died from leukemia in 1950 in Boston.
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  • 1944
    Age 53
    She was interred with her son Robin, who'd died in 1944, in the Oelrichs family plot in the Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York.
    More Details Hide Details In 1960 her daughter Diana Barrymore died at age thirty-eight after several years of drug and alcohol addiction. Her older son Leonard was married to painter Yvonne Thomas and they had two daughters together, the only grandchildren of Blanche Oelrichs.
  • 1940
    Age 49
    Starting in the summer of 1940 until her death, Oelrichs was in a long-term relationship with Margaret Wise Brown, the author of many children's books. The relationship began as something of a mentoring one, but became a romantic relationship and they lived together at 10 Gracie Square beginning in 1943.
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    In 1940, Blanche Oelrichs published her autobiography, "Who Tells Me True."
    More Details Hide Details In 1942 she and Harrison Tweed divorced and in 1944 her son Robin died at the age of twenty-nine.
  • 1928
    Age 37
    Another book of Oelrichs' poetry was published in 1928 under the title "Selected poems, by Michael Strange" and the following year she married a third time to the prominent New York attorney Harrison Tweed who later became Chairman of Sarah Lawrence College.
    More Details Hide Details During the second half of the 1930s Oelrichs hosted a poetry and music program on New York radio station WOR that gained a strong audience.
  • 1926
    Age 35
    She then joined a summer stock company in Salem, Massachusetts and appeared in two Broadway plays in 1926 and 1927.
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  • 1925
    Age 34
    Her marriage to John Barrymore ended in May 1925.
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  • 1921
    Age 30
    In 1921, Oelrichs was among the first to join the Lucy Stone League, an organization that fought for women to preserve their maiden names after marriage.
    More Details Hide Details Blanche Oelrichs spent a great deal of time in Paris, France during the next few years while her husband performed abroad. After returning to live in New York, she began acting in live theatre.
    She then turned her writing skills to the creation of theatrical plays including a 1921 Broadway production titled "Clair de lune."
    More Details Hide Details Based on "L'Homme qui rit" by Victor Hugo, her play starred her husband and his sister Ethel Barrymore. It was made into a 1932 movie of the same name in France by director Henri Diamant-Berger.
    With drawings provided by John Barrymore, Blanche Oelrichs published a book in 1921 titled "Resurrecting Life."
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    She was already several months' pregnant with their only child, Diana Blanche Barrymore, who was born on March 3, 1921.
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  • 1920
    Age 29
    Blanche continued seeing him for four years; and, after divorcing Thomas, she married Barrymore on August 5, 1920.
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  • 1919
    Age 28
    Her interests caused a rift with her husband and they divorced in 1919.
    More Details Hide Details Through her social activities, Blanche Oelrichs met renowned actor John Barrymore. They were introduced by actress Cathleen Nesbitt, Barrymore's leading woman in the 1916 play Justice.
  • 1916
    Age 25
    Her first collection of poems was published in 1916 under the pen name Michael Strange.
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  • 1914
    Age 23
    Blanche Oelrichs developed a "literary urge" in 1914 when she began creating works of poetry and theatrical plays.
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  • 1910
    Age 19
    In 1910, Blanche Oelrichs married her first husband Leonard Moorhead Thomas, the son of a prominent Philadelphia banker, with whom she had two children, Leonard Jr. (1911–68) and Robin May Thomas (1915–44).
    More Details Hide Details Leonard Moorhead Thomas was a Yale University graduate who had worked in the diplomatic service in Rome and Madrid and served with the United States Army in Europe during World War I, earning the Croix de Guerre.
  • 1890
    Born on October 1, 1890.
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