He ran away from home.
He went on the stage.
He was a success.
He became the dramatic father of Los Angeles.
Thats the life of Arthur McKee Rankin better known as McKee Rankin in four chapters.
He is in Los Angeles supporting Nance ONeil in repertoire at the Auditorium, and he devoted an hour or more to reminiscences of his life and early California history today as he chatted merrily in his apartments at the Hotel Alexandria. . . .
I was born in Sandwich, a Canadian town just across from Detroit . . . and . . . when I was about 16 . . . I went to Rochester and [went] on the stage under the name of George Henley.
shortly after the railroad was completed
Yes, Im the dramatic father of Los Angeles. I dedicated the Merced Theater, next to the old Pico House, with a presentation of Rip Van Winkle, with myself in the title role.
The stage was primitive in those days, and so was this beautiful city. The old Californians have gone I wonder where. Gamblers, ranchers and shepherds came to see us, but the Mexicans gave us the go-by.
What a lot of things can happen in 48 years! See how the trust, the syndicate, has changed things! It benefits the public by staging plays better, but it gradually is killing the
|taste of Americans for real drama.
It gives us too much Rogers Brothers here and there.
We can respond to the good in the drama, but the trust does not give us that. It says it is giving the public what it wants. It is not. It is giving the public what it has to take.
And what has it done for the actors? Everybody is in a trust or union except the actor . . . .
Because the actors are at the beck and call of everyone, from union stagehand to syndicate manager, there is no one of particular prominence on the stage today.
Mister Mack is immense physically and conversationally. He is inclined to be fat thats the word and admits it. His face is ample, as is his figure. He is endowed with a real double chin, a white moustache, gray hair, heavy gray eyebrows and bright brown eyes which are shaded by nose glasses.
He has a fine stage presence even when off the stage, and despite his 64 years oh, shades of Dr. Osler he still is every inch length and breadth a man and an actor.