Annabelle

American skirt dancer and stage beauty

Early cinema's most prolific star, Annabelle Moore (later Annabelle Whitford, and finally Annabelle Whitford Moore Buchan) made several films for Edison and Biograph between 1894 and 1897. A follower of Loe Fuller, Annabelle performed several dances at the Black Maria studio and was featured in the Kinetoscope's first London showing in October 1894. The Serpentine Dance, Butterfly Dance and Sun Dance were often hand- coloured and enjoyed such popularity that they frequently wore out, necessitating many reprintings and several refilmings . When the Biograph was launched in 1896 two of its earliest productions were Annabelle's Butterfly Dance and a Flag Dance in which she performed draped in the American colours. The sale of her films was further boosted in December 1896 when it was revealed that she had been approached to appear naked at a private dinner party at Sherry's Restaurant, New York. Annabelle remained the centre of public attention throughout the 1890s and 1900s, starring as the Gibson Bathing Girl in the first of Ziegfeld's Follies in 1907. She continued to appear in the Follies until 1912 when she married and retired from the stage.

Barry Anthony