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The year is 1873. How cool is this picture! Lotta Crabtree was one of the wealthiest and most popular entertainers of the late-19th century. The actress, singer, and comedienne was known as “The Nation’s Darling”. And of all the photos I might have colorized – I decided on an elderly character 25 year-old Lotta played in “The Little Detective”.
Lotta’s career began in 1854 at age 6, performing at mining camps in Northern California. At the peak of her popularity in the 1870s and ’80s, Lotta was commanding $5,000 per week. Here’s a “Before” photo of Lotta sans scary old lady makeup, then a black & white/color comparison of her in character.
Since Lotta retired before the advent of motion pictures, we can only imagine her performance in The Little Detective – but her makeup artist certainly deserves an award.