Lottie Grady Biography
Lottie Grady was a well known African American stage actress of the early 20th century. Originally from the south side of Chicago, she was a talented singer, dancer, and actress who soon rose to the higher levels of her profession. She performed on stage with the likes of Bert Williams (1904's show "Lode of Kole"), Jesse Shipp and S. H. Dudley ("The smart set") before returning to her hometown and becoming the leading lady of the Pekin Theatre stock company, a collection of actors and actresses who produced and performed in plays and other dramatic presentations, many written by African-Americans, or adapted to appeal to a predominately African American audience.
She would then join with William Foster and, with other members of the Pekin Theatre stock company, like Charles Gilpin, Abbie Mitchell and others, would act in his "photoplays." It was reported in contemporary newspapers that Grady would appear at showings of the films and while the reels were changed, would entertain the audience by singing. She retired from performing when she married a Detroit attorney; after their divorce she moved to the resort town of Idlewild, Michigan, where for almost thirty years she owned and operated a popular restaurant and tavern (Rosanna's).