Skip to main content

Shaw, Mary G. (1854–1929)

Shaw, Mary G. (1854–1929)

American actress, lecturer, and women's suffrage leader. Born on January 25, 1854, in Boston, Massachusetts; died of heart disease in New York City on May 18, 1929; daughter of Levi W. Shaw (a carpenter and builder) and Margaret (Keating) Shaw; graduated from Girls' High and Normal School in Boston, in 1871; married twice; second marriage to the Duc de Brissac (divorced); children: (first marriage) Arthur Shaw (an actor).

Mary G. Shaw taught in Boston until her voice gave out from overuse in the classroom. She then turned to acting, joining the Boston Museum stock company in 1879. In the 1880s, her dramatic talent attracted the attention of Helena Modjeska with whom she played for several seasons, and where she attained distinction by the power and intelligence of her acting. Shaw soon became recognized as one of the leading dramatic actresses of her time, and from 1890 to 1910 appeared in many notable New York productions. She was one of the first actresses to present Henrik Ibsen on the American stage, when she created a profound impression with her portrayal of Mrs. Alving in Ghosts. Throughout her life, Shaw gave much of her time to the cause of women's suffrage with brilliant lectures throughout the country. In 1909, she had starred in Elizabeth Robins ' play Votes for Women at Wallack's Theater in New York. Mary Shaw died in 1929 while on tour with Eva Le Gallienne 's Civic Repertory Company production of The Cradle Song.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Shaw, Mary G. (1854–1929)." Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. . 20 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Shaw, Mary G. (1854–1929)." Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. . (April 20, 2019).

"Shaw, Mary G. (1854–1929)." Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. . Retrieved April 20, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.