Arthur Donaldson began his stage career as a light opera baritone. In 1903, Arthur was the original 'Prince' in "The Prince of Pilsen" a musical/comedy on Broadway. The play was a big success and ran for 143 performances launching his long career on the Broadway stage. He appeared in several other plays until 1908, at which time he turned his talent and ambition toward film.
In 1910, Arthur joined the New Jersey based Kalem Company on their famous expeditions to Ireland. Known as the 'O'Kalems', the company produced scores of one and two-reelers on the Emerald Isle, including two dramas based on local playwright Dion Boucicault.
After leaving the Kalem Company in 1914, Arthur went on to become one of the most highly regarded film character actors during the World War I era. He appeared as the nefarious Baron von Blumberg in "Her American Prince" (1916); as the equally contemptible Friedrich von Emden, kidnapping Lois Meredith in a submarine, in "Over the Top" (1918); and as Cap'n Abe, a mousy storekeeper turned ferocious pirate leader, in "The Captain's Captain" (1919).
Unusual Store Ad
Returning to the stage with more frequency in the 1920s, Donaldson kept up a steady stream of film appearances as well.
His final role of any importance was George III in D.W. Griffith's epic "America" (1924). The following year, Donaldson produced and directed "Retribution" an experimental sound film intended for a Swedish-speaking audience. Ironically, sound ultimately put an end to Donaldson's screen career. He returned to the stage permanently in 1927, making his Broadway directorial debut in 1934 with "The Green Stick".
Close Up of Embossed Cigars
The Label: The Arthur Donaldson labels were produced in 1926 by the Chicago based F. C. Lundquist Co. It is very nicely embossed and very affordable. The most interesting feature of this label is probably the best smoking quote I have read: