LIVING IN WINTER PARK 75 Curtis saw Russell in The Stronger Sex and was mesmerized. She later met the actress through her fiancé, Edward W. Bok, editor in chief of her father’s flagship magazine, Ladies Home Journal. For the rest of her life, Russell would regard the meeting as “the beginning of the dearest friendship I have ever established.” COLLEGIATE COMEBACK For years afterward, the bond between Russell and the Boks flourished. She and her family, including her mother, brother, sister and nephew, even bought property in Rockport, Maine, close to property owned by the Boks. This seaside retreat provided Russell, often accompanied by Yorke, the opportunity to relax and enjoy some rare carefree times. In 1917, during a Chicago production of The Thirteenth Chair, Russell’s health took another turn for the worse, forcing her into retirement. For the next 12 years she lived in New Jersey and later settled in St. Petersburg, where the warm weather lifted her spirits. In 1929, after Russell broke her hip and finally divorced Yorke, the Boks encouraged her to move to Winter Park. Her friends, who had a summer One of Russell’s signature roles was as Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The actress was so well known that her image was used to sell products (right), in this case cigarettes, although the company misspelled her last name.
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